Your weekly fix of great movies made before you were born that you should check out before you die. The persistent question in To Be or Not To Be is this: what use is a clown during wartime? There might not be a definitive answer, but Ernst Lubitsch‘s most dramatic work (by default) is a comedy that has to be taken seriously. It’s also startling proof that it’s harder to laugh when you’re standing too close to the fire. It’s only in stepping back that you can feel the warmth without getting hurt. That was the case when this comedy about Hitler and Hamlet premiered right smack dab in the middle of Word War II.
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