To Be or Not to Be (1942) DVD9 + DVD5 Criterion Collection
In 1939 in Nazi-occupied Warsaw, a theatrical troupe led by the egocentric actor Joseph Tura (Jack Benny) are in the midst of rehearsing their new satiric play, Gestapo, when the authorities cancel it. Instead, they perform their old standby, Hamlet, with Tura in the title role. During his famous soliloquy, Tura's confidence is undermined when an audience member gets up and leaves during his reading of the "To be or not to be" line. It's a pattern that will be repeated, for the audience member is Polish pilot, Lt. Sobinski (Robert Stack), who is enjoying an innocent flirtation with Tura's wife and leading lady, Maria (Carole Lombard). And the "To be or not to be" line is the signal for their backstage rendezvous. But the secret meetings between Sobinski and Maria are really just a prelude to the troupe's involvement in a plot to foil a traitor providing information to the Germans that could destroy the Polish resistance movement...

DVD9 + DVD5 | NTSC 4:3 | 01:39:03 | 6.39 Gb + 4.27 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: English
Genre: Drama, Comedy, War

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Cast: Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack, Lionel Atwill
Country: USA

• New audio commentary featuring film historian David Kalat
• Lubitsch le patron, a 2010 French documentary on the director’s career (53:07)
• Pinkus’s Shoe Palace, a 1916 German silent short directed by and starring Ernst Lubitsch, with a new piano score by Donald Sosin (44:51)
• Two episodes of The Screen Guild Theater, a radio anthology series: Variety (1940), starring Jack Benny, Claudette Colbert, and Lubitsch (29:30), and To Be or Not to Be (1943), an adaptation of the film, starring William Powell, Diana Lewis, and Sig Ruman (25:40)

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