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Criterion Press Release: To Be or Not To Be (DVD)


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#1 of 2 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

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Posted May 15 2013 - 02:09 PM




TO BE OR NOT TO BE – Blu-ray & DVD Editions

As nervy as it is hilarious, this screwball masterpiece from Ernst Lubitsch (Trouble in Paradise) stars Jack Benny (The Jack Benny Program) and, in her final screen appearance, Carole Lombard (My Man Godfrey) as husband-and-wife thespians in Nazi-occupied Warsaw who become caught up in a dangerous spy plot. To Be or Not to Be is a Hollywood film of the boldest black humor, which went into production soon after the U.S. entered World War II. Lubitsch manages to brilliantly balance political satire, romance, slapstick, and urgent wartime suspense in a comic high-wire act that has never been equaled.


1942 • 99 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • 1.37:1 aspect ratio



• New, restored 2K digital film transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition

• New audio commentary featuring film historian David Kalat

• Lubitsch le patron, a 2010 French documentary on director Ernst Lubitsch’s career

• Two episodes of The Screen Guild Theater, a radio anthology series: Variety (1940), starring Jack Benny, Claudette Colbert, and Lubitsch, and To Be or Not to Be (1942), an adaptation of the film, starring William Powell, Diana Lewis, and Sig Ruman

• Trailer

• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien

• More!




UPC: 7-15515-10891-1

ISBN: 978-1-60465-760-9

SRP: $39.95  

PREBOOK: 7/30/13

STREET: 8/27/13


TITLE: To Be or Not to Be (2-DVD EDITION)

CAT. NO: CC2298D

UPC: 7-15515-10901-7

ISBN: 978-1-60465-761-6

SRP: $29.95  

PREBOOK: 7/30/13

STREET: 8/27/13


Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner


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#2 of 2 OFFLINE   mdnitoil


    Supporting Actor

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  • Real Name:Scott

Posted May 18 2013 - 01:51 PM

There's really nothing wrong with my Warner release but perhaps the commentary might be worthwhile.  This is going to have to get really cheap before I bother with the double dip.

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