Criterion Press Release: To Be or Not To Be (Blu-ray)

Ronald Epstein

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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
SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• 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!
TITLE: To Be or Not to Be (BLU-RAY EDITION)
CAT. NO: CC2297BD
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
 
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Ejanss

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Given the other jokes about his "movie career", Jack Benny used to kid the movie's "If you only had to make one quintessential movie with Jack Benny" success on his radio show:

"Oh look, Rochester, they're playing To Be or Not to Be on TV tonight...Gee, that was a good one."
"Boss, that was THEEEEE good one!"

:lol:
 

Reed Grele

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One of my favorite comedy films of all time. Already own just about every home video incarnation available... But how can I resist a Criterion edition?

BTW, I've always wondered if Henry Victor as Capt. Schultz was the inspiration for John Banners Sgt. Schultz in Hogan's Heroes.
 

JoHud

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There's something surreal about Jack Benny being given Criterion treatment, even though this is happening more due to Lubitsch's involvement than Benny's. Still, a good year for Jack between this, Olive's It's in the Bag, and Shout!'s upcoming DVD set of his famed television program.

Great cover art too.
 

Moe Dickstein

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Jack Benny is the reason I first sought this film out years ago before I knew who Lubitsch was. I was a weird little kid who liked old radio comedies.
 

JoeDoakes

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Ray
Featuring that great, great actor, Joseph Tura. Benny was wonderful in this.
 

Ronald Epstein

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The link below will take you directly to the product on Amazon. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link.
 
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