Saturday, May 21, 2011

To be or not to be

Ernst Lubitsch (1892-1947), 1942, 93m

Woody Allen's films are sometimes described as Lubitsch type comedies, and that was what made me want to encounter the work of this director whose name has become an adjective. The film itself was entertaining enough, though the identification with Allen was not at all apparent. The film is about the adventures of a troupe of actors in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation. Hitler or his impersonator appear and the doubles and mixing of identities gives rise to numerous amusing situations. The film is said to have shocked many people because it appears to make light out of the grim horrors of the occupation of Poland right when it was happening. If a comparison is to be made on the basis of this single film, one might say the humor is crass compared to Woody Allen.


Jack L said...

Sounds rather like Chaplin's The Great Dictator from your description.

It doesn't sound like essential viewing though so I won't bother with it for the moment...

S. M. Rana said...

It is like the Chaplin movie and you can take it or leave it. Chaplin's was better.