To Be or Not to Be (1942)


I can’t say enough good things about this film…it has a unique beginning, a plot that gets funnier and crazier as it goes along, and features the beautiful Carole Lombard before her death…this is her best film!


This is a film that wasn’t so popular in it’s day because it dealt with a very touchy and depressing topic: Adolph Hitler & Nazism.  This was January 1942 and the U.S. had not entered the war and everyone was on pins and needles.  The movie was released after the untimely death of Carole Lombard who died in a plane crash while flying back to California after helping to sell war bonds in the eastern U.S.–the general public did not react well to a comedy such as this under such depressing and tense circumstances.

However, this movie is just too funny and too good to be forgotten–it’s a classic film that will go down as one of the greatest comedies in history.


This is a movie with more memorable and funny lines than almost any movies…it is a smart film that to ties in earlier scenes with later scenes…that reminds you of a funny scene and then repeats itself.  The movie has many laugh out loud scenes and and features a young. Jack Benny, who previously to this movie was only known as a comedian on radio.

I found myself looking online to find many of the lines from the film…repeating them and laughing at them all over again.


I think for movie lover’s everywhere this is a significant movie because it captures the brilliance and the beauty of Carole Lombard…her work is so effortless.  She made a scene funny, but not only funny but adorable and memorable.  Of  course that’s not to sleight the other Great stars of this film including the work of Director Ernst Lubitsch who was a very well known director in his time…interesting enough, his life was also cut short as he had a massive heart attack in 1943 and then died in 1947 after 4 years of frail health.

SUMMARY:  I rated this movie 10 Stars out of 10….probably not the best comedy I have ever seen but it is up in my top 20 easily and maybe even on my top 10…To Be or Not to Be is a clever comedic masterpiece!

Todd Morgan
About Todd Morgan 56 Articles
Todd is one of nation's top classic movie experts, with a passion and determination to help the younger generation discover some of the truly greatest movies ever made. Todd reviews 2-3 movies every week and also prepares classic movie trivia, lists, writes books, and develops games all on Classic Movies. Contact him at

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