Join the Resistance! Lubitsch’s Iconic World War II Satire To Be or Not To Be Screens in 35mm – Oct 24 @ NEIU

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $7 • NEIU Students: $3

Wednesday, October 24 @ 7:30 PM
TO BE OR NOT TO BE
Directed by Ernst Lubitsch • 1942
Joseph Goebbels is seemingly the only cinephile to proffer an active distaste for Ernst Lubitsch. While the Nazi propaganda minister was launching attacks on the director through anti-Semitic “documentaries” in Europe, Lubitsch, firmly ensconced in Hollywood, mounted one of the great farces of the era, positing that National Socialism could be easily outwitted by a bunch of scenery-chewing hams. Jack Benny stars as Josef Tura, the leader of a theatrical troupe in 1939 Warsaw, recently invaded by Germany. When Tura’s wife Maria (Carole Lombard, brilliant in her final role) becomes embroiled with a Polish resistance fighter (a dreamy Robert Stack), she comes under scrutiny from local Nazi leadership and Josef and company must concoct a series of ruses to free her and protect Warsaw’s underground resistance. Never stooping to self-congratulation or sentimentality, To Be or Not to Be found Lubitsch at the peak of his artistry, landing every single punchline with aplomb and with nary a mawkish moment nor wasted breath to be found in between. That Lubitsch managed all of this while addressing the impending threat of global fascist takeover makes his achievement all the more remarkable. As a character in the film says, “A laugh is nothing to be sneezed at.” (CW)
99 min • United Artists • 35mm from Westchester Films
Cartoon: “Betty Boop’s Prize Show” (Fleischer Brothers, 1934) 8 min – 16mm

 Check out the full schedule here!

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