This week on The Spectator Film Podcast…
To Be or Not to Be (1942) 9.13.18
Players: Austin, Maxx
— Notes —
- “Shylock’s Revenge: The Doubly Vanished Jew in Ernst Lubitsch’s To Be or Not to Be” by Joel Rosenberg — A very engaging and informative essay in which Rosenberg contextualizes the film’s production and release, explore’s the film’s relationship to Shakespeare, and elaborates on Lubitsch’s unique ability to understand (and slyly implicate) American audiences. This would also probably work well as an introduction to Lubitsch’s filmmaking career and creative life.
- “Lubitsch’s To Be Or Not To Be: The Question of Simulation in Cinema” by Hassan Melehy — This article discusses how To Be or Not to Be engages with the representational techniques of propaganda (both Nazi and Allied) and explores how the “film image” can play a role in that process.
- Archived version of the oft-mentioned Bosley Crowther review.
- The Criterion Collection release of To Be or Not to Be is great and features a wonderful commentary track from film historian David Kalat.
- Clarification: Ernst Lubitsch didn’t leave for the US as a direct result of Hitler’s rise to prominence, as was the case for many other talented filmmakers in Hollywood in the 30s/40s. Lubitsch first arrived to work in Hollywood to work with Mary Pickford in 1922.
(Apologies for the brief audio issues)