Nothing could be less funny than Hitler’s fascist regime … until Jack Benny gets hold of it in the film To Be or Not to Be. A satirical treatment of Nazi corruption and insanity, the movie was released during the height of WWII making it an extremely risky comedy for its time. Ernst Lubitsch was a German-born, Jewish director who often used the relative freedom provided by the Hollywood Studios as a forum to air his political commentaries on the state of European society.
To Be or Not to Be is an absolute must see. Jack Benny is at his most hysterical and Lubitsch deflates the power of the fascists without resorting to propagandistic treatment of his subject matter. It ain’t Shakespeare my friends but the witty dialogue is a work of genius. Put it on your list!