To Be or Not to Be

Tuesday, May 16
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1hr 39mins // directed by:Ernst Lubitsch // featuring:Carole Lombard, Jack Benny // 35mm

As nervy as it is hilarious, this screwball masterpiece from Ernst Lubitsch stars the incomparable Jack Benny and Carole Lombard as husband-and-wife thespians caught up in a dangerous spy plot in Nazi-occupied Warsaw. 

A Hollywood film of the boldest black humor, it went into production soon after the U.S. entered World War II. Lubitsch brilliantly balances political satire, romance, slapstick, and urgent wartime suspense in a comic high-wire act that has never been equaled. 

Featuring a post-film Q&A with Brandeis Professor Thomas Doherty, author of Hollywood and Hitler.

“Lombard at her apex, Lubitsch at his most inspired.” –Film Critic Andrew Sarris  

“One of the most perfectly structured and audacious of screen comedies.” –Time Out London  

“Lubitsch’s finest achievement, certainly one of the most profound, emotionally complex comedies ever made.” –Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader

Screening as part of the National Center for Jewish Film’s 20th annual film festival.