Joe Dante on

To Be or Not to Be

Released 1942
Distributor United Artists

Jack Benny’s greatest movie role, and no wonder–it was written especially for him by Ernst Lubitsch! Carole Lombard’s swan song earned her some of her finest reviews posthumously, but the film itself, daringly dark for the time, was generally regarded as an insensitive and even troubling satire of wartime issues. The title refers not only to Shakespeare but the questionable existence of Poland. It has since been recognized as one of the director’s finest efforts and a brilliantly cast comedy classic. Remade in 1983 with Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft in the leads.

About Joe Dante

Joe Dante is a lifelong film buff who turned his obsession into a career. He got his start cutting trailers for Roger Corman and later directed the hit movie Gremlins, as well as Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Innerspace and Small Soldiers for producer Steven Spielberg. His feature films include The Howling, Piranha, Matinee, The ‘burbs , Looney Tunes Back in Action, The Hole (first winner of the 3D Persol Award at the Venice Film Festival) and the zom-com Burying the Ex. His TV directing work includes: Police Squad, Amazing Stories, the HBO film The Second Civil War, the Masters of Horror titles Homecoming and The Screwfly Solution, and episodes of Eerie, Indiana, CSI: NY, Hawaii 5-0, Witches of East End, Legends of Tomorrow and Salem. His latest big screen credit is an episode of the upcoming anthology film Nightmare Cinema. Joe is also the frequent co-host of Trailers From Hell's official podcast, The Movies That Made Me, available everywhere podcasts are streamed and downloaded!