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.

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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 BatchInnerspace and Small Soldiers for producer Steven Spielberg. His feature films include The HowlingPiranhaMatineeThe ‘burbs , Looney Tunes Back in ActionThe 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 SquadAmazing Stories, the HBO film The Second Civil War, the Masters of Horror titles Homecoming and The Screwfly Solution, and episodes of Eerie, IndianaCSI: NYHawaii 5-0Witches of East EndLegends of Tomorrow and Salem. His most recent big screen credit is an episode of the 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!