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, for producer Steven Spielberg. His feature films include The Howling, Innerspace, Matinee, Small Soldiers, The ‘burbs and the 3-D thriller titled The Hole, first winner of the 3D Persol Award at the Venice Film Festival. His TV directing work includes:  the HBO film, The Second Civil War, the “Masters of Horrors” titles,  Homecoming and The Screwfly Solution, episodes of Eerie, Indiana , which he was in on the creation of, as well as episodes of CSI: NY, Hawaii 5-0 and Salem. His latest feature, the zom-com Burying the Ex, is currently available on VOD.