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The Restored ‘To Be Or Not To Be’ Movie Review


The Restored ‘To Be Or Not To Be’ Movie Review

Title: To Be Or Not To Be

Director: Ernst Lubitsch

Starring: Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack, Felix Bressart, Lionel Atwill, Stanley Ridges, Sig Ruman.

The younger generations who have missed a great all time classic such as Ernst Lubitsch’s ‘To Be Or Not To Be,’ will soon have the chance to see its full version restored, in Blu-Ray.

The title is a reference to the famous Shakespearean soliloquy in Hamlet and becomes a humorous leitmotiv throughout Ernst Lubitsch’s film. The 1942 American comedy is about a troupe of theatre actors in Nazi-occupied Warsaw, who use their acting abilities to mock and disguise amongst the German troops. The movie had been adapted by Lubitsch and Edwwin Justus Mayer from the story of Melchior Lengeyel and stars Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack, Felix Bressart, Lionel Atwill, Stanley Ridges and Sig Ruman.

The home video edition has an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer. And most importantly there are no traces of severe denoising corrections. The Audio tracks serve the film very well and boost Werner Heymann’s score, blending very appeasingly with the dialogue, that has good depth, with no problematic distortions in the high-frequencies.

This technical make-over has brought back to life a true gem of the movie industry, made by a master of film-making, who was glorified by François Truffaut, Peter Bogadanovich, Frank Capra, Billy Wilder, Orson Welles, John Ford, Claude Chabrol and Jean Renoir.

Technical: A*

Acting: A*

Story: A*

Overall: A*

Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

To Be Or Not To Be Movie Review

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Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, is a film critic, culture and foreign affairs reporter, screenwriter, film-maker and visual artist. She studied in a British school in Milan, graduated in Political Sciences, got her Masters in screenwriting and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Chiara’s “Material Puns” use wordplay to weld the title of the painting with the materials placed on canvas, through an ironic reinterpretation of Pop-Art, Dadaism and Ready Made. She exhibited her artwork in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, Oxford, Paris and Manhattan. Chiara works as a reporter for online, print, radio and television and also as a film festival PR/publicist. As a bi-lingual journalist (English and Italian), who is also fluent in French and Spanish, she is a member of the Foreign Press Association in New York, the Women Film Critics Circle in New York, the Italian Association of Journalists in Milan and the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. Chiara is also a Professor of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at IED University in Milan.

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