29 Apr 2016

To Be Or Not To Be

I was grinning madly for most of the viewing. A very witty film with just a sprinkling of dread, especially in the middle parts.

The scene with the search for the professor as he attempts to escape the darkened theater was even pretty intense!

No one will claim a barrage of jokes will heighten the tension of a film, but having that nazi plot at the front keeps things moving, keeps the jokes from being aimless, pointless, or a drag (as I have often found with Marx Brother’s films).

In the end it was, naturally, the comic writing that made the film. Conversations are littered with witticisms and gags develop over several scenes, sometimes obviously yet utterly joyfully (special note for the "Colonel Concentration Camp" gag, and of course the titular running joke). Yet it doesn’t get in the way of the very significant and well thought out plot.

Don’t forgot the visuals: crowds of nazi soldiers arranged in handsome Polish towns, fantastic sets and costumes, and the actors are good looking or, otherwise, distinctive. As for sound, the music smartly stayed silent at key moments to let something sink in , and I also noticed when it used the music to transition from comic exchanges when danger developed.

This is a movie that just fucking works on all fronts. Fantastic.

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