Saturday, 4 October 2014

To be or not to be (1983 version) (4½ Stars)

This is a remake of a film made in 1942. Not having seen the original version I can't compare them. According to what I've read, critics claim that the original was better, but the remake was more successful commercially. Critics and the public! Why can they never agree?

Frederick Bronski is one of the most famous stage actors in Poland. He writes mostly satirical plays which he performs in his small theatre in Warsaw. The year is 1939, and there are rumours of an imminent German invasion, but he doesn't take them seriously. Even when Germany invades in September he carried on with business as usual. After all, everyone needs to be entertained, whether they're Polish or German.

It's only when the Nazis evict Frederick from his theatre to use it as their Warsaw headquarters that he turns against the occupiers. He and his wife Anna join forces with the resistance. Then he is allowed to put on a performance for one night only to entertain Adolf Hitler when he visits Warsaw. Frederick devises a daring plan which involves impersonating Hitler.

This is an excellent film. It contains everything: music, action, comedy and romance. I strongly recommend it.

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