Like To Be or Not To Be, a film that defies bad taste with a starkly low-key opening in a Spanish jail where Milland awaits the firing-squad for his part in the Civil War, but walks bemusedly out into the arms of Colbert, a stranger (and aspiring reporter) claiming him as her husband and successful in an appeal for clemency. What follows, set in Hollywood's dreamy notion of springtime in Paris as the Nazi boot relentlessly crushes Europe, is romantic comedy at its most briliant, scripted by Brackett and Wilder with a nice line in sexual innuendo and cynical irreverence. Inspiration flags latterly, though, as the groundwork is laid for a message to democracy. Even Brackett and Wilder can't quite get away with the notion of adapting the lines quoted earlier from 'The Song of Solomon' ('Arise, my love, my fair one, come away') as a rousing appeal to America ('Arise, my love, arise, be strong').
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder|