(Review originally written at 19 December 2008)

This is one fine and also rather effective WW II comedy, that mocks the Nazi's and their direct leaders.

The movie got actually made during WW II and therefore this movie, just like Chaplin's "The Great Dictator" can be seen as a relevant one for its time and propaganda for the good cause. Lots of the cast and crew involved with this movie 'fought' for the good cause during WW II and supported the troops abroad and rallied for cash bonds. For instance also Carole Lombard, who got killed before this movie got released, when the plane with her aboard crashed, when she returned from a tour selling war bonds.

It's a movie that hits the mark with its comedy and spoofing elements, without ever getting a tiresome or overdone movie with its comedy and anti-Nazi themes. It's a more subtle done movie, thanks to its very fine written script.

To me it really was the movie its script that pushed to movie to great heights. It's a movie that is always going and never stops for anything. It constantly puts its characters in some odd and also often dangerous situations. Just when you think its over they are rolling right into another- even bigger problem, which of course also is all the more hilarious as well. Because of this the movie basically gets better by the minute. It already all begins really well but it ends even better. You'll laugh more and more as the movie heads toward its ending.

It also has a real original concept of a group of Polish actors fighting the Nazi invaders with the help of their acting abilities. So its Hamlet against Hitler in this movie! It makes this an original and really pleasant movie to watch. Even though it of course is about serious subjects, especially considering that the movie got made during WW II itself and has some deeper political meanings to it, it never becomes a heavy movie to watch. It's like laughing at WW II during WW II itself. It shows that the world was not entirely dark and sober during WW II. Somewhere people were still laughing and that's always a great remedy in dark, hard and uncertain times.

Because the movie is so well written, also the movie its comedy mostly comes directly from its situations and dialog. One thing that often is great about '40's and also '30's comedies is its written dialog. It provides the movie with plenty of laughs and makes you wonder why writers like this are not involved with comedy-writing now days. Probably because the genre has got less prestige now days, when compared to the '40's especially, when basically each year a movie like this got nominated for plenty of Oscar's. Strangely enough this movie received only one nomination though, for its music. Perhaps this was due to the movie its bad release date, not too long after Pearl Harbor and of course also Carole Lombard's early death.

The movie has a solid '40's cast with talented actors such as Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack and Lionel Atwill involved. Basically everyone got well cast and each and everyone of them portrays some great and likable simple comedy characters.

Heil Hamlet!


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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