Sweet & brainy screwball, which starts off a bit slow but when it gets going, it gets going. The nazi setting / context (made during the war) grants some interesting weightiness to it. Most of the humour comes from the situations, not the dialogue per se, which I kind of like. There's a vaudevillian feel to the structure/constellation.
"It is also a part of dissembling to regard others as capable of dissembling. If human beings acted in such a way that we were inclined to suspect them of dissembling, but they showed no mistrust of one another, then this doesn't present a picture of people who dissemble. 'We cannot help but be constantly surprised by these people.'" wittgenstein, remarks on colour. this movie is a beautiful insanity of deception!!!!
35mm, rewatched. Skakespeare is constantly quoted and referred in this film, which is very pertinent, since the bard who wrote about the world as a stage should be the most logical substance of a film where the stage is the world, inversion with great importance and not exactly synonymous: politics, sex and love are masks, that is, the human is a mask, but unlike later on with Bergman, an unconfessable one.
Nazi satire better than the Great Dictator, and a great example of the best the classic Hollywood era has to offer. It is full of enough twists and turns to constitute it as a straight thriller, but the comedy really makes it whole and makes it memorable in the long run. The humor in question is pretty great considering the time period, and works well in the film. Not the greatest WWII comedy but certainly up there.
huge fan of a running gag. jack benny and carole lombard have a wonderful presence together, dryly bouncing jokes off the other. biting satire on nazism being pure cronyism. the nazis being a fantastic foil to the tight knit group of actors really juxtaposing the fun nature of one against the fear of power and blame shifting of the other.
Where has this film been all my life? I've always loved the other Lubitsch film I've seen, "The Shop Around the Corner," but this one works just as perfectly. There's a great blend of comical wit, meticulous dialogue that shifts between emotional beats with grace, and spot-on acting that enhances the spot-on social commentary.