To Be Or Not To Be

To Be Or Not To Be. Brooksfilms 1983.

Before watching the movie:

Mel Brooks. Nazis. Shakespeare. Sounds like a lot of fun. My concern creeps in with the facts that this is a remake of a 40s film and has been described as less satirical than his best. When I think of Mel Brooks without satire, I think of Dracula: Dead and Loving It, which (as I said on Twitter) relied too much on physical comedy.

Useless fact time: as you can find out from any other reference on this film, it’s the only time Mel Brooks acted in the same movie with his wife Anne Bancroft. Much like that Wall Street is notable for featuring Martin Sheen and Charlie Sheen as father and son (and Michael Douglas as the inspiration to all the authors of the economic recession), it’s an interesting fact that doesn’t mean much but takes up space.

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The Graduate

The Graduate. Embassy Pictures 1967.

Before watching the movie:

What I know about this movie is… well, the iconic scene. Surely the plot can’t be as simple as “he gets seduced by an older woman?” Sources seem to indicate it is, but I don’t see how it could have such staying power if that’s all there is. I’m a little comforted by the mention I see that he has no direction in life after graduation, so I guess it’s a coming of age story?

It was not until I had this copy in hand that I realized that the title character was played by a very young Dustin Hoffman. Sure, I’ve seen him mentioned in context with the film a few times, but somehow I never heard “Dustin Hoffman” when people said, “In The Graduate, Dustin Hoffman…” Continue reading