"Warsaw 1939. At the Teatr Polski, actress Maria Tura secretly meets with a young pilot lieutenant while her husband plays Hamlet on stage. When German troops occupy the city, the pilot flees to England. Without meaning to, he reveals information about the Polish resistance to Siletsky, a Nazi spy disguised as a professor. To make up for his mistake and eliminate the agent, he returns to Warsaw."
Berlinale 2021: Retrospective
"Only an expert like Lubitsch could allow himself to portray the terrible and the evil in cheerful distortion. He exposes the popery of National Socialism through grotesquerie. He opposes the stupid and mean inhumanity with his sovereign humanity. Unspirit and cynicism are answered with spirit and irony. Lubitsch and his brilliant actors (Jack Benny, Carole Lombard, Robert Stalk, Felix Bressart, Sig Ruman) succeeded in smiling at the stupidity of a dictatorship system, ridiculing it without underestimating its deadly dangerousness and without offending good taste."
t.l.: Funny play of a tragedy. In: Die Welt, 30.01.1959
"Even despite the ominous situation of the sudden Nazi invasion, Lubitsch manages to keep the film and its characters in an appealing milieu. After an air raid, there are some sad depictions of the city in ruins, but soon we are back in a world of sparkling champagne, elegant dresses, fur coats and swank hotels."
Contributors and additional information:
99 min. bw. 35 mm. E/d/f
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Screenplay: Edwin Justus Mayer, based on a story by Melchior Lengyel
Cinematography: Rudolph Maté
Editing: Dorothy Spencer
Music: Werner R. Heymann
With: Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack
Note: This text was translated by machine translation software and not by a human translator. It may contain translation errors.