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To Be or Not to Be (1942)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, War  |  6 March 1942 (USA)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 17,451 users  
Reviews: 99 user | 65 critic

During the Nazi occupation of Poland, an acting troupe becomes embroiled in a Polish soldier's efforts to track down a German spy.

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(original story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: To Be or Not to Be (1942)

To Be or Not to Be (1942) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Felix Bressart ...
Greenberg
...
Stanley Ridges ...
Sig Ruman ...
Tom Dugan ...
Bronski
Charles Halton ...
George Lynn ...
Actor-Adjutant
...
Maude Eburne ...
Anna
Halliwell Hobbes ...
Gen. Armstrong
...
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Storyline

In occupied Poland during WWII, a troupe of ham stage actors (led by Joseph Tura and his wife Maria) match wits with the Nazis. A spy has information which would be very damaging to the Polish resistance and they must prevent it's being delivered to the Germans. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

6 March 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ser o no ser  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of Ernst Lubitsch's techniques to protect his star was having Jack Benny do multiple takes of many of his crucial scenes. Robert Stack recalled that "Specifically, the scene where Jack comes home and finds me in his bed asleep and does a series of double takes, he made Jack do at least 30 takes." Still, Lubitsch respected Benny's opinion and would redo a scene if Benny himself, after looking at the rushes, thought it could be better. See more »

Goofs

When Maria types the memo to put under the pillow, she types two lines with a total of 18 keystrokes. However, the actual memo is four lines of about 80 plus keystrokes (not counting spaces). See more »

Quotes

Maria Tura: No, no, no. I think we've talked much too much about me. Tell me about yourself.
Lieutenant Stanislav Sobinski: Well, there isn't much to tell. I just fly a bomber.
Maria Tura: Oh, how perfectly thrilling!
Lieutenant Stanislav Sobinski: I don't know about it being thrilling. But it's quite a bomber. You might not believe it, but I can drop three tons of dynamite in two minutes.
Maria Tura: Really?
Lieutenant Stanislav Sobinski: Does that interest you?
Maria Tura: It certainly does.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Beetlejuice: To Beetle or Not to Beetle (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Polonaise in A major, Op. 40, No. 1, 'Military'
(1838) (uncredited)
Written by Frédéric Chopin
Orchestral arrangement by Aleksandr Glazunov
Heard during the opening and closing credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lombard's Curtain Call
29 December 2010 | by See all my reviews

An acting troupe joins the resistance movement in Nazi-occupied Poland. This is a scathing farce masterfully directed by the incomparable Lubitsch, one of the earliest anti-Nazi films. It's hard to watch this without thinking about Lombard's tragic death soon after filming was completed. She shows for the final time why she was one of the premier comediennes of the silver screen, delivering laughs with her uncanny timing and delivery. Benny has the role of his career as the hammy actor whose love for Lombard is exceeded only by his love for himself. Lubitch not only provides sparkling comedy but also adeptly executes the action scenes.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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