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To Be or Not to Be (1942)

Passed | | Comedy, War | 6 March 1942 (USA)
During the Nazi occupation of Poland, an acting troupe becomes embroiled in a Polish soldier's efforts to track down a German spy.

Director:

Writers:

(original story), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
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Greenberg
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Bronski
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Actor-Adjutant
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Anna
Halliwell Hobbes ...
General 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 | Plot 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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was one of two dozen Walter Wanger films re-released theatrically in the 1940s by Masterpiece Productions, and ultimately sold by them for USA television syndication in 1950. It was first telecast in New York City on WCBS Saturday 8 July 1950. See more »

Goofs

In the scene early in the movie when Carole Lombard is arguing with the play director about her dress, they begin onstage, in the Gestapo office set. At one point the director switches to a closer shot and they are suddenly backstage, facing in entirely different directions than they were onstage. See more »

Quotes

Josef Tura: Someone walked out on me. Tell me, Maria, am I losing my grip?
Maria Tura: Oh, of course not, darling. I'm so sorry.
Josef Tura: But he walked out on me.
Maria Tura: Maybe he didn't feel well. Maybe he had to leave. Maybe he had a sudden heart attack.
Josef Tura: I hope so.
Maria Tura: If he stayed he might have died.
Josef Tura: Maybe he's dead already! Oh, darling, you're so comforting.
See more »

Connections

Featured in To Be... A Film Favorite (2012) 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
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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.


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