103 user 66 critic

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.



(original story), (screenplay)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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A bad Polish actor is just trying to make a living when what should intrude but World War II in the form of an invasion. His wife has the habit of entertaining young Polish officers while ... See full summary »

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Complete credited cast:
Halliwell Hobbes ...
General Armstrong


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


Comedy | War


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

6 March 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ser o no ser  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Carole Lombard took the female lead despite the strenuous objections of her husband, Clark Gable. See more »


When Tura is disguised as Colonel Ehrhardt in his meeting with Siletsky he is wearing the uniform of a Major General (actually an SS-Gruppenfuehrer). See more »


Lieutenant Stanislav Sobinski: I hope you'll forgive me if I acted a little clumsy, but this is the first time I ever met an actress.
Maria Tura: Lieutenant, this is the first time I've ever met a man who could drop three tons of dynamite in two minutes.
See more »


Referenced in Un genio en apuros (1983) See more »


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

Lin Chen-To Be or Not to Be
16 February 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Is difficult to imagine is that comedy so at ease, without the exaggerated facial expressions and movements jokingly, completely just script operation, distinctive characters show and the storyline of the conflicting collision out a very exciting laugh, or a fine sense of humor and amusing humor. Let me think later "La Grande Vadrouille" in the group play interspersed and coincidence echoes. As amazing actor, hapless Colonel, loyal soldiers, war machine heartbeat.Revisit the classic comedy, from beginning to end immersed in the plot to create out of the atmosphere of joy, the director of the comedy elements with effortless, structure, lines, performing, narrative and music and drama are called perfect, textbook style comedy film.

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Greatest quote... lordxur
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