IMDb > To Be or Not to Be (1942)
To Be or Not to Be
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To Be or Not to Be (1942) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
8.2/10   19,922 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Melchior Lengyel (original story)
Edwin Justus Mayer (screenplay)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for To Be or Not to Be on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 March 1942 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
During the Nazi occupation of Poland, an acting troupe becomes embroiled in a Polish soldier's efforts to track down a German spy. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
A controversial classic that was actually made in 1941 See more (104 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Carole Lombard ... Maria Tura

Jack Benny ... Joseph Tura

Robert Stack ... Lieutenant Stanislav Sobinski

Felix Bressart ... Greenberg

Lionel Atwill ... Rawitch

Stanley Ridges ... Professor Siletsky

Sig Ruman ... Colonel Ehrhardt

Tom Dugan ... Bronski

Charles Halton ... Producer Dobosh

George Lynn ... Actor-Adjutant

Henry Victor ... Captain Schultz

Maude Eburne ... Anna
Halliwell Hobbes ... General Armstrong

Miles Mander ... Major Cunningham
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rudolph Anders ... Gestapo Sergeant at Desk at Top of Hotel Stairs (uncredited)
Paul Barrett ... Polish RAF Pilot (uncredited)

Sven Hugo Borg ... German Soldier (uncredited)
Peter Caldwell ... Wilhelm Kunze (uncredited)
Alec Craig ... Scottish Farmer Without Mustache (uncredited)

Helmut Dantine ... Co-Pilot (uncredited)
Jack Deery ... Member of Audience at Performance of Hamlet (uncredited)
Leslie Denison ... Captain (uncredited)

James Finlayson ... Scottish Farmer with Mustache (uncredited)
James Gillette ... Polish RAF Pilot (uncredited)
Leyland Hodgson ... Second Reporter (uncredited)
Shep Houghton ... German Soldier (uncredited)
Olaf Hytten ... Polonius in Warsaw (uncredited)
Charles Irwin ... Reporter (uncredited)

John Kellogg ... RAF Flyer (uncredited)
Adolf E. Licho ... Prompter (uncredited)
John Meredith ... English Wireless Operator (uncredited)
Maurice Murphy ... Polish RAF Pilot (uncredited)
Russ Powell ... Warsaw Bystander (uncredited)

Frank Reicher ... Polish Official (uncredited)
Otto Reichow ... Co-Pilot (uncredited)

Gene Rizzi ... Polish RAF Pilot (uncredited)

Hans Schumm ... Special Investigations Squad (uncredited)

Stephen Soldi ... Warsaw Bystander (uncredited)
Count Stefenelli ... Member of Audience at Performance of Hamlet (uncredited)

Roland Varno ... Pilot (uncredited)
Ernö Verebes ... Stage Manager (uncredited)

Dorothy Vernon ... Member of Audience at Performance of Hamlet (uncredited)
Armand 'Curly' Wright ... Makeup Man (uncredited)

Wolfgang Zilzer ... Man in Bookstore (uncredited)

Directed by
Ernst Lubitsch 
 
Writing credits
Melchior Lengyel (original story)

Edwin Justus Mayer (screenplay)

Ernst Lubitsch  original story (uncredited)

Produced by
Ernst Lubitsch .... producer
 
Original Music by
Werner R. Heymann (musical score by)
 
Cinematography by
Rudolph Maté (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
Dorothy Spencer (film editor)
 
Casting by
Victor Sutker 
 
Production Design by
Vincent Korda (production designed by)
 
Set Decoration by
Julia Heron (interior decoration)
 
Makeup Department
Gordon Bau .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Walter Mayo .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William McGarry .... assistant director
William Tummel .... assistant director
 
Art Department
J. McMillan Johnson .... associate art director (as J. MacMillan Johnson)
Jack Caffey .... props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Frank Maher .... sound
 
Special Effects by
Lawrence W. Butler .... special effects (as Lawrence Butler)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Irene .... costumes: Miss Lombard
 
Music Department
Miklós Rózsa .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Eugene Zador .... orchestrator: Miklós Rózsa (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Alexander Korda .... presenter
Ryszard Ordynski .... technical supervisor (as Richard Ordynski)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
99 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Certification:
Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:S | France:Tous publics | Netherlands:6 | Netherlands:14 (original rating) (1947) | South Korea:12 (2003) | Sweden:15 | UK:U (1997) | UK:U (1988) | UK:A (1942) | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #7834) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Robert Stack played Lieutenant Andrei Sobinski in this film while his 1941 (1979) co-star Tim Matheson played him in the remake To Be or Not to Be (1983).See more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: During the flight to Warsaw, the wire holding the obviously model airplane is visible.See more »
Quotes:
Josef Tura:Wait a minute. I'll decide with whom my wife is going to have dinner and whom she's going to kill.
Maria Tura:Don't you realize Poland's at stake?
Lieutenant Stanislav Sobinski:Have you no patriotism?
Josef Tura:Now listen, you... first you walk out on my soliloquy and then you walk into my slippers. And now you question my patriotism. I'm a good Pole and I love my country and I love my slippers.
Maria Tura:Well, I hope your country comes first.
Lieutenant Stanislav Sobinski:So do I.
Maria Tura:This is an emergency! War!
Josef Tura:Look, look, look, I don't know much about the whole thing... but is this Siletsky a real danger to Poland?
Lieutenant Stanislav Sobinski:A catastrophe!
Maria Tura:He must be taken care of!
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Hitler: A Film from Germany (1977)See more »
Soundtrack:
German National Anthem (Das Lied der Deutschen)See more »

FAQ

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87 out of 145 people found the following review useful.
A controversial classic that was actually made in 1941, 15 August 2003
Author: IamWilliamBlake from USA

This movie was made before while the US was still playin' both ends against the middle. Makin' huge profits while staying "neutral" The film was not allowed to be released until after, the US entered the war.

Easily the best of the screen versions. The cast is tight and the timing is impeccable. You can really tell that the cast believed in the film. Since America had not taken a formal stance at the time this went into production the producers, cast, and crew were really making something revolutionary and controversial. So much so that the making of this movie was not even mentioned on the Jack Benny radio program. Which is a major deal for those familiar with Old Time Radio, Jack's film career provided excellent material for comedy writers on the radio show, but also the radio show was an excellent opportunity to promote a movie. It is doubtful that this was a missed opportunity, what is more likely is that his sponsor or perhaps the network did not want to advocate a position.

This movie is wonderful for so many reasons. Not only is it hilarious, there is suspense, intrigue, and history. Another poster, mentions the Nazi's jumping out of the plane at the order of a radio transmission by Hitler. The thing to remember here is that the Nazi army was seen as an unstoppable war machine, so efficient, that soldiers would commit suicide if asked. This was less humor than it was to evoke fear of fascism.

Everyone remembers Bob Hope and his travels during WWII, well Jack Benny and Carole Lombard were no slouches either. After all they made this movie. Carole died in a plane crash along with her mother and twenty others returning from a war bond rally before the film was released. Jack went where few if any cameras or radio transmitters could reach. He could be found in the most remote parts of the world entertaining the troops. Not to take anything from Bob, he went there as well, he just had more photo ops.

Bottom line watch this movie--twice, maybe more, the dialogue is so quick and witty there is a good chance you might miss it the first time, them again it is worth at least to looks.

Was the above review useful to you?
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