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:
8.3/10   16,022 votes »
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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 » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Witty and mocking See more (94 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Carole Lombard ... Maria Tura

Jack Benny ... Joseph Tura

Robert Stack ... Lieut. Stanislav Sobinski
Felix Bressart ... Greenberg

Lionel Atwill ... Rawitch
Stanley Ridges ... Professor Siletsky
Sig Ruman ... Col. Ehrhardt
Tom Dugan ... Bronski
Charles Halton ... Producer Dobosh
George Lynn ... Actor-Adjutant
Henry Victor ... Capt. Schultz
Maude Eburne ... Anna
Halliwell Hobbes ... Gen. 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)
Leslie Denison ... Captain (uncredited)
James Finlayson ... Scottish Farmer with Mustache (uncredited)
James Gillette ... Polish RAF Pilot (uncredited)
Leyland Hodgson ... Second Reporter (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 ... Bystander (uncredited)

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

Gene Rizzi ... Polish RAF Pilot (uncredited)
Hans Schumm ... (uncredited)
Roland Varno ... Pilot (uncredited)
Ernö Verebes ... Stage Manager (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:U | Netherlands:6 | Netherlands:14 (original rating) (1947) | South Korea:12 (2003) | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1988) (1997) | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #7834) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Final film of Carole Lombard.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: 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 »
Quotes:
Colonel Ehrhardt:If you watch the shepherd, you are bound to find the flock.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Polonaise in A major, Op.40 No.3, 'Military'See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
24 out of 45 people found the following review useful.
Witty and mocking, 20 September 2003
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

Joseph Tura and his wife are part of an actors troop in pre-WW2 Poland. When a handsome young pilot is forced to break off his affair with Mrs Tura to go to England and join the RAF, he sends a message through an English agent who offers to take messages to families of all the pilots when he goes to Poland. Realising too late that Professor Siletsky is a double agent taking addresses to the Nazi's, Lt Sobinski alerts Tura who is forced to play several roles to try and outwit the Nazi's and protect the underground resistance.

Despite having heard it mentioned (and avoided the remake) I had still never seen this film until earlier today. I wasn't sure what to expect as I knew that it had been made during the war and that it's humour might not seem as mocking or sharp today. However I was surprised how funny it actually was while it also dealt with the Nazi issue at the same time. The mocking tone of the film is balanced nicely by a real vein of wit with sharp word play all around. The plot is kept ticking over by this humour until Tura is able to drive the film by his many performances!

The Nazi's are mocked without taking away from the horrors of what they were. The cast are what really makes the film work for me though. Although he takes second billing, I can't help but feel that Benny is the star of the film as he has all the best characters and the lion's share of the lines. Lombard does very well indeed and shows a real ability for quick witty lines – the fact that she died in a plane crash leaving this her last movie should be considered a great loss. The whole support cast, whether Polish actor or German commander, all play very well managing to bring both wit and pathos to the film.

Overall a film that is not as uncomfortable to watch as I suspected it might have been, in fact one that is downright hilarious at times and has all the sharpness and wit that I want in a comedy. When Jack Benny says `so they call me Concentration Camp Ehrhardt' for the 5th time, I defy you not to be rolling!

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for To Be or Not to Be (1942)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Carole Lombard is so wonderful in this film willowz_girl
Opening title music? freinth1
Anyone know ... tdwalla1
Mel Brooks's remake gives this film a bad name tunatomatoe
Greatest quote... lordxur
Has anyone noticed the appointment list? jcabc3596
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