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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Up 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Melchior Lengyel (original story)
Edwin Justus Mayer (screenplay)
View company contact information for To Be or Not to Be on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 March 1942 (USA) See more »
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 »
Nominated for Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Hail my self See more (100 total) »


  (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)
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 ... 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:
99 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
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?

"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on January 18, 1943 with Sig Ruman reprising his film role.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: During the flight to Warsaw, the wire holding the obviously model airplane is visible.See more »
Dobosh, Theatrical Producer:[referring to Siletsky] Now you take him back to the hotel.
Joseph Tura:Alright.
Dobosh, Theatrical Producer:As soon as you're in his room, you hit him over the head with the butt of the gun.
Joseph Tura:Alright.
Dobosh, Theatrical Producer:Then you take his keys, open his trunk and burn the papers. And then you shoot him.
Joseph Tura:Alright.
[starts to leave - then comes back]
Joseph Tura:Just a minute... what'll happen to me? They'll kill me.
Dobosh, Theatrical Producer:Well... we're going to keep our fingers crossed.
Joseph Tura:Good.
See more »
Movie Connections:
German National Anthem (Das Lied der Deutschen)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Hail my self, 31 May 2006
Author: VicTheDaddy from London

I watched this film recently and thought id leave a brief comment,i found this original version better than the remake although the one with Mel Brooks is good as well.What i like about this Jack Benny version is that the humour is never forced,you can see the sincerity in the actors as although they are playing for laughs they are also saddened by the dark humour in their scripts,this film was probably Ernst Lubritsch's way of drawing the publics attention to what was really going on during that period in Warsaw,Chaplin did the same thing when he made the Great Dictator.Sometimes the best way to get your point across to people is through comedy as the horrors that were really going on during this time were being very played down by the press and the government and yet the public had to be made aware in some way.I found this a very intelligent comedy,in that its funny when it wants to be and yet makes sure you see its serious nature.And on the other hand making fun of your enemy is a great way of getting back at them.Great film a real pity that it was Carole Lombards last.

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Has anyone noticed the appointment list? jcabc3596
Greatest quote... lordxur
Carole Lombard is so wonderful in this film willowz_girl
courageous stevenvh
Opening title music? freinth1
Anyone know ... tdwalla1
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