8.2/10
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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:

Ernst Lubitsch

Writers:

Melchior Lengyel (original story), Edwin Justus Mayer (screenplay)

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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
Edit

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

6 March 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

To Be or Not to Be See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$3,270,000, 31 December 1942

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,578,000, 31 December 1942
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This apparently was the only film produced by Romaine Film Corp. See more »

Goofs

During the flight to Warsaw, the wire holding the obviously model airplane is visible. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Lubinski, Kubinski, Lominski, Rozanski, and Poznanski. We're in Warsaw, the capital of Poland. It's August 1939. Europe is still at peace. At the moment, life in Warsaw is going on as normally as ever. But, suddenly something seems to have happened! Are those Poles seeing a ghost? Why does this car suddenly stop? Everybody seems to be staring in one direction. People seem to be frightened, even terrified! Some flabbergasted! Can it be true? It must be true! No doubt! The man with ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

In Poland the movie edited in a brief introduction by Polish actor Kazimierz Rudzki who assure the audience that the movie was done with best intentions by their "American friends", as the time it screened in Poland many people still lived in trauma from the World War II events and some could find a comedy about the German invasion of Poland in poor taste, offensive or hard to swallow. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

German National Anthem (Das Lied der Deutschen)
(1797) (uncredited)
(Also called "Deutschland über alles")
Music by Franz Joseph Haydn (1797)
Lyrics by August Heinrich Hoffman von Fallersleben (1841)
Sung by German military men
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Immortal Comedy
27 December 2018 | by littlemartinarocenaSee all my reviews

I'm not sure how many time I've seen it but it doesn't matter. Every time is like the first time. Carole Lombard in her last film before her untimely death is not just beautiful and impossibly funny but modern, profoundly modern. A performance that will still be relevant a hundred years from now. Jack Benny is perfect in what must be his very best film. Robert Stack, beautifully wooden, as usual, reports to duty with a delicious Lubitsch touch. As if all this wasn't enough, this film was made in 1942 and that in itself will give film lovers and historians a lot to tal;k about for centuries to come.


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