8.3/10
24,429
127 user 73 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.

Director:

Ernst Lubitsch

Writers:

Melchior Lengyel (original story), Edwin Justus Mayer (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
2,274 ( 6,672)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Ninotchka (1939)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A stern Russian woman sent to Paris on official business finds herself attracted to a man who represents everything she is supposed to detest.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Ina Claire
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A gentleman thief and a lady pickpocket join forces to con a beautiful perfume company owner. Romantic entanglements and jealousies confuse the scheme.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, Herbert Marshall
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand each other, without realizing that they are falling in love through the post as each other's anonymous pen pal.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Frank Morgan
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A scatterbrained socialite hires a vagrant as a family butler - but there's more to Godfrey than meets the eye.

Director: Gregory La Cava
Stars: William Powell, Carole Lombard, Alice Brady
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A director of escapist films goes on the road as a hobo to learn about life, which gives him a rude awakening.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Robert Warwick
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An old roué arrives in Hades to review his life with Satan, who will rule on his eligibility to enter the Underworld.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Gene Tierney, Don Ameche, Charles Coburn
Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

At the onset of WW2, a Polish actor's family and the Polish Resistance help the troupe of a theatre escape Poland and the invading Nazis.

Director: Alan Johnson
Stars: Mel Brooks, Anne Bancroft, Ronny Graham
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A woman cannot decide between two men who love her, and the trio agree to try living together in a platonic friendly relationship.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Fredric March, Gary Cooper, Miriam Hopkins
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

During WWI, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are eventually sent to a seemingly inescapable fortress.

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Jean Gabin, Dita Parlo, Pierre Fresnay
Laura (1944)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A Police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The desperate life of a chronic alcoholic is followed through a four-day drinking bout.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Phillip Terry
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A bourgeois life in France at the onset of World War II, as the rich and their poor servants meet up at a French chateau.

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Marcel Dalio, Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost
Edit

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 Jan Dobosz
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 »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$3,270,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,578,000
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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Colonel Ehrhardt's adjutant is Capt. Schultz. Sig Ruman, who plays Ehrhardt, played Sergeant Schultz in Stalag 17 (1953). See more »

Goofs

In the scene early in the movie when Carole Lombard is arguing with the play director about her dress, they begin onstage, in the Gestapo office set. At one point the director switches to a closer shot and they are suddenly backstage, facing in entirely different directions than they were onstage. 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

Featured in The Carer (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Sublime
4 October 2002 | by ivan-22See all my reviews

This movie proves that comedy can be sublime. At a time when the gods are crazy, this movie swims with the current, seeking to outdo their craziness. That's why it's also very touching. The outcome of the craziness was unknown at the time. That also makes this film daring. Whether intentionally or not, the film implies that Hitler himself was a Hitler-impersonator, that Hitler is a kind of unattainable ideal, a Platonic idea of pure evil. A similarly sublime and bold and touching film made during another craziness (not twenty years thereafter, as its more applauded cousins!) is "THE GAY DECEIVERS" (1969). It too dances with the gods, and breaks your heart as it makes you laugh.


27 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 127 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed