Poster

To Be or Not to Be ()


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During the Nazi occupation of Poland, an acting troupe becomes embroiled in a Polish soldier's efforts to track down a German spy.

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Awards:
  • Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination.
  • See more »
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Cast verified as complete

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Maria Tura
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Joseph Tura
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Lieutenant Stanislav Sobinski
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Greenberg
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Rawitch
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Professor Siletsky
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Colonel Ehrhardt
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Bronski
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Producer Jan Dobosz
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Actor-Adjutant
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Captain Schultz
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Anna
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General Armstrong
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Major Cunningham
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Gestapo Sergeant at Desk at Top of Hotel Stairs (uncredited)
Paul Barrett ...
Polish RAF Pilot (uncredited)
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German Soldier (uncredited)
Danny Borzage ...
Member of Audience at Performance of Hamlet (uncredited)
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Townsman (uncredited)
Peter Caldwell ...
Wilhelm Kunze (uncredited)
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Scottish Farmer Without Mustache (uncredited)
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Co-Pilot (uncredited)
Jack Deery ...
Member of Audience at Performance of Hamlet (uncredited)
Leslie Denison ...
Captain (uncredited)
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Scottish Farmer with Mustache (uncredited)
James Gillette ...
Polish RAF Pilot (uncredited)
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Member of Audience at Performance of Hamlet (uncredited)
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Second Reporter (uncredited)
Shep Houghton ...
German Soldier (uncredited)
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Polonius in Warsaw (uncredited)
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Reporter (uncredited)
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Townswoman (uncredited)
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Polish RAF Flyer (uncredited)
Adolf E. Licho ...
Prompter (uncredited)
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Member of Audience at Performance of Hamlet (uncredited)
John Meredith ...
English Wireless Operator (uncredited)
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Polish RAF Pilot (uncredited)
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Warsaw Bystander (uncredited)
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Warsaw Bystander (uncredited)
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Polish Official (uncredited)
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Co-Pilot (uncredited)
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Polish RAF Pilot (uncredited)
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Member of Audience at Performance of Hamlet (uncredited)
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Special Investigations Squad (uncredited)
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Warsaw Bystander (uncredited)
Count Stefenelli ...
Member of Audience at Performance of Hamlet (uncredited)
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Pilot (uncredited)
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Stage Manager (uncredited)
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Member of Audience at Performance of Hamlet (uncredited)
Armand 'Curly' Wright ...
Makeup Man (uncredited)
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Man in Bookstore (uncredited)

Directed by

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Ernst Lubitsch

Written by

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Melchior Lengyel ... (original story)
 
Edwin Justus Mayer ... (screenplay)
 
Ernst Lubitsch ... (original story) (uncredited)

Produced by

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Ernst Lubitsch ... producer

Music by

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Werner R. Heymann ... (musical score by)

Cinematography by

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Rudolph Maté ... (photographed by)

Film Editing by

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Dorothy Spencer ... film editor

Casting By

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Victor Sutker

Production Design by

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Vincent Korda ... (production designed by)

Set Decoration by

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Julia Heron ... (interior decoration)

Makeup Department

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Gordon Bau ... makeup artist

Production Management

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Walter Mayo ... production manager

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

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William McGarry ... assistant director
William Tummel ... assistant director

Art Department

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J. McMillan Johnson ... associate art director (as J. MacMillan Johnson)
Jack Caffey ... props (uncredited)

Sound Department

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Frank Maher ... sound

Special Effects by

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Lawrence W. Butler ... special effects (as Lawrence Butler)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

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Irene ... costumes: Miss Lombard
Eugene Joseff ... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Joseff-Hollywood ... costume jeweller (uncredited)

Music Department

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Miklós Rózsa ... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Eugene Zador ... orchestrator: Miklós Rózsa (uncredited)

Additional Crew

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Alexander Korda ... presenter
Ryszard Ordynski ... technical supervisor (as Richard Ordynski)
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies

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Distributors

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Special Effects

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Other Companies

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Storyline

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Plot Summary

Joseph and Maria Tura operate and star in their own theater company in Warsaw. Maria has many admirers including a young lieutenant in the Polish air force, Stanislav Sobinski. When the Nazis invade Poland to start World War II, Sobinski and his colleagues flee to England while the Turas find themselves now having to operate under severe restrictions, including shelving a comical play they had written about Adolf Hitler. In England meanwhile, Sobinski and his friends give Professor Siletski - who is about to return to Poland - the names and addresses of their closest relatives so the professor can carry messages for them. When it's learned that Siletski is really a German spy, Sobinski parachutes into Poland and enlists the aid of the Turas and their fellow actors to get that list back. Written by garykmcd

Plot Keywords
Taglines The Picture Everyone Wants To See. See more »
Genres
Parents Guide View content advisory »
Certification

Additional Details

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Also Known As
  • Jeux dangereux (France)
  • Sein oder Nichtsein (Germany)
  • Ser o no ser (Spain)
  • 你逃我也逃 (China, Mandarin title)
  • Lenni vagy nem lenni (Hungary)
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Runtime
  • 99 min
Country
Language
Color
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix

Did You Know?

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Trivia When Jack Benny's father went to see this movie, he was outraged at the sight of his son in a Nazi uniform in the first scene and even stormed out of the theater. Jack convinced his father that it was satire, and he agreed to sit through all of it. His father ended up loving the film so much he saw it forty-six times. See more »
Goofs Although having Maria Tura give the cue line "To be or not to be" to the men in the audience she wishes to meet in her dressing room is a very funny premise of the film, it actually would be highly impractical for Maria to think she would have time to meet backstage. Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy is only about 3-4 minutes long and Ophelia has the very next line in the play (in fact Hamlet announces her entrance at the end of his soliloquy), which would barely give Maria any time to meet men in her dressing room. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in Showbiz Goes to War (1982). See more »
Soundtracks Polonaise in A major, Op. 40, No. 1, 'Military' See more »
Quotes Joseph Tura: [disguised as Professor Siletsky - speaking about Maria Tura] Her husband is that great, great Polish actor, Josef Tura. You've probably heard of him.
Colonel Ehrhardt: Oh, yes. As a matter of fact I saw him on the stage when I was in Warsaw once before the war.
Joseph Tura: Really?
Colonel Ehrhardt: What he did to Shakespeare we are now doing to Poland.
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