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

Writers:

Thomas Meehan (screenplay), Ronny Graham (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ronny Graham ... Sondheim
Estelle Reiner ... Gruba
Zale Kessler Zale Kessler ... Bieler
Jack Riley ... Dobish
Lewis J. Stadlen ... Lupinsky
George Gaynes ... Ravitch
George Wyner ... Ratkowski
James 'Gypsy' Haake James 'Gypsy' Haake ... Sasha (as James Haake)
Scamp Scamp ... Mutki
Christopher Lloyd ... Capt. Schultz
José Ferrer ... Prof. Siletski (as Jose Ferrer)
Charles Durning ... Col. Erhardt
Tim Matheson ... Lt. Andre Sobinski
Mel Brooks ... Dr. Frederick Bronski
Anne Bancroft ... Anna Bronski
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Storyline

A bad Polish actor is just trying to make a living when what should intrude but World War II in the form of an invasion. His wife has the habit of entertaining young Polish officers while he's on stage which is also a source of depression to him. When one of her officers comes back on a Secret Mission, the actor takes charge and comes up with a plan for them to escape. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

That is the movie!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first Hollywood studio film to explicitly refer to the inclusion of gay men in the groups condemned to the Nazi death camps. The use of fabric patches by the Nazis to identify "undesirables" other than Jews is a historical fact. Pink and red triangles (depending on the region of Europe) were used to identify sexual deviants, predominantly homosexuals. See more »

Goofs

The Piccadilly Theatre is spelled "Picadilly". See more »

Quotes

[holding Frederick at gunpoint]
Prof. Siletski: Turn around.
Frederick Bronski: I won't. I want to see it coming.
[Siletski cocks the hammer]
Frederick Bronski: [turns around] I don't have to see it coming.
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Crazy Credits

In the credits at the end, Anne Bancroft's name first appears in parenthesis, until Mel Brooks "waves" them off. This is a reference to a poster in the movie that has Anna Bronski's name in parenthesis. See more »


Soundtracks

Sweet Georgia Brown
Written by Ben Bernie (uncredited), Maceo Pinkard (uncredited) and Kenneth Casey (uncredited)
Polish translation by Tad Danielewski
Performed by Mel Brooks (uncredited) and Anne Bancroft (uncredited)
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User Reviews

 
Homage to Jack Benny
24 December 2006 | by kb2uoeSee all my reviews

Actually, when interviewed about this movie, Mel Brooks said it was an homage to Jack Benny. And if you look, the Bronskis live on Kubelsky Street, Benny Kubelsky is Jack Benny's real name. There are many other touches that also show Brooks' love for the original. Anne Bancroft is a true treat. Her comedic talents shine, she was truly a rare actress, and will be missed.

It was well done, with Mel Brooksian flair, and respectful of the original. I won't add comments about the acting, there are so many pros and cons at this point, one more won't make a difference. But if you have some free time, see BOTH of the movies. It's not sacrilege to like them both.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Polish

Release Date:

16 December 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

To Be or Not to Be See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,020,958, 18 December 1983

Gross USA:

$13,030,214

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,030,214
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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