To Be or Not to Be (1983) - Rotten Tomatoes

To Be or Not to Be (1983)

To Be or Not to Be (1983)

To Be or Not to Be



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

To Be or Not to Be Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

In late 1930s Poland, a troupe of musical comedy actors are forced into hiding and soon find themselves involved in a farcical plot to foil a group of Nazis. Real-life spouses Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft star in this remake of the 1940s Ernest Lubitsch classic.more
Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Melchior Lengyel, Ernst Lubitsch, Edwin Justus Mayer, Thomas Meehan, RONNY GRAHAM
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 25, 2005
20th Century Fox Film Corporation

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Mel Brooks
as Frederick Bronski
Anne Bancroft
as Anna Bronski
Tim Matheson
as Lt. Andre Sobinski
Charles Durning
as Col. Erhardt
Josť Ferrer
as Prof. Siletski
Christopher Lloyd
as Capt. Schultz
George Wyner
as Ratkowski
Jack Riley
as Dobish
James Haake and Scam...
as Sasha and Mutki
as Sondheim
Earl Boen
as Dr. Boyarski
Ivor Barry
as Gen. Hobbs
William Glover
as Maj. Cunningham
John Francis
as British Intelligence...
Raymond Skipp
as RAF Flight Sergeant
Larry Rosenberg
as Rifka's Husband
Max Brooks
as Rifka's Son
Henry Kaiser
as Gestapo Officer
Henry Brandon
as Nazi Officer
Milt Jamin
as Gestapo Soldier
George Caldwell
as Gestapo Guard
Wolf Muser
as Desk Sergeant
Robert B. Goldberg
as Hitler Adjutant
John McKinney
as Elite Guard Officer
Eda Reiss Merin
as Frightened Jewish Wo...
Manny Kleinmuntz
as Husband of Jewish Wo...
Phil Adams
as Airport Sentry
Curt Lowens
as Airport Officer
Ron Diamond
as Pub Bartender
Gillian Eaton
as Pub Barmaid
Paddi Edwards
as Pub Waitress
Ian Bruce
as Klotskis Klown
Winnie McCarthy
as Picadilly Usherette
Terence Marsh
as Startled British Off...
Spencer Henderson
as Klotskis Klown
Tucker Smith
as Klotskis Klown
Robin Haynes
as Polish Flier
Ron Kuhlman
as Polish Flier
John Otrin
as Polish Flier
Blane Savage
as Polish Flier
Joey Sheck
as Polish Flier
Scott Beach
as Narrator
Spencer Henderson
as Klotskis Klown
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for To Be or Not to Be

Critic Reviews for To Be or Not to Be

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (5)

Bancroft's sustained delights are not matched by Brooks, who seems to be trying too hard.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Johnson may not quite have Lubitsch's lightness of touch, but he puts an excellent cast through their paces with great verve, and the charm is as potent as ever.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Brooks combines a backstage musical with a wartime romance and comes up with an eclectic comedy that races off into several directions, usually successfully.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Ssmashingly funny.

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

I can't remember another film that took so little care with the details of ambience: the cruddy sets and flat, underworked sound track drain any sense of life from the project.

Full Review… | February 1, 2004
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The plot is much the same as in the Ernst Lubitsch original, with everything played for laughs and Brooks at his funniest in impersonations of Nazis. What's missing is the relevance of the 1942 film, released while Germany occupied Poland.

Full Review… | May 23, 2011
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for To Be or Not to Be

Very funny remake of a zany original. One of my favorite Mel Brooks films.

Christian C

Super Reviewer


Excellent and long forgotten spoof from funny man Brooks, his version of a classic satire. Some excellent casting with his regular bunch of misfits and character actors...Chris Lloyd, Charles Durning, George Wyner, George Gaynes etc..Its quite a touching little plot too, but ultimately very funny and quite witty, especially loving Lloyd and Durning as nazi soldiers :)

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer


The Nazis march into Poland and that spells big trouble for the greatest musical comedy star there (and his wife) --- the premise itself is a joke in this mostly-for-the-fun-of-it remake. Its not the original, true, but its fun watching the cast have fun funning the idea of a master race, all who are portrayed as anything but that. Sometimes the kraut accents sound as bad as your friends doing it and the sets look only a little better than that.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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