To Be or Not to Be (1983)
Average Rating: 6.1/10
Reviews Counted: 16
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 6
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 2,990
Mel Brooks and his real-life wife Anne Bancroft play Frederick and Anna Bronski, musical comedy stars in 1939 Poland. The highlight of the Bronskis' act is Frederick's imitation of Adolf Hitler, but he is forced to eliminate this turn for fear of offending the Nazis. Meanwhile, Anna enters into a harmless flirtation with Polish bomber pilot Andre Sobinski (Tim Matheson). The pilot's nightly signal to visit Anna in her dressing room is "To Be or Not to Be," spoken by Bronski during the
Dec 16, 1983 Wide
Jan 25, 2005
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Elite Guard Officer
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Startled British Off...
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Bancroft's sustained delights are not matched by Brooks, who seems to be trying too hard.
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.
Brooks combines a backstage musical with a wartime romance and comes up with an eclectic comedy that races off into several directions, usually successfully.
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.
Superfluous remake of the Lubitsch classic is OK on its own merits, but no more.
This movie has its moments; but it is not as funny as the Jack Benny original; Brooks for all his wit, is no Ernst Lubitsch.
Brooks and his comedic cohorts bring their brand of high-strung mockery to Alan Johnson's flavorable farce...relentlessly riotous!
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