To Be or Not to Be

1983, Comedy/Gay & lesbian, 1h 48m

20 Reviews 2,500+ Ratings

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Movie Info

Frederick Bronski (Mel Brooks) and his adulterous wife, Anna (Anne Bancroft), are a pair of hammy actors running a low-rent theater in Warsaw, Poland. When the Nazis invade, the Bronskis find their theater becoming a makeshift refuge for local Jews and a gateway to the Polish underground. Using their limited acting skills, the members of the theater troupe attempt to deceive the Nazis and lead an escape. Meanwhile, a Polish pilot (Tim Matheson) thinks he has found a spy in England.

Cast & Crew

Mel Brooks
Dr. Frederick Bronski
Anne Bancroft
Anna Bronski
Charles Durning
Col. Erhardt
Tim Matheson
Lt. Andre Sobinski
José Ferrer
Prof. Siletski
Ronny Graham
Sondheim
Howard Jeffrey
Executive Producer
John Morris
Original Music
Gerald Hirschfeld
Cinematographer
Alan Balsam
Film Editor
Terence Marsh
Production Design
John Franco Jr.
Set Decoration
Albert Wolsky
Costume Designer
Thomas Meehan
Screenwriter
Ronny Graham
Screenwriter
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Critic Reviews for To Be or Not to Be

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (8)

Audience Reviews for To Be or Not to Be

  • Jan 08, 2015
    Pretty funny. Normally I'm not a big fan of movies with Mel Brooks in them, although I am a fan of his writing. I feel like his comedic acting is too obvious most of the time, like he doesn't think the audience understands subtlety. Here however, he does a surprisingly good job. As long as you can stand the really dark humor in this film, you'll find it's pretty funny. Story-wise, it's pretty good too.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • May 10, 2014
    A farcical comedy, To Be or Not to Be is a fun and outlandish spoof of World War II. Set amidst the backdrop of the Nazi occupation of Poland, a small theater company attempts to stop the Nazi High Command from getting a list of the Polish underground. Starring Mel Brooks, Anne Bancroft, George Wyner, and Christopher Lloyd, the film has a hysterical cast that does well with this type of broad comedy. Brooks is especially good; stealing nearly every scene he's in. However, the storytelling's not that great and jumps around a little too much; not allowing enough time to establish the characters. So while To Be or Not to Be delivers a lot of laughs, it's a bit messy.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 08, 2013
    Because of Brooks' involvement, the humor is of a decidedly wackier nature than the original and while that isn't bad (there are a lot of great moments) it does mean that the serious elements of the story feel more out of place here.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • May 23, 2013
    Very funny remake of a zany original. One of my favorite Mel Brooks films.
    Christian C Super Reviewer

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