To Be or Not to Be

Synopsis: In occupied Poland during WWII, a troupe of ham stage actors (led by Joseph Tura and his wife Maria) match wits with the Nazis. A spy has information which would be very damaging to the Polish resistance and they must prevent it's being delivered to the Germans.
Genre: Comedy, War
Director(s): Ernst Lubitsch
Production: United Artists
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
99 min

- That's right, Greenberg.

You keep out of this!

That a great star, an artist,

could be so inartistic.

You must be out of your mind!

What do you mean by talking to my wife

like that? How dare you!

I'm sorry. I lost my temper.

Sweetheart, the dress stinks.

You're only afraid

I'm running away with the scene.

I afraid? Why should I be?

Of course not.

You're the best actor in the world.

Everybody knows that, even you.

- Don't be a prima donna.

Any chance to take the spotlight away

from me, it's ridiculous how you grab it.

Whenever I start a story, you finish it.

Should if I go on a

diet, you lose the weight.

If I have a cold, you cough.

And if we should ever have a baby,

I'm not so sure I'd be the mother.

I'm satisfied to be the father.

Mr. Dobosh, look,

if you'll just give me a chance...

Who made you up?

- I did, Mr. Dobosh.

What's wrong with it?

- I don't know. It's not convincing.

To me, he's just a man

with a little mustache.

But so was Hitler.

Wait, it's not just the mustache.

It's... I don't know.

I just can't smell Hitler in him.

- I can.

I know! I know!

That picture!

That's what he should look like!

But that picture was taken of me.

Then the picture's wrong, too.

Now, see here, Mr. Dobosh,

I'm a nobody and I have to take a lot.

But I know I look like Hitler,

and I'm going to prove it right now.

I'm going out on the street

and see what happens.

And that's how Adolf Hitler

came to Warsaw in August, 1939.

May I have your autograph, Mr. Bronski?


- Why, certainly.

Jospeh Tura i Maria Tura

in "Hamlet"

I know it would get a laugh.

Then Dobosh said to me,

"Bronski, you're going to play Hitler."

I thought that was the real start

of my career.

Don't worry, Bronski.

They can't keep real talent down forever.

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Edwin Justus Mayer

Edwin Justus Mayer (November 8, 1896 – September 11, 1960) was an American screenwriter. He wrote or co-wrote the screenplays for 47 films between 1927 and 1958. Edwin Justus Mayer worked on many screenplays but he is remembered now for his work with Ernst Lubitsch. He worked with Lubitsch on the scripts for To Be or Not to Be (1942) and A Royal Scandal (1945). A Royal Scandal (1945) did poorly at the box office, but is considered by many as one of Lubitsch's finest films. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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