To Be or Not to Be
To Be or Not to Be (1983)

Mel Brooks and his wife Anne Bancroft co-star in this funny remake of a 1942 comedy of the same title, based on a story by Ernst Lubitsch and Melchior Lengyel about a down-and-out Warsaw theater troupe who save the Polish resistance… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Release Date: December 16, 1983
DVD Release Date: January 25, 2005
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Critic Score: 63% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Variety Staff

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

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Vincent Canby
New York Times

Ssmashingly funny.

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Chuck O'Leary

A very well-executed farce, and Brooks' most underrated movie.

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Time Out

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.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

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.

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Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Superfluous remake of the Lubitsch classic is OK on its own merits, but no more.

Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

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

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TV Guide

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.

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Christopher Null

Kind of a dud.

More reviews for To Be or Not to Be

Flixster Audience Score: 76% Flixster User Reviews
Christian C
Very funny remake of a zany original. One of my favorite Mel Brooks films.
jay nixon
Lighthearted remake of the classic Benny/Lombard film. Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft seem to be having lots of fun while handling the serious moments well. The… More
Phil Hubbs
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… More
Cindy I
Not even CLOSE to as good as the Jack Benny/ Carol Lombard original.
Kevin M. Williams
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… More
Dann Michalski
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… More