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To Be or Not to Be Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

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 Shakespearean portion of his act. When the Germans march into Warsaw, the Bronskis and the rest of their troupe are forced into hiding (notably the homosexual Lupinski, played by Lewis J. Stadlen, who is forced to endure the humiliation of wearing a pink star). Flying for the Polish resistance in England, Sobinski asks kindly Professor Seletzky (Jose Ferrer) to deliver his "To Be or Not to Be" message to Anna. When Seletzky doesn't seem to recognize the name of Anne Bronski, Warsaw's biggest star, Sobinski suspects that something is amiss. Sure enough, Seletzky is a Nazi spy, heading to Warsaw to help Col. "Concentration Camp" Ehrhardt (Oscar-nominated Charles Durning) destroy the underground movement. Parachuting into Poland, Sobinski enlists the aid of the Bronski troupe to foil the Nazis. What follows is an uproarious series of disguises and deceptions, capped by Bronski's impersonation of Der Fuhrer. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Amy Bancroft Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy 1983 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Charles Durning Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture 1983 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Charles Durning Best Supporting Actor 1983 Nominee

Cast

Mel Brooks
as Frederick Bronski
Anne Bancroft
as Anna Bronski
Tim Matheson
as Lt. Andre Sobinski
Charles Durning
as Col. Erhardt
José Ferrer
as Prof. Siletski
Christopher Lloyd
as Capt. Schultz
George Gaynes
as Ravitch
George Wyner
as Ratkowski
Jack Riley
as Dobish
Lewis J. Stadlen
as Lupinski
Ronny Graham
as Sondheim
Henry Brandon
as Nazi Officer
John Francis
as British Intelligence Aide
Estelle Reiner
as Gruba
Eda Reiss Merin
as Frightened Jewish Woman
Henry Kaiser
as Gestapo Officer
Curt Lowens
as Airport Officer
Earl Boen
as Dr. Boyarski
Blane Savage
as Polish Flier
William Glover
as Maj. Cunningham
Wolf Muser
as Desk Sergeant
Zale Kessler
as Bieler
Ian Bruce
as Klotskis Klown
Ivor Barry
as Gen. Hobbs
John McKinney
as Elite Guard Officer
John Otrin
as Polish Flier
Leeyan Granger
as Lady
Paddi Edwards
as Pub Waitress
Raymond Skipp
as RAF Flight Sergeant
Robin Haynes
Ron Kuhlman
as Polish Flier
Scott Beach
as Narrator
Spencer Henderson
as Klotskis Klown
Terence Marsh
as Startled British Officer

Crew

Alan Johnson
Director
Irene Walzer
Producer
Mel Brooks
Producer
Thomas Meehan
Screenwriter
Ronny Graham
Screenwriter
Alan Balsam
Editor
Dennis Washington
Production Designer
Terence Marsh
Production Designer
Dennis Washington
Art Director
Irene Walzer
Associate Producer
Howard Jeffrey
Executive Producer
Joe Hubbard
Set Designer
Albert Wolsky
Costume Designer
Charlene Painter
Choreography
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