To Be or Not to Be (1983 film)

To Be or Not to Be (1983 film)

Infobox Film
name = To Be or Not to Be

caption = Theatrical release poster
director = Alan Johnson
producer = Mel Brooks
writer = Ronny Graham Melchior Lengyel (story) Ernst Lubitsch (story) Edwin Justus Mayer (1942 screenplay) Thomas Meehan
starring = Mel Brooks
Anne Bancroft
Charles Durning
music = John Morris
cinematography = Gerald Hirschfeld
editing = Alan Balsam
distributor = 20th Century Fox
released = 16 December 1983
runtime = 107 min.
country = United States
awards = Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination for Charles Durning
language = English
budget =
amg_id = 1:50142
imdb_id = 0086450

"To Be or Not to Be" is a 1983 20th Century Fox comedy film directed by Alan Johnson, produced by Mel Brooks with Howard Jeffrey as executive producer and Irene Walzer as associate producer. The screenplay was written by Ronny Graham and Thomas Meehan, based on the original story by Melchior Lengyel, Ernst Lubitsch and Edwin Justus Mayer. It is a remake of the 1942 film of the same title.

The film starred Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft with Tim Matheson, Charles Durning, Christopher Lloyd, and José Ferrer. This remake was one of the first major American films to acknowledge that homosexuals were persecuted by the Third Reich, along with other Holocaust victims. Aside from the homosexuality issue, this version was extremely faithful to the 1942 version, and in many cases dialogue was taken verbatim from the earlier film. The character of the treacherous Professor Siletsky (here spelled Siletski) was, however, made into more of a comic figure, and even into somewhat of a buffoon, whereas in the original he was the one completely serious character in the film.


* A gag starts off the Mel Brooks version with Brooks and Bancroft performing the song "Sweet Georgia Brown" in Polish, and after the performance the two engage in a quarrel backstage - still in Polish - until an announcer calls out: "Ladies and gentlemen, for the interest of clarity and sanity the rest of this movie will not be in Polish."

* In an evident tribute to Jack Benny (Benny Kubelsky) the beleaguered couple moves into the apartment of their friend, Sascha, at Number 52 Kubelsky Street.

* Whenever the beleaguered German commanding officer, Colonel Erhardt, falls for the numerous tricks played on him, he roars for his assistant, "Schulz!". For his humorous performance of Erhardt, Charles Durning was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award.

* On the movie's soundtrack album, but not in the movie, is a novelty rap song entitled "To Be or Not to Be (The Hitler Rap)". This song was released as a single, complete with music video, and peaked at #12 on the US charts in February 1984.

Full Cast

Ronny Graham.Estelle Reiner.Zale Kessler.Jack Riley.Lewis J Stadlen.George Gaynes.George Wyner.James Haake.Christopher Lloyd.Jose Ferrer.Charles Durning.Tim Matheson.Mel Brooks.Anne Bancroft.

Minor Cast

Earl Boen as Dr Boyarski.Ivor Barry as General Hobbs.William Glover as Major Cunningham.John Francis as British Intelligence Aide.Raymond Skipp as R.A.F Flight Sergeant.Marley Sims as Rifka.Max Brooks as Her Son.Larry Rosenberg as Her Husband.Henry Kaiser as Gestapo Officer.Milt Jamin as Gestapo Soldier.George Caldwell as Gestapo Guard.Wolf Muser as Desk Sergent.Henry Brandon as Nazi Officer.Frank Lester as Officer in Command Car.Roy Goldman as Hitler.Robert Goldberg as Hitler AdjutantJohn McKinney as Elite Guard OfficerEda Reiss Merin as Frightened Jewish Woman.Manny Kleinmuntz as Her Husband.Phil Adams as Airport Sentry.Curt Lowens as Airport Officer.Robin Haynes as Polish Flier.Ron Kuhlman as Polish Flier.John Otrin as Polish Flier.Blane Savage as Polish Flier.Joey Sheck as Polish Flier.Ron Diamond as Pub Bartender.Gillian Eaton as Pub Barmaid.Paddi Edwards as Pub Waitress.Terence Marsh as Startled British Officer.Winnie Mccarthy as Picadilly Usherette.Paul Ratliff as Naval Officer.Scott Beach as Narrator.

External links

*amg title|id=1:50142|title=To Be or Not to Be (1983)
*tcmdb title|id=93440|title=To Be or Not to Be (1983)

* [ Hitler Rap video @ YouTube]

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