To Be or Not to Be (1942 film)

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What a husband doesn't know won't hurt his wife

To Be or Not to Be is a 1942 American comedy film about a troupe of actors in Nazi-occupied Warsaw who use their abilities at disguise and acting to fool the occupying troops. The title is a reference to the famous "To be, or not to be" soliloquy in William Shakespeare's Hamlet.

Directed by Ernst Lubitsch. Written by Lubitsch (uncredited) and Edwin Justus Mayer, based on the story by Melchior Lengyel.

Joseph Tura[edit]

  • If I shouldn't come back, I forgive you what happened between you and Sobinski. But if I come back, it's a different matter.
  • Well, Colonel, all I can say is... you can't have your cake and shoot it, too.

Maria Tura[edit]

  • [to her husband] You're the greatest actor in the world. Everybody knows that, including you.


  • Anna: What a husband doesn't know won't hurt his wife.


Joseph Tura: [disguised as Siletsky, speaking in reference to his wife, Maria] Her husband is that great, great Polish actor, Joseph Tura. You've probably heard of him.
Colonel Ehrhardt: Oh, yes. As a matter of fact I saw him on the stage when I was in Warsaw once before the war.
Joseph Tura: Really?
Colonel Ehrhardt: What he did to Shakespeare we are doing now to Poland.

Maria Tura: It's becoming ridiculous the way you grab attention. Whenever I start to tell a story, you finish it. 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.
Joseph Tura: I'm satisfied to be the father.

Stage Manager: This is all wrong.
Makeup Man: What's wrong with it?
Stage Manager: I don't know... it's not convincing. To me, he's just a man with a little mustache.
Makeup Man: But so is Hitler.

Dobosh: [motioning to Siletsky] Now you take him back to the hotel.
Joseph Tura: Alright.
Dobosh: As soon as you're in his room, you hit him over the head with the butt of the gun.
Joseph Tura: Alright.
Dobosh: Then you take his keys, open his trunk and burn the papers. And then you shoot him.
Joseph Tura: Alright. [He turns to leave, then turns back] Just a minute... what'll happen to me? They'll kill me.
Dobosh: Well... we're going to keep our fingers crossed.
Joseph Tura: Good. [Once again turns to leave, then turns back] Hey, wait a minute... you go to the hotel and I'll cross my fingers.

Joseph Tura: It's unbelievable! Unbelievable! I come home to find a man in the same boat with me and my wife says to me, "What does it matter?"
Sobinski: But, Mr. Tura, it's the 'zero hour'.
Maria Tura: You certainly don't want me to waste a lot of time giving you a long explanation.
Joseph Tura: No, but I think a husband is entitled to an inkling.

Joseph Tura: [disguised as Colonel Ehrhardt] I can't tell you how delighted we are to have you here.
Siletsky: May I say, my dear Colonel, that it's good to breathe the air of the Gestapo again. You know, you're quite famous in London, Colonel. They call you Concentration Camp Ehrhardt.
Joseph Tura: Ha ha. Yes, yes... we do the concentrating and the Poles do the camping.


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