To Be Or Not To Be (1983)


mel-brooks-to-be-or-not-to-be-400x400“If we don’t make it through this, I forgive you for whatever happened between you and Lt. Sobinsky… but if we do, you’re in a lot of trouble!” – Frederick Bronski

Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (Cable in the 80’s, video, 24 Feb 2002 and 16 Jan 2017)

Brief Synopsis – A group of actors in Warsaw in 1939 must use their talents to thwart a spy from revealing damning information to the Nazis about the resistance movement.

My Take on it – I have seen most of Mel Brooks’ films and despite liking most of them, I think this is truly his masterpiece.

Brooks was able to take a polished comedy script from 60 years earlier, update it to modern times, while somehow still making the jokes all work along with his own voice.

I am usually not much of a fan of remakes, but when done right, I’ll be the last one to complain about it.

To be able to make this film look and feel like a Brooks film takes genius and he was definitely a master at that.

The fact that he cast himself in the main role is perfect because he does such a wonderful job at it, especially since he is then able to play multiple roles since his character is an actor acting for his life in some scenes.

The supporting cast is superb and it is filled with Brooks regulars and even some actors like George Gaines who wasn’t really known for his comedy work.

This is a film that I can watch over and over and still laugh each and every time because of the way the punchlines work so well.

Brooks even made a video of a rap that was supposed to be included in the film but was eventually cut.

Brooks is one of the few comedians that could ever get away with mocking Hitler like this. 🙂

I was able to find a copy on Youtube.

Check it out here:

Bottom Line – Amazing how a remake can be just as great as the original and even manage to update the story a bit making it even more poignant.  Brooks is a genius because he makes this material feel like his own and he is perfect in the title role.  The supporting cast is superb and is filled with Brooks regulars and others who aren’t usually considered comedic actors.  This is a film I can watch over and over because it is so funny and truly spot-on. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The only film in which Mel Brooks stars that he does not direct. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy

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4 thoughts on “To Be Or Not To Be (1983)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1983 |

  2. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Picture – Oscars 1942 |

  3. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actor – Oscars 1983 |

  4. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1983 | MovieRob

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