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To Be or Not To Be Film Summary & Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 23 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of To Be or Not To Be.
This section contains 661 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)

Stand Up For What You Believe

One of the most difficult things in life is standing up for what you believe especially against seemingly impossible odds. In To Be or Not To Be, each of the characters risks his or her life in order to stand up against Hitler and the Nazis. At first they simply make fun of Hitler in their performances, but eventually they are forced to face the recognition that Hitler has invaded Poland and their lives will never be the same. As they struggle with that concept, they work together to save Poland from the Nazis.

Stanislav is the first character we see who must face the choice between protecting his beloved country or listening to those who try to convince him to do otherwise. After he talks to Siletsky, Stanislav realizes that if he does not know Maria Tura, then Siletsky is certainly not from Poland. Stanislav hurries to report the possible spy to his superiors, but they at first ignore his warnings. After they realize the reality of the problem, Stanislav bravely offers to parachute into his country so that he can warn those in Warsaw. Stanislav's bravery saves many lives.

Joseph, Maria, and the other actors are also involved with plans to protect Poland. They are secretly spying on the Nazis in Poland and passing information through a variety of means, including a nearby bookstore. Throughout the film, they continue to stand up for what they believe by continuing their acting careers in real life; Maria pretends to be interested in Siletsky while Joseph impersonates both Colonel Ehrhardt and Siletsky.

Trust is Relative

Trust is one of the most important parts of any human relationship. Without trust, there is no basis for a relationship. In this film, we see that trust can be relative. When dealing with spies and evil people, one must be careful about who they trust. The characters in this film are constantly trying to discern who is trustworthy.

In the beginning, we see that Joseph and Maria have difficulty trusting one another in their own relationship. Joseph is arrogant and demanding while Maria is constantly being overly flirtatious with other men. Although they eventually work through their problems, Stanislav always remains an issue.

Stanislav, on the other hand, actually protects Professor Siletsky in the beginning. He tells him of Maria and his love and asks Siletsky to give her his love. When Stanislav realizes that Siletsky's entire story is simply a performance and effort to hurt the freedom movement in Poland, Stanislav learns to be more careful with whom he trusts.

The Average Person Can Make a Difference

In a war like World War II, average people were the ones making the biggest differences in the war effort. Many men were drafted or signed up for the Army so that they could protect their country. At the same time, women went to work to keep the factories running and the economy up. Many women also signed up to be nurses in the war so that they could go overseas and care for the men.

The most frustrating part of the war was that people heard so little from their loved ones. Although some letters and communications were able to come through, many were lost or destroyed before they made it back to the States. Those at home were encouraged by this film in knowing that their average loved one was overseas making a difference. They also realized that they were not in the effort alone; people all over the world were risking their lives to defeat the Nazis.

When viewers see this film, they realize that every person can make a difference not only in war but also in other people's lives. It only takes the actions of one person to start an entire movement and possibly change the world. Viewers are encouraged to take up their roles in the world to make it a better, safer, happier place.

This section contains 661 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
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To Be or Not To Be from BookRags Film Summaries. (c)2014 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.
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