7.8/10
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Kanal (1957)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | 20 April 1957 (Poland)
In 1944, during the Warsaw uprising against the Nazis, Polish Lieutenant Zadra and his resistance fighters use Warsaw's sewer system to escape the German encirclement.

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(screenplay), (story)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Teresa Izewska ...
Stokrotka
Tadeusz Janczar ...
Ens. Jacek 'Korab'
Wienczyslaw Glinski ...
Lt. 'Zadra'
Tadeusz Gwiazdowski ...
Sgt. 'Kula'
Stanislaw Mikulski ...
Smukly
Emil Karewicz ...
Lt. 'Madry'
Vladek Sheybal ...
Michal 'Ogromny', the composer (as Wladyslaw Sheybal)
Teresa Berezowska ...
Zofia Lindorf ...
Old woman looking for her daughter
Janina Jablonowska ...
Woman
Maria Kretz ...
Wounded Woman
...
Zefir
Kazimierz Dejunowicz ...
Capt. 'Zabawa'
Zdzislaw Lesniak ...
Maly
Maciej Maciejewski ...
Lt. 'Gustaw'
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Storyline

A symbolic depiction of hell on Earth, set in the last days of the Warsaw uprising in 1944. Lieutenant Zadra is commanding a company of 43 men in a desperate battle amidst the ruins. Facing German offense and cut off from their comrades, Zadra is commanded to retreat his men through the sewer system ('kanal'). Zadra and his men are reluctant to do so, as it would indicate that they have lost the battle, but decide to obey the orders. However, as the men (and women) retreat, it becomes clear that their desperate attempt to flee from the hell of battle will result only in more death and suffering... Written by Heka A.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A story of the heroic Warsaw Rising.

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

20 April 1957 (Poland)  »

Also Known As:

Kanal  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the 1956 novel Kanal by Polish author, screenwriter and film director Jerzy Stefan Stawinski who himself participated in the Warsaw Uprising. Stawinski was a soldier of Armia Krajowa (the Polish underground resistance army). See more »

Quotes

Narrator: These are the tragic heroes: watch them closely in the remaining hours of their lives.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Polish Cinema (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
awful and relentless as well as great
5 February 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is certainly NOT a feel-good film, as it deals with the horrors of the Nazis and their crushing of the Warsaw uprising of 1944. After all, there is no way or reason to make this a nice or fun movie to view. It just isn't possible. BUT, we are treated to an intensely realistic and viscerally disturbing film showing the war in all its awfulness. The first portion of the film is set in crumbling buildings and the nobility of the cause is apparent. However, the vast majority of the film is set in the sewers (hence the title "Kanal") and the characters, over time, lose some of their nobility and just ache to survive. The film is intensely claustrophobic and the filth they move about in literally looks like raw sewage--so as the characters fight for life and, in most cases, give up hope, you find yourself being pulled into their world and their terror. A great, though intensely awful film to watch. So, it comes as no surprise that I would not recommend this film to children or people afflicted with claustrophobia.

PS--if the musician seems familiar, it's because Wladyslaw Sheybal (also known as "Vladek Sheybal") is one of the Bond Villains in the movie FROM Russia WITH LOVE.


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