7.8/10
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27 user 26 critic

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:
...
Stokrotka
...
Ens. Jacek 'Korab'
...
Lt. 'Zadra'
Tadeusz Gwiazdowski ...
Sgt. 'Kula'
...
Smukly
...
Lt. 'Madry'
...
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. See more »

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

Teresa Izewska was paid the equivalent of $12 a month. Polish authorities bought her one dress and one pair of shoes to represent them at the Cannes Film Festival. See more »

Quotes

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

Referenced in Sygnowane Andrzej Wajda (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

A Few Additional Notes
19 January 2007 | by (X) – See all my reviews

I think everyone who saw this film knows that it's a masterpiece, but maybe not everyone knows how authentic the film is. The writer of the screenplay - Jerzy Stefan Stawinski - is in fact the Lieutenant Zadra responsible for his platoon. Stawinski wrote down his own war experiences here with impressing honesty.

Another thing that may be interesting in this film is the main female character - Daisy. She isn't supposed to be a superwoman as some suggested. In fact there were several thousands of women fighting in this uprising. All of them that survived it were given the status of soldiers by Germans. It was the first time in the world's history when women received such a status. During the uprising many of them were carrying mail via sewers, so Daisy is rather a typical character in this role. It would be more surprising if the guide was a man.


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