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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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:

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Release Date:

20 April 1957 (Poland)  »

Also Known As:

Kanal  »

Company Credits

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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.
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Connections

Featured in The Lesson of Polish Cinema (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fatalism in Post-war Poland
27 March 2009 | by (Bangladesh) – See all my reviews

I saw this film in a film festival in Dhaka, in early sixties(Now Bangladesh, then East Pakistan). For me as a student, Sattayjit Ray's Apu trilogy was my only exposer to any kind of art film then. Visual realism was a new thing for us in Indian sub continent. Audience were so spellbound that they could smell sewage sitting in the cinema hall. I think like all great directors, Wajda had the cinematographic sense to create that environment where viewers reality could blend with creative fiction. In post war period of late forties and in early fifties like the School of Polish Posters, all creative mediums went through this fatalistic phase. It was grotesque but realistic.


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