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Two Men and a Wardrobe (1958)
"Dwaj ludzie z szafa" (original title)

 |  Short  |  17 March 1961 (Finland)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,784 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 4 critic

Two men come up from the beach carrying a large wardrobe between them. They come up into the town but not only find that accommodation is difficult to come by with their wooden travelling ... See full summary »

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Title: Two Men and a Wardrobe (1958)

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Cast

Cast overview:
Jakub Goldberg ...
Man with the wardrobe
Henryk Kluba ...
Man with the wardrobe (as Henryka Klube)
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Storyline

Two men come up from the beach carrying a large wardrobe between them. They come up into the town but not only find that accommodation is difficult to come by with their wooden travelling companion but also that both women and men shun or mistreat them. Written by bob the moo

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wardrobe | absurdism | See All (2) »

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Short

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17 March 1961 (Finland)  »

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Two Men and a Wardrobe  »

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1.37 : 1
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It is said to be the first Polish student film to be released commercially. See more »

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User Reviews

 
An early showcase of Polanski's very personal talents
8 March 2006 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

Roman Polanski's short films made between 1957 and 1963 in Poland, plus the French-made "Le Gros et le Maigre" (1961), are available in the 2-disc set Criterion release of "Knife in the Water" (his landmark first feature, 1962). It's a great opportunity to discover his early work and confirm how uniquely talented he was from the very beginning. My two personal favorites: the masterpiece "Le Gros et le Maigre" (q.v.), a Beckettian satire on despotism and humiliation; and this fascinating "Two Men and a Wardrobe", which tells the surrealistic story (without dialog -- Polanski seldom used dialog in his shorts) of two men who come out from the sea carrying a huge, heavy wardrobe (symbolic interpretations are welcome, of course) and land on a seaside village only to be rejected and humiliated by everyone they meet.

Mixing tones of Absurd Theater (Beckett, Ionesco), silent comedies (Keaton especially), surrealism (Magritte comes to mind), and Kafka with a very sophisticated visual style (those fabulous framings!), his very peculiar sense of (black) humor, great rhythm and K.Komeda's perfect score, Polanski manages in 15 minutes to build an exhilarating, original tale about intolerance, hypocrisy, selfishness, cowardice, violence, and prejudice -- but also about bonding friendship, about acknowledging your background and standing up for who you are (check out the ending). This is the kind of work that proves that short films can be a completely satisfying film format.

P.S.: The role Polanski plays here is a sort of "prequel" to his Chinatown thug.


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