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Ashes and Diamonds (1958)
"Popiól i diament" (original title)

 -  Drama | War  -  29 May 1961 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 5,425 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 46 critic

During the German occupation noble, bourgeois and worker's partisan groups lived in peace with another. On the first day of freedom they start to fight each other. In these fights is weaved a most tender love story.

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Title: Ashes and Diamonds (1958)

Ashes and Diamonds (1958) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Zbigniew Cybulski ...
Maciek Chelmicki
Ewa Krzyzewska ...
Krystyna
Waclaw Zastrzezynski ...
Szczuka
Adam Pawlikowski ...
Andrzej
Bogumil Kobiela ...
Drewnowski
Jan Ciecierski ...
Portier
Stanislaw Milski ...
Pieniazek
Artur Mlodnicki ...
Kotowicz
Halina Kwiatkowska ...
Staniewiczowa
Ignacy Machowski ...
Waga
Zbigniew Skowronski ...
Slomka
Barbara Krafftówna ...
Stefka (as Barbara Kraftówna)
Aleksander Sewruk ...
Swiecki
Zofia Czerwinska ...
Barmaid Lili
Wiktor Grotowicz ...
Franek Pawlicki (as W. Grotowicz)
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Storyline

Maciek, a young Resistance fighter, is ordered to kill Szczuka, a Communist district leader, on the last day of World War II. Though killing has been easy for him in the past, Szczuka was a fellow soldier, and Maciek must decide whether to follow his orders. Written by Kevin Dorner <mrkevvy@pathcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

communist | love | killing | hotel | friend | See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 May 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ashes and Diamonds  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original: 108')

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Andrzej Wajda realized that his leading man Zbigniew Cybulski would be constrained by period costume so he allowed him to wear clothes that felt more natural to him. See more »

Goofs

Glasses of vodka are set alight which burn for an unnaturally long length of time and with a bigger flame than expected, suggesting a purer fuel was used in the film, such as petrol. Moreover, when the final flame dies (c.41 minutes) no liquid remains in the glass. Only the alcohol content is flammable in any glass of spirit and a residue of water would be left behind with even the very strongest of Polish vodkas. See more »

Quotes

Krystyna: So often, are you as a blazing torch with flames/ of burning rags falling about you flaming, /you know not if flames bring freedom or death. /Consuming all that you must cherish /if ashes only will be left, and want Chaos and tempest...
Maciek Chelmicki: ...Or will the ashes hold the glory of a starlike diamond... /The Morning Star of everlasting triumph.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Czerwone maki
(Red Poppies) (uncredited)
Music by Alfred Schütz and lyrics by Feliks Konarski
Performed by Grazyna Staniszewska
See more »

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User Reviews

Deserving of its reputation
7 March 2004 | by (Denton, Texazs) – See all my reviews

This is one of those movies that convince me of the medium's universality. Wajda is using his skills in emulation of Hollywood examples (for example, the tenebrous lighting reminiscent of fashionable noir movies and the deep focus honed by Orson Welles and Gregg Toland), but his story is genuinely about post-war Poland and is intensely personal and honest. In Zbigniew Cybulski, he has an actor who catches the director's personal feelings about the War and what has happened to his homeland, his bravery struggling against the ambiguity and despair brought on by war weariness and soviet betrayal. We see the sociology of the moment, from the hotel clerk's nostalgia for Warsaw, now ruined, to the hardened barmaid, who wants desperately to believe in love. The whole spectrum is sampled, from the ineffectual old leaders to the vicious soviet man who assists the targeted Sczcuka, himself a decent but conflicted character. It's remarkable that Wajda got the film made despite his soviet minders.


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