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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 5,852 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 51 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)
Edit

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

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

Wajda was particularly influenced by John Huston's noir classic The Asphalt Jungle (1950). 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 Story of Film: An Odyssey: Episode #1.8 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53
[Performed by orchestra for celebratory war's end banquet. Name of performers not listed.]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Modern and subtle
21 May 2007 | by (Saffron Walden, UK) – See all my reviews

The post-war years were a difficult time for much of Eastern Europe, and ended with that region being plunged into dictatorship; so in many ways, it's surprising to see a film about that era (made under the communists) whose heroes are a pair of anti-communist assassins. One might more accurately say "anti-heroes", but the truth is, Andrzej Wajda's film is a critically sympathetic account of the motives on those on all sides in the conflict. Also marking this film out as modern is the dry script and mordant humour; while a big improvement over Wajda's previous movie, 'Kanal' (which had a horrible score) is the clever use of background music as orchestration. Some things do remind you that this film is (by now) almost fifty years old: not all the acting reaches contemporary standards. Still, it's as good a movie as was made in the 1950s, and all the more telling for its relative proximity to the events it displays.


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