7.9/10
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Ashes and Diamonds (1958)

Popiól i diament (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance, War | 29 May 1961 (USA)
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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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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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:
...
...
...
Szczuka
...
Andrzej
...
Drewnowski
...
Portier
...
Pieniazek
...
Kotowicz
Halina Kwiatkowska ...
Staniewiczowa
...
Waga
Zbigniew Skowronski ...
Slomka
...
Stefka (as Barbara Kraftówna)
Aleksander Sewruk ...
Swiecki
...
Barmaid Lili (as Z. Czerwinska)
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

Taglines:

A Drama of Political Assassination See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | 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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original: 108')

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The entire film takes place over two days, May 8th and 9th 1945. 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

Referenced in 13 posterunek: Bal sylwestrowy (1998) 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

What is the "last" night of a war like?
26 December 2005 | by (Ronn Ives/FUTURES Antiques, Norfolk, VA.) – See all my reviews

"Ashes and Diamonds" (Polish, 1958): And, this is the third of Wajda's trilogy about WWII in Poland, or perhaps better stated, inside the Polish people. This one is set on the last night of the war, and the following first day of official peace & freedom from German domination. As with both of the other films, nothing is as simple as it might first appear to us, or to the story's characters. Although it might not be "necessary" to view this trilogy three nights in a row (as I did), they SHOULD be seen in sequence. The writer and director chose exceptionally interesting and symbolic moments in time to place these stages. Note: NONE are upbeat, optimistic considerations of what war creates, except perhaps Wajda's inclination that the Poles do what they MUST for the greater good, even when it is for their individual worst.


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