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Ashes and Diamonds (1958)

Popiól i diament (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, 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:
...
Ewa Krzyzewska ...
Waclaw Zastrzezynski ...
Szczuka
Adam Pawlikowski ...
Andrzej
...
Drewnowski
Jan Ciecierski ...
Portier
Stanislaw Milski ...
Pieniazek
Artur Mlodnicki ...
Kotowicz
Halina Kwiatkowska ...
Staniewiczowa
Ignacy Machowski ...
Waga
Zbigniew Skowronski ...
Slomka
...
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

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

In the scene where Maciek is running away from Drewnowski and then the Russian soldiers, a train above them passes by. In one shot it is going to the left of the screen. Then in the next shot it is going to the right, then to the left again. 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 Without Title (1980) 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

 
Surely the most mature of the trilogy
21 October 1999 | by (toronto) – See all my reviews

Surely the most mature of the trilogy; it's certainly the most elliptical and stylistically audacious. At the start, Cybulski is a laidback, coldly cynical assassin who lolls on his back in a field waiting to carry out his latest hit; suffering a crisis of confidence in light of his awakening love for a woman, he flirts with desertion before resigning himself to the demands of his position. His personal journey speaks eloquently to the national trauma, and he's just the most prominent in a complex collection of transition figures, caught on the official last night of the war, now looking forward but not yet able to escape the ravages of war and the attendant moral and psychological confusion, not yet free of potential victimhood (like the mayor's assistant who on learning of his boss' promotion drinks excessively in celebration of his own presumed advancement, but in his disruptive drunkenness kills off what future he had). The ending, intercutting a personal tragedy with the dancers doing the elegant polannaise in the streaming light of dawn, like disembodied Felliniesque figures, perfectly encapsulates the film's mix of toughness and allusiveness.


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