7.9/10
8,237
39 user 61 critic

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.

Director:

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:

Touched with the fire and rebellion of a new generation of Polish film makers 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

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 Wszystko na sprzedaz (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Si me quieres escribir
[Popular song from the Spanish Civil War]
See more »

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User Reviews

Deserving of its reputation

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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