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
Artur Mlodnicki ...
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

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

Because of the film's nihilistic tone, the Polish authorities were not keen on it being exhibited outside of the country. Until a low-level official had a print shipped out to the Venice Film Festival where it played to great acclaim. See more »

Goofs

Majek is shot in the back while running away from military, but in the following scenes his wounds show only in the chest and not in his back. 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 Sygnowane Andrzej Wajda (1989) 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

Electric
6 September 2002 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

I've seen this movie only twice, stumbling across it the first time in a theater in Skopje, Yugoslavia, and I left the theater almost in shock. I'd never seen such a combination of direction, editing, cinematography, and acting. (That business about Cybulski being "the Polish James Dean" is disregardable nonsense; like saying that Chopin was the Polish John Phillip Souza.) Wajda's other films didn't seem so impressive, but "Ashes and Diamonds" was simply superb. The images linger in the mind, even now, when artiness has become commonplace. The shattered crucifix hanging upside down; the final chase through the drying laundry; and Cybulski on his side, kicking himself around in circles atop a heap of garbage! It wasn't simply thought provoking, it was shocking. I can only remember one other time I felt stunned into silence on leaving a theater, and that was in LA after the first Bergman film I saw, which happened to be "The Seventh Seal." Don't miss it.


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