Poland, during the World War. Lotna is a magnificent specimen of Arabian horse, the pride of her owner, too old to actually ride her but to whom she remains faithful nevertheless. The ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

, (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A young doctor is tired of being sought by women. One night he meets a young girl who all but forces herself into his room where they talk of morals and love. But he loses her when he goes ... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Wajda
Stars: Tadeusz Lomnicki, Krystyna Stypulkowska, Wanda Koczeska
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Film opens with the mad rush of haphazard freedom as the concentration camps are liberated. Men are trying to grab food, change clothes, bury their tormentors they find alive. Then they are... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Wajda
Stars: Daniel Olbrychski, Stanislawa Celinska, Aleksander Bardini
Kanal (1957)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In 1944, during the Warsaw uprising against the Nazis, Polish Lieutenant Zadra and his resistance fighters use Warsaw's sewer system to escape the German encirclement.

Director: Andrzej Wajda
Stars: Teresa Izewska, Tadeusz Janczar, Wienczyslaw Glinski
Samson (1961)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

During the Nazi occupation, Jewish prisoner Jakub Gold is released from jail and works as a gravedigger in the Warsaw ghetto. Although he manages to escape and keeps hiding in private apartments, he tries to get back to the ghetto.

Director: Andrzej Wajda
Stars: Serge Merlin, Alina Janowska, Elzbieta Kepinska
Brzezina (1970)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Takes place in a prewar Poland. A tubercular young man comes to stay with his brother on a farm. He is in love with life and constantly plays 1930's music on a piano. He gets involved with ... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Wajda
Stars: Daniel Olbrychski, Olgierd Lukaszewicz, Emilia Krakowska
The Ashes (1965)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Set in the time of Napoleon wars, shows how the wars swept over the unfortunate Polish country at the beginning of the XIX-th century. Story revolves around the Polish legion under command ... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Wajda
Stars: Daniel Olbrychski, Boguslaw Kierc, Piotr Wysocki
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In 1976, a young woman in Krakow is making her diploma film, looking behind the scenes at the life of a 1950s bricklayer, Birkut, who was briefly a proletariat hero, at how that heroism was... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Wajda
Stars: Krystyna Janda, Jerzy Radziwilowicz, Tadeusz Lomnicki
Korczak (1990)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Account of the last days of life of the legendary Polish pedagogue Janusz Korczak and his heroic dedication to protecting Jewish orphans during the war. Jewish doctor Henryk Goldszmit, ... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Wajda
Stars: Wojciech Pszoniak, Ewa Dalkowska, Teresa Budzisz-Krzyzanowska
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In what might be termed Russo-Shakespearean noir, a ruthless woman's adulterous affair with a drifter sets in motion a chain-reaction of murder and deception in a remote village in 19th Century Mtsensk.

Director: Andrzej Wajda
Stars: Olivera Markovic, Ljuba Tadic, Kapitalina Eric
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A famous Polish journalist presents a problem for the powers-that-be when he displays his full political skill and knowledge on a television show featuring questions and answers on a world ... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Wajda
Stars: Zbigniew Zapasiewicz, Ewa Dalkowska, Andrzej Seweryn
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

At the turn of the century, Lodz, Poland was a quick-paced manufacturing center for textiles, replete with cutthroat industrialists and unsafe working conditions. Three young friends, a ... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Wajda
Stars: Daniel Olbrychski, Wojciech Pszoniak, Andrzej Seweryn
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The disappearance of the leading actor from the film's set worries its director Andrzej. He embarks on a journey to look out for the actor with a young actor and missing actor's wife and mistress.

Director: Andrzej Wajda
Stars: Beata Tyszkiewicz, Elzbieta Czyzewska, Andrzej Lapicki
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Cavalry Captain Chodakiewicz
...
Lieutenant Wodnicki
...
Cadet Grabowski
...
Sergeant Major Laton
Bozena Kurowska ...
Ewa
Bronislaw Dardzinski ...
Lotna's Owner
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Henryk Cudnowski
Adam Dzieszynski ...
Cavalryman (as H. Dzieszynski)
...
Soldier
...
Cavalryman
...
Cavalryman
Irena Malkiewicz ...
Countess
...
Colonel
...
Violinist
...
Musician
Edit

Storyline

Poland, during the World War. Lotna is a magnificent specimen of Arabian horse, the pride of her owner, too old to actually ride her but to whom she remains faithful nevertheless. The Polish cavalry army is also proud of their land, and loyal to rules, and custom. The German army is leading an overwhelming speed attack with tanks, an almost unheard of weapon, and bringing a way of life to an end. It's the last battle between Lotna (speed horse) and Blitzkriega (speed war). Written by Artemis-9

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 September 1959 (Poland)  »

Also Known As:

La dernière charge  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (Agfa Wolfen)| (Sovcolor)
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is roughly based on a novel "Lotna" by Wojciech Zukrowski, published in 1945. See more »

Connections

Featured in Fejezetek a film történetéböl: A lengyel film (1990) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
War Horse
12 December 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Andrzej Wajda directs "Lotna". Set during the second world war, the film revolves around "Lotna" ("The Swift One"), a Polish war horse who is passed down from soldier to soldier, like the winchester in Anthony Mann's "Winchester '73", as his owners are systematically killed in combat by invading German forces. It soon becomes clear that the horse, in Wajda's hands, becomes a shifting symbol: initially that of patriotism and defiance, but then finally death, betrayal and defeat. By the film's end the horse has been blamed, due to her conspicuous markings, for the Germans discovering a band of hiding Polish troops.

The film is episodic, the horse introducing us to various sub-characters and sub-plots as it ambles across war-torn Europe. Moments of horror and violence at times give way to more light-hearted sequences – a budding romance, a village priest taming the horse etc – but the film's overall arc, like most of Wajda's works, is that of tragedy. The film's aesthetic itself seems to move progressively away from colour, to muted browns and greens, to murky blacks and whites; life sucked out of Europe until the landscape seems to match the horse's own complexion.

Though set in the Second World War, "Lotna" at times feels more like a fable caught out of time, Wajda's tone frequently mystical, hallucinatory, surreal and even satirical. The film is often viewed as a piece of Polish propaganda (thanks largely to dreamy sequences in which Wajda's epic tracking shots glide with Polish horses as they gloriously charge German tanks), but Wajda is doing something completely different. Indeed, what the horse does is crystallise Poland's own backwardness and vulnerabilities, slowly shifting away from a figure which leads and inspires to one which charges uselessly with an outdated calvary towards fleets of German tanks. Jean Renoir's "La Grande Illusion" seems to be the chief influence, the horse and her original owners representative of a dying aristocracy whose entrenched Old Order fizzles out. Lotna broken leg coincides with Poland's end.

So a sense of defeat and despair suffuses the film, a mood which Wajda contrasts with shots and compositions designed to conjure up glorious images of Polish soldiers, men and animals. Frequently Wajda has his characters loom proud, preternaturally or heroically over his camera, before "pulling" back to reveal dark, wet or smoke filled skies. Like Jancso's "The Red and the White", its a parodic marriage of patriotism with a more dispassionate, distanced view of conflict. The film's famous tracking shot, in which Polish horses charge German tanks, is less a moment of national pride than the wedlock of stupidity, nationalism and slaughter. Like "Kanal", another war-themed Wajda film accused of being "patriotic" (it's not), "Lotna" is devoid of anti-German sentiment. Wajda's aim is always closer to home.

Wajda's films tend to be heavy with visual echoes and symbolism. It's the same case with "Lotna", shots of white veils contrasted, the spasms of a horse mirrored to that of twitching fish etc. In each case the effect is that of a movement toward oblivion. The film's acting has been criticised; during this period, Wajda favoured somewhat stylised, grotesque performances.

7.9/10 - Not as good as Wajda's war trilogy ("Ashes and Diamonds", "Pokolenie", "Kanal"). "Lotna", as well as "Winchester '73" and "Lassie Come Home", would form the basis of Spielberg's "War Horse". Worth two viewings.


3 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Lotna (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?