Two sketches covering episodes from the World War II. In the first novel, "Scherzo alla polacca", a shrewd son, trying to preserve his skin, ultimately becomes a hero and finds a reason for... See full summary »
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 »
A man hops off a train by the small town where he claims he was before. His presence allows to bring out the inner feelings and beliefs of the inhabitants. A man who has hidden through all ... See full summary »
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.
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 »
One day in the life of an alcohol addict. With the help of his girlfriend Krysia, Kuba attempts to regain control of his life. But when she's at work, Kuba is home alone, and it becomes hard not to resist the temptation.
The story is an odyssey of a little man through Poland of 1930 to 1950. It shows his attempts to cope with a changing world which seems to have no place for him. He has no consciousness of ... See full summary »
A man, Jerzy, enters a train set for the Baltic coast. He seems to be on the run from something--and so does the strange woman with whom he must share a sleeping compartment. Written by
This is definitely one of the greatest, and at the same time, one of the most under-appreciated movies in the history of Polish cinema. Jerzy Kawalerowicz is a true master craftsman in the country's film world, and with Night Train he once again proved that this statement is perfectly true. It's a shame that the movie is sometimes cruelly omitted when talking about fine post-war cinema, because it is certainly worth a watch.
Night Train is different from other various Polish movies that came out in the 50's and later, as it doesn't present the social problems that the country had to fight with during the difficult period of Communism.
It reminds me of the movies directed by the Master of Suspense, Sir Alfred Hitchcock, as it contains the recurring themes of murder, suspenseful mystery, the wrongly accused man and a search for the real criminal.
It also reminds me of the great noir movies produced in the United States or Italy throughout the 20th century. It possesses a deeply sombre tone and claustrophobic ambiance created by the particular scenery, in which it takes place - a train. All of this is complemented with an eerie music playing in the background.
Aboard the train, which goes from Lodz to the seaside in Poland, there are many unusual, strangely mysterious, and overly suspicious passengers. One of them is Jerzy, the main character, played brilliantly by Leon Niemczyk. Strolling around in his classy dark glasses he seems like he needs to hide from something or someone. Unfortunately, due to some peculiar circumstances, he has to share the sleeping cabin with a pretty lady, Marta. However, as time passes by, the two are starting to have a connection, because of the seemingly similar life experiences and peculiar interests.
In the neighboring compartment we can find an unnamed man with his nosy wife, who quickly starts to flirt with distracted Jerzy. She looks so unhappily married that she resolves to flirting with almost all of the co-travelers.
Then there is also Staszek, the boy, who is deeply in love with Marta, but, due to some unmentioned previous occurrences, she doesn't want to be with him any more.
All those characters' affairs intertwine at various points in the storyline. Great and clever dialogues accompany every scene. And in the middle of it all there is the tranquil search for the murderer. However, as important as it may seem sometimes, it isn't actually the main topic of Night Train.
The hunt for the killer occurs in the climax of the movie, when an angry mob runs through the train cars and into the woods to finally catch him. What happens next the public execution (however not deadly) reminded me of the great western The Ox-Bow Incident. The will of the majority always wins, no matter if someone is legally found guilty or not.
The final scene beautifully reflects what had happened on that night - the compartments are empty, and look somehow pure, but the scattered belongings and open windows give the sequence an obscure touch.
All in all, Night Train is truly a fantastic Polish movie with many suspenseful twists, romance and a huge emphasis put on various characters' personalities, in order to show that anonymity is omnipresent and everyone can almost hide in its shadow if he wants to.
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