In 1950, 28-year-old outlaw Salvatore Giuliano is found gunned down in a Sicilian courtyard. Little is as it seems. The film moves back and forth between the late 1940s, when Giuliano and ... See full summary »
After killing her treacherous step-father, a girl tries to escape the country with a young vagabond. She dresses as a boy, they hop freight trains, quarrel with a group of hobos, and steal ... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
As an aging woman married to a workaholic doctor by chance meets a young man who makes her feel young again. All of this is films by a director making a film about her which cuts in and out of the on camera and off camera drama.
The last film of Andrzej Munk, who died in a crash during the filming. A German woman on a ship coming back to Europe notices a face of another woman which brings recollections from the ... See full summary »
While traveling through the kingdom of Sulom, Samson is arrested and finds that the queen no longer reigns and that a power-mad warlord and his army of mercenaries now controls the kingdom.... 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.
A symbolic depiction of hell on Earth, set in the last days of the Warsaw uprising in 1944. Lieutenant Zadra is commanding a company of 43 men in a desperate battle amidst the ruins. Facing... See full summary »
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 »
We saw the 1961 film "Samson" by Andrzej Wajda on Saturday. This was a black and white movie in Polish with English subtitles. There were a few instances in which the dialog did not have subtitles. This was limited to a few lines here and there. This movie was set in Warsaw and the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. It was much like "The Pianist" by Roman Polanski (2002). The lead actor even looked like Wladyslaw Szpilman (Adrien Brody) of "The Pianist."
"Samson" is the story of a Jew, Jakub Gold (Serge Merlin), at the polytechnic university in Warsaw imprisoned and sentenced to 10 years for accidentally killing his friend in German- occupied Poland. In prison he makes several contacts that will factor later in the movie. The prisoners are released when Warsaw is bombed. Jakub is sent to the Warsaw ghetto where the Jews are "doomed to death for the crime of existence" and is assigned to picking up corpses from the streets and helping to provide them with a Jewish burial. Along the way he picks up his own mother. After one such burial Jakub and another man escape from the ghetto. After he escapes he desires to go back into the ghetto to share the fate of his kinsmen. After being locked in an apartment building after curfew he meets a woman, Lucyna (Alina Janowska) , who is also a Jew but who has been hiding her identity in order to survive. Lucyna falls in love with him. She tells him "You know what it's like to escape the Warsaw ghetto but I escape every day." They are separated. Lucyna thinks that Jakub went back into the ghetto. She identifies herself as a Jew to the Germans in order to be sent to the ghetto in order to find him. (Shades of an O. Henry tale here.) Meanwhile he finds refuge in an apartment belonging Józef Malina (Jan Ciecierski), whom he met in prison, and Malina's niece, Kazia (Elzbieta Kepinska). Jakub wishes that he had the strength of the biblical Samson to fight the Germans single handedly. Kazia falls for him. Jakub vacillates and instead of returning to the ghetto hides in their basement until the Warsaw uprising has ended. He only returns to the ghetto after the Germans had put down uprising and destroyed the ghetto in the process. Afterwards he meets others of the resistance.
It was not quite clear why Jakob did not return to the Warsaw ghetto and instead spent his time with Mr. Malina and Kazia. He did not have the strength of the biblical Samson after all I suppose.
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