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The Hourglass Sanatorium (1973)
"Sanatorium pod klepsydra" (original title)

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Set in pre-World War II era. A young man is on a strange train to see his dying father in a sanatorium. But the place is going to ruin and recalls a lot of memories from the past. He is ... See full summary »


(as Wojciech J. Has)


(as Wojciech J. Has) , (story)
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Title: The Hourglass Sanatorium (1973)

The Hourglass Sanatorium (1973) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tadeusz Kondrat ...
Jakub - Józef's father
Irena Orska ...
Józef's mother
Halina Kowalska ...
Gustaw Holoubek ...
Dr. Gotard
Mieczyslaw Voit ...
Blind Conductor
Bozena Adamek ...
Ludwik Benoit ...
Henryk Boukolowski ...
Seweryn Dalecki ...
Julian Jabczynski ...
Jerzy Przybylski ...
Mr. de Voss
Wiktor Sadecki ...
Janina Sokolowska ...
Wojciech Standello ...
Jew Interlocutor in Restaurant


Set in pre-World War II era. A young man is on a strange train to see his dying father in a sanatorium. But the place is going to ruin and recalls a lot of memories from the past. He is beset by soldiers from the past, colonial black mercenaries, girls from his early life, and his parents. It is an interior adventure, with unusual atmospheric flair and extraordinary sets. Written by Polish Cinema Database <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Fantasy


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Release Date:

12 December 1973 (Poland)  »

Also Known As:

The Hourglass Sanatorium  »

Filming Locations:


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Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?


Wojciech Has worked on this project for five years. See more »

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User Reviews

Bizarre and haunting
9 October 2001 | by (Geilenkirchen, Germany) – See all my reviews

Based on a story collection of the same name by Bruno Schulz, who was shot by the Gestapo in 1942, this movie is one of the rare cases of a congenial adaptation of modern fantastic literature. It's a demanding movie and it is impossible to extract something like a plot line. There are various changes in between time and space, but once you get involved with the narrative, they seem perfectly logical. Also, there are many highly impressive sequences and settings - i have read somewhere (i can't give no reference right now, sorry) that it was the most expensive movie ever made in Poland, and maybe it still is. It certainly is one of the best. And, by the way, there is one scene with a room stuffed full of mannequins that looks like an inspiration to a similar sequence in Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner", which is a great movie of its kind, but was made some years later and did much better at the box office.

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