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The Hourglass Sanatorium (1973)

Sanatorium pod klepsydra (original title)
The film depicts its protagonist, Joseph (Jan Nowicki), traveling through a dream-like world, taking a dilapidated train to visit his dying father in a sanatorium. When he arrives at the ... See full summary »


(as Wojciech J. Has)


(as Wojciech J. Has), (story "Santorium pod Klepsydra")
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tadeusz Kondrat ...
Jakub - Józef's father
Irena Orska ...
Józef's mother
Dr. Gotard
Blind Conductor
Seweryn Dalecki ...
Julian Jabczynski ...
Jerzy Przybylski ...
Mr. de Voss
Wiktor Sadecki ...
Janina Sokolowska ...
Wojciech Standello ...
Jew Interlocutor in Restaurant


The film depicts its protagonist, Joseph (Jan Nowicki), traveling through a dream-like world, taking a dilapidated train to visit his dying father in a sanatorium. When he arrives at the hospital, he finds the entire facility is going to ruin and no one seems to be in charge, or even caring for the patients. Time appears to behave in unpredictable ways, reanimating the past in an elaborate artificial caprice. Written by Mr Bongo

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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Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?


Despite the communist authorities' ban on the film, it was in secret sent to Cannes in film cans with false inscriptions on them. Because of this incident, Has couldn't make any movie for the next 8 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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