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Szpital przemienienia (1979)

The film is set in 1943 in a mental asylum in the country. But this is an unusual hospital: there are several incurable schizophrenic cases, staff is bit strange and a writer has ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Piotr Dejmek ...
Stefan
...
Engineer Andrzej Nowacki
...
Dr. Kauters
...
Dr. Nosilewska
...
Writer Zygmunt Sekulowski
...
Dr. Pajaczkowski (as Zygmunt Hubner)
...
Józef
Klaus Piontek ...
SS Officer Thiesdorf
...
Dr. Marglewski
...
Dr. Rygier
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Katarzyna Ejmont ...
Patient
Adam Gessler ...
Patient
...
Patient
...
Patient
...
Patient
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Storyline

The film is set in 1943 in a mental asylum in the country. But this is an unusual hospital: there are several incurable schizophrenic cases, staff is bit strange and a writer has voluntarily entered the clinic because he is "peculiar" and a drug addict. Then the German Gestapo arrives. The commandant asks for the list of patients, sorts out the "Aryan" doctors from the others on a return trip, and herds everyone into trucks for evacuation to the extermination camps. A young doctor momentarily escapes by covering himself under a pile of laundry in the basement, and then escapes to the woods just as the Nazi soldiers appear. Written by Polish Cinema Database <http://info.fuw.edu.pl/Filmy/>

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Drama

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Release Date:

28 March 1979 (Poland)  »

Also Known As:

Hospital der Verklärung  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Connections

Referenced in Kocham kino (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

Stanislaw Lem, M.D.
24 September 2001 | by (Zürich, Switzerland) – See all my reviews

This film was recently shown at the city of Zürich's very own studio cinema and I watched it more for its curiosity value than for anything else. For that, it's definitely worth while, doubly so for anyone with an interest in psychiatry. It's based on Lem's first novel, which he apparently wrote while still a medical research assistant. Though based on a much older book and ostensibly taking place in World War Two, the movie struck me as oddly Seventies, horn-rimmed glasses, idealism and all. It chronicles the experiences of a young doctor starting out in a mental hospital. (Or should I say "asylum"? An almost unbearably inert place. Don't expect E.R. or Wonderland.) Both the patients and the doctors in this crazy world are little more than stereotypes, if sometimes interesting ones - the brilliant but ruthless scientist, the visionary mad composer ("do you hear voices?" - "of course!"), the writer revered as a genius who insists on a right to identity (and madness?), the film's token female, a kind-hearted Jewish emigrée doctor, the engineer fed up with the absurdity of being asked his name over and over again when he knows perfectly well he suffers from memory loss, the arrogant Nazi follower who diagnoses said engineer - wrongly - with schizophrenia, a misdiagnosis so blatant no medical student in the audience will fail to groan, and that our young hero soon puts right. Interestingly, they never use an ophthalmoscope on the poor man until well after the suspicion of a "neoplasma malignum" is voiced. (Too bad this patient hasn't forgotten his Latin.) In the predictable end, the Nazis march in and wreak havoc. This movie has some good scenes, both comic and gruesome (the grave-digging scenes near the end gave me the shivers) and no doubt it's a valuable period piece, but... is the book as one-dimensional, I wonder? If you're interested in historic hospital dramas, read Solzhenitsyn's "Cancer Ward". A truly fine novel, a whale of a book and one of my all-time favourites. Heck, I don't even know if it's ever been filmed.


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