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Man of Iron (1981)
"Czlowiek z zelaza" (original title)

PG  |   |  Drama, History  |  27 July 1981 (Poland)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,872 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 8 critic

A worker becomes a "man of iron" forged by experience, a son comes to terms with his father, a couple fall in love, a reporter searches for courage, and a nation undergoes historic change. ... See full summary »



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marian Opania ...
Wieslawa Kosmalska ...
Wieslawa Hulewicz
Irena Byrska ...
Matka Hulrwicz
Anna Walentynowicz ...
Jerzy Borowczak ...
Himself (as Stanislaw J. Borowczak)
Zbigniew Lis ...
Teodor Kudla ...
Franciszek Trzeciak ...
Z-Ca Szefa
Andrzej Seweryn ...
Kapt. Wirski


A worker becomes a "man of iron" forged by experience, a son comes to terms with his father, a couple fall in love, a reporter searches for courage, and a nation undergoes historic change. In Warsaw in 1980, the Party sends Winkel, a weak, alcoholic TV hack, to Gdansk to dig up dirt on the shipyard strikers, particularly on Maciek Tomczyk, an articulate worker whose father was killed in the December 1970 protests. Posing as sympathetic, Winkel interviews people who know Tomczyk, including his detained wife, Agnieszka. Their narrations become flashbacks using actual news footage of 1968 and 1970 protests and of the later birth of free unions and Solidarity. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 July 1981 (Poland)  »

Also Known As:

Man of Iron  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The screenplay was written in only six days. See more »


[to Maciek and Agnieszka at their wedding]
Lech Walesa: I trust you will be a democratic couple, so let me share these flowers democratically.
See more »


Referenced in Walesa: Man of Hope (2013) See more »


Ballada o Janku Wisniewskim
Music by Andrzej Korzynski
Lyrics by M. Cholwa
Performed by Krystyna Janda (vocal), Jacek Kaczmarski (guitar), Przemyslaw Gintrowski (guitar)
See more »

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User Reviews

Poland does Wajda
13 March 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What you need to know about "Man of Iron":

1. Palme D'Or 1981

2.Wajda's sequel to "Man of Marble"

3.Sweet-a** performances from Poland's acting elite

****NOTE**** Ok, you really do have to have a Warsaw-pact historical/political background when approaching this film, because it's compactly interwoven into flashback sequences recalling various anti-commie events (worker's movements and so on). And yes, that's mustachioed Lech Walesa making a cameo. If you have no idea what the Solidarnost movement was read up before watching this. Of course, the emotional and thus universal element is present (Maciek and Agnieska's love, etc) but this is mostly a story of survival and determination in the face of corruption and political hostilities. Polish people took amazing steps against their government as early as the late 60s, and here we see the triumphant and climactic finish to these efforts. Wajda incorporates interesting documentary footage within the film to make it more effective and appealing to his audience.

See "Man of Iron" and feel nostalgia for the times when Eastern Europe saw change as a forthcoming and hopeful force. Classic.

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