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Zelazna reka (1989)

The year is 1575 when Transylvanian prince Stefan Batory sends his loyal servant, Szymon Mroczek, to Warsaw. The mission is to gain support for him to become the next king of Poland.





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Cast overview, first billed only:
Szymon Mroczek
Krzysztof Jasinski ...
Samuel Zborowski
Reinhold Heidenstein
Andrzej Zborowski
Jan Zamoyski
Emerlich Sonntag
Stefan Batory
Jerzy Rogalski ...
Zdzislawa Specht ...
Juliusz Lubicz-Lisowski ...
Jakub Uchanski
Jan Kulczycki ...


The year is 1575 when Transylvanian prince Stefan Batory sends his loyal servant, Szymon Mroczek, to Warsaw. The mission is to gain support for him to become the next king of Poland.

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Release Date:

16 October 1989 (Poland)  »

Also Known As:

The Iron Hand  »

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User Reviews

A real close look at a dark, and gritty, King Stefan Batory-era Poland full of intrigue...
10 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'd like to take the time to open some discussions on the film ZELAZNA REKA (With an) IRON HAND...I just watched this film again for about the 20th time, and couldn't help but notice things like the production's attention to the period-correct details of the costuming, which, IMO, appears to me even more accurate (if possible), than, say, the Sienkiewicz Trilogy films, like Fire & Sword, and Wolodyjowski. I also noticed, in the films' credits another familiar name as a technical adviser to the film, as was in 'With Fire & Sword': Tomasz Biernaski (sp?)... Clearly, well-before his work on 'Fire & Sword' he was at work on the 'militaria' aspects of this film too. I really wish there was someone we could contact who worked in detail on this film to help us know more about it. Unfortunately, also, this film most likely appeals to a very small interest crowd outside of Poland itself, such as re-enactors of this period, seeking more information about life in Central Europe at this era, like myself. Sadly, not much showing on the Husaria Cavalry until near the end, and, for under 30 seconds of non-action. There's a great soundtrack which, I wish was available, as well as wishing this obscure film was also available on DVD, with more information on it. I believe it sits up there, right alongside the Award-winning Sienkiewicz Trilogy films.

IRON HAND, like many other Polish subtitled films, really starts to make more sense to the viewer, after repeated viewings, because the sub-plots really start to become a lot more clearer. Much of the intrigue is really well-played by the actors because of their 'implied-meaning' of their looks in their eyes, even when not delivering a spoken line. Clearly, especially the relationship between the two leading characters Captain Szymon Mroczek and Cossack leader Samuel Zborowski has a long, and deep back-story not displayed in the film.

Their expressions really tell a lot of the story. In essence, the sub-plots are really good in the film, and like all deep films only reveal themselves upon those repeated viewings.

Is there anyone on the list here, who has the film (either thru me or on their own) who feels the same about this great, but dark, gritty look at 16th Century Batory-era Poland? If you don't own a copy of this film, I advocate procuring a copy and watching it. Repeatedly.


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