7.1/10
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With Fire and Sword (1999)

Ogniem i mieczem (original title)
An epic story about the Ukrainian uprising against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth magnates in the 17th Century.

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Cast

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Bohdan Chmielnicki
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Rzedzian
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Ruslana Pysanka ...
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Tuhaj-Bej
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Kisiel
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Zacwilichowski
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Storyline

In 1648 a Cossack rebellion in the Ukraine threatens the sovereignty of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth over the Cossack nation. The Cossack rebellion also known as the Khmelnytsky Uprising is pitting the Cossack nation and its Crimean Tatar allies against the forces sent by the Polish king John II Casimir. Polish Colonel Michal Wolodyjowski is leading a squadron of Polish cavalry.Traitors,assassins and spies are everywhere. Against the backdrop of the uprising, a Polish knight Skrzetuski and a Cossack leader Bohun fall in love with the same young beautiful woman, Helena. Their rivalry becomes the symbol of Polish-Ukrainian struggle. Written by nufs68

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Based on a novel by Henryk Sienkiewicz.


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Release Date:

8 February 1999 (Poland)  »

Also Known As:

With Fire and Sword  »

Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)
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Runtime:

| (4 episodes) (TV)

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Color:

(Technicolor)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The part of Jurko Bohun was first offered to Boguslaw Linda. The actor had to turn it down as he was then starring in 'Pan Tadeusz (1999)'. See more »

Goofs

The pikes used by the infantry should be much longer, as they are of little use being so short. Pikes are pole arms, typically of 10 to 25 feet in length. See more »

Connections

Follows Colonel Wolodyjowski (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Decent adventure movie, with a bit of history
16 August 2007 | by (Poland) – See all my reviews

First of all, I am not delighted with Ogniem i Mieczem. But I think, it is a decent piece of adventure movie, which by the way, can also teach a bit about Poland's and Ukraine's history. There is one great thing, that Hoffman did - he modernized original Sienkiewicz's book, which was written in 1884 in very different circumstances. At that time, Poland was not existent country for almost 100 years, and the goal of Sienkiewicz's Trilogy was to raise Polish morale. That's why the Cossacks in the book are just enemies, evil and cruel, and their cause is not just, while the Poles (and loyal Ukrainians, like Prince Jeremi Wisniowiecki) are good, less cruel, and their cruelty is justified. Hoffman made a movie for modern times instead, when Poland and Ukraine are independent neighbors and they have to cooperate and built friendship among citizens (I must add here, that last local slaughters between citizens of two nations took part during World War II). In a movie, we see also Ukrainian point of view. Of course, the movie still remains Polish-centric, but it also shows Cossacks as people, who had they cause as well - what was guaranteed by engaging the Ukrainian actor (Bohdan Stupka) as Khmelnytsky.

Of the cast, Zbigniew Zamachowski as a fencing master Michal Wolodyjowski is disappointing, but I think he must have been under pressure of comparisons with highly praised Tadeusz Lomnicki, who played this character in earlier other two parts. And yes, Scorupco was a bad choice - after several days of marching through villages and bushes, she still looks like a cosmetic advertisement ("Despite all these things, my make-up still remains intact"). On the other hand, Daniel Olbrychski, playing a minor part of Tukhay-Bey, reached the mastery in my opinion.


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