Poland's 300 Most Important Movies

by kinoholik | created - 15 Apr 2017 | updated - 3 months ago | Public

Feature films in chronological order with the year's best at the top.

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1. Pruska kultura (1908)

8 min | Short, Drama

The oldest existent Polish film deals with the forced Germanisation of western Polish regions and the school protest in Wrzesnia with its harsh repercussions.

Votes: 164

2. Bartek zwyciezca (1923)

43 min | Short, Drama, History

A Polish farmer is drafted by the Prussian army and fights courageously with the French. But instead of gratitude and respect, all he gets for his efforts is pain and misery.

Director: Edward Puchalski | Stars: Wladyslaw Pytlasinski, Roman Zelazowski, Eugenia Zasempianka, J. Czapelski

3. Mocny czlowiek (1929)

77 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Journalist Henryk Bielecki is not very talented but he desperately wants to become a famous writer. Nothing will stop him from making his dreams come true.

Director: Henryk Szaro | Stars: Gregori Chmara, Agnes Kuck, Julian Krzewinski, Maria Majdrowicz

Votes: 157

4. Czy Lucyna to dziewczyna? (1934)

80 min | Comedy, Romance

After becoming a licensed engineer abroad, Lucyna comes back to Poland and looks for a job. Because her wealthy father thinks it's inappropriate for a girl to work, she decides to put on men's clothes and get a job as Julian Kwiatkowski.

Director: Juliusz Gardan | Stars: Jadwiga Smosarska, Eugeniusz Bodo, Mieczyslawa Cwiklinska, Wladyslaw Grabowski

Votes: 110

5. Mlody las (1934)

71 min | Drama

1905 revolution in Russian-occupied Poland. High school students try to rebel against the oppression and duplicity of their teachers.

Director: Joseph Lejtes | Stars: Kazimierz Junosza-Stepowski, Boguslaw Samborski, Maria Bogda, Adam Brodzisz

Votes: 39

6. The Dybbuk (1937)

Unrated | 108 min | Drama, Fantasy

The mystical love story between Chonen, a poor Talmud student, and Lea, a girl from a wealthy family, depicts the traditional folk culture of Polish Jews before WW2.

Director: Michal Waszynski | Stars: Avrom Morewski, Ajzyk Samberg, Mojzesz Lipman, Lili Liliana

Votes: 335

7. Pietro wyzej (1937)

90 min | Comedy, Music, Romance

Two apartment house dwellers, although unrelated, share the same name. One is an older man with an appreciation for and love of classical music, while the other is a younger man addicted to... See full summary »

Director: Leon Trystan | Stars: Eugeniusz Bodo, Józef Orwid, Helena Grossówna, Ludwik Sempolinski

Votes: 198

8. Girls of Nowolipki (1937)

97 min | Drama, Romance

Bronka, Franka, Amelka and Kwiryna are four girls living in the same poor district of Warsaw and going to the same school. They all fight for a better future but what the future brings is usually disappointment, sometimes even tragedy.

Director: Joseph Lejtes | Stars: Elzbieta Barszczewska, Jadwiga Andrzejewska, Tamara Wiszniewska, Anna Jaraczówna

Votes: 31

9. Zapomniana melodia (1938)

80 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A love story between Stefan, the nephew of a music teacher, and Helenka, the daughter of a wealthy cosmetics industry entrepreneur. Her father remembers the recipe for a new soap thanks to a catchy tune composed by Stefan.

Directors: Jan Fethke, Konrad Tom | Stars: Helena Grossówna, Aleksander Zabczynski, Antoni Fertner, Michal Znicz

Votes: 84

10. Granica (1938)

Not Rated | 89 min | Drama, Romance

Zenon Ziembiewicz comes back to his hometown after graduating from the university in Paris. He gets entangled in a love triangle with educated young lady Elzbieta and a common country girl Justyna who gets pregnant.

Director: Joseph Lejtes | Stars: Elzbieta Barszczewska, Lena Zelichowska, Jerzy Pichelski, Aleksander Zelwerowicz

Votes: 19

11. Pawel i Gawel (1938)

82 min | Comedy

Two neighbours with similar names, Pawel and Gawel, meet a violinist girl Violetta who pretends to be a child. When Pawel learns she's not a child anymore, he falls in love with her. And vice versa.

Director: Mieczyslaw Krawicz | Stars: Eugeniusz Bodo, Adolf Dymsza, Helena Grossówna, Józef Orwid

Votes: 111

12. Strachy (1938)

94 min | Drama

A look at show-business through the lives of cabaret dancing girls Teresa and Linka. When their theatre is closed down, they have to move to a small town. But it turns out that one of them is pregnant and the baby's father is her ex-boss.

Directors: Eugeniusz Cekalski, Karol Szolowski | Stars: Eugeniusz Bodo, Hanna Karwowska, Jadwiga Andrzejewska, Józef Wegrzyn

Votes: 40

13. Zakazane piosenki (1947)

97 min | Drama, Music, War

A Polish musician tells a young soldier about his wartime activity - setting up a street orchestra and taking part in the anti-Nazi resistance movement.

Director: Leonard Buczkowski | Stars: Danuta Szaflarska, Janina Ordezanka, Jerzy Duszynski, Jan Swiderski

Votes: 342

14. Border Street (1948)

110 min | Drama, War

The story of Polish and Jewish families living side by side in one Warsaw street. Everything changes once and for all with the Nazi invasion.

Director: Aleksander Ford | Stars: Mieczyslawa Cwiklinska, Jerzy Leszczynski, Wladyslaw Godik, Wladyslaw Walter

Votes: 149

15. The Last Stage (1948)

110 min | Drama

Female prisoners of various ethnic background struggle to survive the hardships of Auschwitz Concentration Camp.

Director: Wanda Jakubowska | Stars: Tatjana Gorecka, Antonina Gordon-Górecka, Barbara Drapinska, Aleksandra Slaska

Votes: 186

16. Skarb (1949)

102 min | Comedy, Romance

A comedy set in the ruins of post-war Warsaw. A young married couple moves in to a rented flat full of other lodgers, some of whom by misunderstanding start to believe there's a hidden treasure somewhere in the house.

Director: Leonard Buczkowski | Stars: Jadwiga Chojnacka, Wanda Jakubinska, Alina Janowska, Danuta Szaflarska

Votes: 140

17. Dom na pustkowiu (1949)

92 min | Drama

The lives of two lonely women from provincial Poland suddenly collide with the reality of war with the appearance of an ex-concentration camp prisoner.

Director: Jan Rybkowski | Stars: Aleksandra Slaska, Jerzy Sliwinski, Maria Gella, Halina Drohocka

Votes: 17

18. Robinson warszawski (1950)

86 min | Drama, War

The story of those who stayed in the ruins and rubbles of Warsaw after the failure of the 1944 uprising.

Director: Jerzy Zarzycki | Stars: Jan Kurnakowicz, Zofia Mrozowska, Igor Smialowski, Jerzy Rakowiecki

Votes: 25

19. Gromada (1952)

105 min | Drama

The struggle between poor villagers, who are eager to build a co-operative mill and a cultural centre, and the village wealthy men - the miller and the kulaks - who are desperate to stop the farmers.

Director: Jerzy Kawalerowicz | Stars: Ludwik Benoit, Marian Lupa, Mieczyslaw Pawlikowski, Karol Podgórski

Votes: 14

20. Adventure in Marienstadt (1954)

93 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

While visiting Warsaw, Hanka falls for a record-breaking bricklayer. Soon she returns to the city to work at construction sites and prove that women's work is not worse than that of men's.

Director: Leonard Buczkowski | Stars: Lidia Korsakówna, Tadeusz Schmidt, Adam Mikolajewski, Tadeusz Kondrat

Votes: 68

21. Celuloza (1954)

120 min | Drama

A common worker tells a communist activist the story of his turbulent life - from the extreme poverty in the countryside to becoming a conscious worker's activist.

Director: Jerzy Kawalerowicz | Stars: Józef Nowak, Stanislaw Milski, Zbigniew Skowronski, Teresa Szmigielówna

Votes: 67

22. A Generation (1955)

Not Rated | 87 min | Drama, War

Story of youths during the German occupation of Poland in the World War II who come to adulthood through love and adversity.

Director: Andrzej Wajda | Stars: Tadeusz Lomnicki, Urszula Modrzynska, Tadeusz Janczar, Janusz Paluszkiewicz

Votes: 2,061

23. Godziny nadziei (1955)

87 min | Action, Drama, War

In the last days of World War 2, people of various ethnic background meet in a Polish military hospital in a small German town, whereas a Nazi SS division hides in the local forests and tries to move westwards.

Director: Jan Rybkowski | Stars: Zbigniew Józefowicz, Krystyna Kamienska, Stanislaw Mikulski, Jadwiga Chojnacka

Votes: 23

24. Kanal (1957)

Not Rated | 91 min | Drama, War

In 1944, during the Warsaw uprising against the Nazis, Polish Lieutenant Zadra and his resistance fighters use Warsaw's sewer system to escape the German encirclement.

Director: Andrzej Wajda | Stars: Teresa Izewska, Tadeusz Janczar, Wienczyslaw Glinski, Tadeusz Gwiazdowski

Votes: 5,710

25. Czlowiek na torze (1957)

89 min | Drama

In 1950, at night, a passenger train kills a man on the tracks. He is Orzechowski, an engineer since 1914. An inquiry immediately follows. Testimony takes the form of flashbacks. Tuszka, ... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Munk | Stars: Kazimierz Opalinski, Zygmunt Maciejewski, Zygmunt Zintel, Zygmunt Listkiewicz

Votes: 395

26. Koniec nocy (1957)

90 min | Drama

A group of young Lódz hoodlums spends their time shoplifting, partying and drinking heavily, until they are faced with serious consequences of their reckless behaviour.

Directors: Julian Dziedzina, Pawel Komorowski, Walentyna Maruszewska | Stars: Zbigniew Cybulski, Ryszard Filipski, Adam Fiut, Mariusz Gorczynski

Votes: 45

27. Zimowy zmierzch (1957)

94 min | Drama

Rumsza, the elderly railwayman, leading a sedate life with his wife, misses his only remaining son (two older boys were killed in the war). Joziuk finally returns from the military in the ... See full summary »

Director: Stanislaw Lenartowicz | Stars: Wlodzislaw Ziembinski, Maria Kierzkowa, Zygmunt Zintel, Ligia Branice

Votes: 47

28. Zagubione uczucia (1957)

75 min | Drama

One day in the miserable life of a female factory worker and single mother of four children. One of her sons - ridiculed by his peers - leaves home and gets into trouble.

Director: Jerzy Zarzycki | Stars: Maria Klejdysz, Andrzej Jurczak, Wladyslaw Woznik, Ewa Stojowska

Votes: 20

29. Ashes and Diamonds (1958)

Not Rated | 103 min | Drama, Romance, War

During the German occupation noble, bourgeois and worker's partisan groups lived in peace with another. On the first day of freedom they start to fight each other. In these fights is weaved a most tender love story.

Director: Andrzej Wajda | Stars: Zbigniew Cybulski, Ewa Krzyzewska, Waclaw Zastrzezynski, Adam Pawlikowski

Votes: 8,760

30. Eve Wants to Sleep (1958)

95 min | Comedy

Ewa Bonecka, a young student about to start school in a new place finds herself without a place to sleep after she is declined a room in a women-only hotel. Helped by a pleasant policeman, ... See full summary »

Director: Tadeusz Chmielewski | Stars: Barbara Lass, Stanislaw Mikulski, Stefan Bartik, Ludwik Benoit

Votes: 286

31. The Last Day of Summer (1958)

66 min | Drama, Romance

A young man meets a middle-aged woman at a deserted beach. Will they overcome their personal and wartime traumas and find a way to stay together?

Director: Tadeusz Konwicki | Stars: Irena Laskowska, Jan Machulski

Votes: 398

32. Eroica (1958)

87 min | Comedy, Drama

Two sketches covering episodes from the World War II. In the first novel, "Scherzo alla polacca", a shrewd son, trying to preserve his skin, ultimately becomes a hero and finds a reason for... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Munk | Stars: Edward Dziewonski, Barbara Polomska, Ignacy Machowski, Leon Niemczyk

Votes: 741

33. Lydia Ate the Apple (1958)

97 min | Drama, Romance

Pawel and Lidka are from different worlds but they somehow meet each other in a night club. He's a young lad from a wealthy family, she's an attractive dancer. They fall in love and go out of town but their happiness doesn't last long.

Director: Wojciech Has | Stars: Maria Wachowiak, Tadeusz Janczar, Gustaw Holoubek, Stanislaw Jaworski

Votes: 243

34. Petla (1958)

96 min | Drama

One day in the life of an alcohol addict. With the help of his girlfriend Krysia, Kuba attempts to regain control of his life. But when she's at work, Kuba is home alone, and it becomes hard not to resist the temptation.

Director: Wojciech Has | Stars: Gustaw Holoubek, Aleksandra Slaska, Teresa Szmigielówna, Tadeusz Fijewski

Votes: 596

35. The Eighth Day of the Week (1958)

83 min | Drama, Romance

A young couple in love hopes to have some privacy but the widespread housing problems don't allow them to find any place to stay.

Director: Aleksander Ford | Stars: Sonja Ziemann, Zbigniew Cybulski, Barbara Polomska, Ilse Steppat

Votes: 92

36. Wolne miasto (1958)

98 min | Drama, History, War

The heroic struggle of Polish post office workers in Gdansk on the first day of World War II.

Director: Stanislaw Rózewicz | Stars: Bronislaw Dardzinski, Wlodzislaw Ziembinski, Kazimierz Wichniarz, Stanislaw Jasiukiewicz

Votes: 53

37. Pociag (1959)

99 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Jerzy enters a train set for the Baltic coast. He seems to be on the run from something - as does the strange woman with whom he must share a sleeping compartment.

Director: Jerzy Kawalerowicz | Stars: Lucyna Winnicka, Leon Niemczyk, Teresa Szmigielówna, Zbigniew Cybulski

Votes: 2,119

38. Krzyz Walecznych (1959)

84 min | Drama, War

Three episodes showing the repercussions of war. A soldier returns to his ruined village, a stray dog turns out to be the former guard at Auschwitz, a young widow is hailed as the wife of the hero but dreams of something else.

Director: Kazimierz Kutz | Stars: Jerzy Turek, Aleksander Fogiel, Andrzej May, Bronislaw Pawlik

Votes: 90

39. Baza ludzi umarlych (1959)

104 min | Drama

Because of the danger involved and the harsh conditions, wood transport drivers, working in the forests of south-east Poland, are going to quit their jobs. A party activist arrives to make them change their minds.

Director: Czeslaw Petelski | Stars: Zygmunt Kestowicz, Emil Karewicz, Teresa Izewska, Leon Niemczyk

Votes: 333

40. Zamach (1959)

83 min | Drama, War

Set in the occupied Warsaw, the film tells the story of the mission carried out by the student uderground resistance group to execute the hated SS General Franz Kutchera.

Director: Jerzy Passendorfer | Stars: Bozena Kurowska, Grazyna Staniszewska, Zbigniew Cynkutis, Andrzej Kostenko

Votes: 96

41. Zezowate szczescie (1960)

92 min | Comedy

The story is an odyssey of a little man through Poland of 1930 to 1950. It shows his attempts to cope with a changing world which seems to have no place for him. He has no consciousness of ... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Munk | Stars: Bogumil Kobiela, Maria Ciesielska, Helena Dabrowska, Barbara Lass

Votes: 847

42. Niewinni czarodzieje (1960)

87 min | Drama, Music, Romance

A young doctor is tired of being sought by women. One night he meets a young girl who all but forces herself into his room where they talk of morals and love. But he loses her when he goes ... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Wajda | Stars: Tadeusz Lomnicki, Krystyna Stypulkowska, Wanda Koczeska, Kalina Jedrusik

Votes: 856

43. Black Cross (1960)

166 min | Adventure, Drama, History

In the 15th century the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is facing a hard struggle against the neighboring Teutonic Order.Frequent clashes between the two powers finally culminate in 1410 with the Battle of Grunwald.

Director: Aleksander Ford | Stars: Urszula Modrzynska, Grazyna Staniszewska, Andrzej Szalawski, Henryk Borowski

Votes: 1,420

44. Nikt nie wola (1960)

86 min | Drama, Romance, War

The story of Poles moving to the west of the country after the war - to the lands originally inhabited by Germans - and starting a new life there. Lonely boy Bozek meets a girl called Lucyna and wants to run away from his wartime past.

Director: Kazimierz Kutz | Stars: Zofia Marcinkowska, Henryk Boukolowski, Barbara Krafftówna, Halina Mikolajska

Votes: 113

45. Do widzenia, do jutra... (1960)

88 min | Drama, Romance

Jacek is a handsome young Pole who belongs to a drama company. One day, in the streets of Gdansk, he meets Marguerite, a beautiful daughter of the French consul, and immediately falls for her.

Director: Janusz Morgenstern | Stars: Zbigniew Cybulski, Teresa Tuszynska, Grazyna Muszynska, Barbara Baranowska

Votes: 454

46. Mother Joan of the Angels (1961)

110 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A priest is sent to a small parish in the Polish countryside which is believed to be under demonic possession and there he finds his own temptations awaiting.

Director: Jerzy Kawalerowicz | Stars: Lucyna Winnicka, Mieczyslaw Voit, Anna Ciepielewska, Maria Chwalibóg

Votes: 2,286

47. Swiadectwo urodzenia (1961)

99 min | Drama, War

Three episodes dealing with the harsh situation of children at the time of war. They stay at orphanages, wait for their parents to come back, help the soldiers, hide in the forests and do their best to survive.

Director: Stanislaw Rózewicz | Stars: Henryk Hryniewicz, Beata Barszczewska, Andrzej Banaszewski, Edward Mincer

Votes: 200

48. Dzis w nocy umrze miasto (1961)

84 min | Drama, War

An unlikely couple - a Polish concentration camp inmate and a young German girl - stick together and try to survive the RAF bombing of Dresden in February 1945.

Director: Jan Rybkowski | Stars: Andrzej Lapicki, Beata Tyszkiewicz, Jadwiga Chojnacka, Ignacy Gogolewski

Votes: 39