7.8/10
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49 user 71 critic

Ashes and Diamonds (1958)

Popiól i diament (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance, War | 29 May 1961 (USA)
As WWII and the German occupation ends, the Polish resistance and the Russian forces turn on each other in an attempt to take over leadership in Communist Poland.

Director:

Andrzej Wajda

Writers:

Jerzy Andrzejewski (novel), Jerzy Andrzejewski (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Zbigniew Cybulski ... Maciek Chelmicki
Ewa Krzyzewska ... Krystyna
Waclaw Zastrzezynski ... Szczuka
Adam Pawlikowski ... Andrzej
Bogumil Kobiela ... Drewnowski
Jan Ciecierski ... Portier
Stanislaw Milski ... Pieniazek
Artur Mlodnicki ... Kotowicz
Halina Kwiatkowska ... Staniewiczowa
Ignacy Machowski ... Waga
Zbigniew Skowronski ... Slomka
Barbara Krafftówna ... Stefka (as Barbara Kraftówna)
Aleksander Sewruk ... Swiecki
Zofia Czerwinska ... Barmaid Lili (as Z. Czerwinska)
Wiktor Grotowicz ... Franek Pawlicki (as W. Grotowicz)
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Storyline

Maciek, a young Resistance fighter, is ordered to kill Szczuka, a Communist district leader, on the last day of World War II. Though killing has been easy for him in the past, Szczuka was a fellow soldier, and Maciek must decide whether to follow his orders. Written by Kevin Dorner <mrkevvy@pathcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Touched with the fire and rebellion of a new generation of Polish film makers See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of Martin Scorsese's favorite movies. He showed it to Leonardo DiCaprio while making The Departed (2006), as main characters of these two movies have to deal with the same dilemmas. See more »

Goofs

Glasses of vodka are set alight which burn for an unnaturally long length of time and with a bigger flame than expected, suggesting a purer fuel was used in the film, such as petrol. Moreover, when the final flame dies (c.41 minutes) no liquid remains in the glass. Only the alcohol content is flammable in any glass of spirit and a residue of water would be left behind with even the very strongest of Polish vodkas. See more »

Quotes

Krystyna: So often, are you as a blazing torch with flames/ of burning rags falling about you flaming, /you know not if flames bring freedom or death. /Consuming all that you must cherish /if ashes only will be left, and want Chaos and tempest...
Maciek Chelmicki: ...Or will the ashes hold the glory of a starlike diamond... /The Morning Star of everlasting triumph.
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Connections

Featured in In the Shadow of Hollywood (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Si me quieres escribir
[Popular song from the Spanish Civil War]
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User Reviews

 
Modern and subtle
21 May 2007 | by paul2001sw-1See all my reviews

The post-war years were a difficult time for much of Eastern Europe, and ended with that region being plunged into dictatorship; so in many ways, it's surprising to see a film about that era (made under the communists) whose heroes are a pair of anti-communist assassins. One might more accurately say "anti-heroes", but the truth is, Andrzej Wajda's film is a critically sympathetic account of the motives on those on all sides in the conflict. Also marking this film out as modern is the dry script and mordant humour; while a big improvement over Wajda's previous movie, 'Kanal' (which had a horrible score) is the clever use of background music as orchestration. Some things do remind you that this film is (by now) almost fifty years old: not all the acting reaches contemporary standards. Still, it's as good a movie as was made in the 1950s, and all the more telling for its relative proximity to the events it displays.


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Details

Country:

Poland

Language:

Polish

Release Date:

29 May 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ashes and Diamonds See more »

Filming Locations:

Wroclaw, Dolnoslaskie, Poland See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

PLN6,070,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Zespól Filmowy "Kadr" See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original: 108')

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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