16 user 5 critic

Two Men and a Wardrobe (1958)

Dwaj ludzie z szafa (original title)
Two men emerge from the sea onto the beach carrying a large wooden wardrobe with a mirror on its front. After the two men clean up and rejoice being in this new environment, they proceed to... See full summary »


Roman Polanski


Roman Polanski (scenario)
2 wins. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Jakub Goldberg Jakub Goldberg ... Man with the wardrobe
Henryk Kluba ... Man with the wardrobe (as Henryka Klube)
Roman Polanski ... Punching boy (uncredited)


Two men emerge from the sea onto the beach carrying a large wooden wardrobe with a mirror on its front. After the two men clean up and rejoice being in this new environment, they proceed to enter the nearby town, they carrying the wardrobe wherever they go. They just want to meet people and experience their new surroundings, but are largely shunned or ignored. In some instances, they are shunned even when their presence helps the situation. And in other instances of being shunned, they are beaten. And when they are ignored, the world just keeps going without them, often at the detriment of humankind. Ultimately, the two men, with their wardrobe, make a decision about what to do in light of their experiences. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Comedy | Drama


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


This film won five international film festival awards in Brussels, San Francisco, and Oberhausen. See more »


Featured in Hooray for Holyrood (1986) See more »

User Reviews

An early showcase of Polanski's very personal talents
8 March 2006 | by debblystSee all my reviews

Roman Polanski's short films made between 1957 and 1963 in Poland, plus the French-made "Le Gros et le Maigre" (1961), are available in the 2-disc set Criterion release of "Knife in the Water" (his landmark first feature, 1962). It's a great opportunity to discover his early work and confirm how uniquely talented he was from the very beginning. My two personal favorites: the masterpiece "Le Gros et le Maigre" (q.v.), a Beckettian satire on despotism and humiliation; and this fascinating "Two Men and a Wardrobe", which tells the surrealistic story (without dialog -- Polanski seldom used dialog in his shorts) of two men who come out from the sea carrying a huge, heavy wardrobe (symbolic interpretations are welcome, of course) and land on a seaside village only to be rejected and humiliated by everyone they meet.

Mixing tones of Absurd Theater (Beckett, Ionesco), silent comedies (Keaton especially), surrealism (Magritte comes to mind), and Kafka with a very sophisticated visual style (those fabulous framings!), his very peculiar sense of (black) humor, great rhythm and K.Komeda's perfect score, Polanski manages in 15 minutes to build an exhilarating, original tale about intolerance, hypocrisy, selfishness, cowardice, violence, and prejudice -- but also about bonding friendship, about acknowledging your background and standing up for who you are (check out the ending). This is the kind of work that proves that short films can be a completely satisfying film format.

P.S.: The role Polanski plays here is a sort of "prequel" to his Chinatown thug.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 16 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

17 March 1961 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Two Men and a Wardrobe See more »

Filming Locations:

Poland See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed