7.9/10
9,261
40 user 65 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 »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Kanal (1957)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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
A Generation (1955)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

At the turn of the century, Lodz, Poland was a quick-paced manufacturing center for textiles, replete with cutthroat industrialists and unsafe working conditions. Three young friends, a ... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Wajda
Stars: Daniel Olbrychski, Wojciech Pszoniak, Andrzej Seweryn
Man of Marble (1977)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In 1976, a young woman in Krakow is making her diploma film, looking behind the scenes at the life of a 1950s bricklayer, Birkut, who was briefly a proletariat hero, at how that heroism was... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Wajda
Stars: Krystyna Janda, Jerzy Radziwilowicz, Tadeusz Lomnicki
Man of Iron (1981)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A worker becomes a "man of iron" forged by experience, a son comes to terms with his father, a couple fall in love, a reporter searches for courage, and a nation undergoes historic change. ... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Wajda
Stars: Jerzy Radziwilowicz, Krystyna Janda, Marian Opania
Speed (1959)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Poland, during the World War. Lotna is a magnificent specimen of Arabian horse, the pride of her owner, too old to actually ride her but to whom she remains faithful nevertheless. The ... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Wajda
Stars: Jerzy Pichelski, Adam Pawlikowski, Jerzy Moes
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Upon finding a book that relates his grandfather's story, an officer ventures through Spain meeting a wide array of characters, most of whom have a story of their own to tell.

Director: Wojciech Has
Stars: Zbigniew Cybulski, Iga Cembrzynska, Elzbieta Czyzewska
Eroica (1958)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

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
Wesele (1973)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Set at the turn of the century, the story concerns a Polish poet living in Cracow who has decided to marry a peasant girl. The wedding is attended by a heterogenous group of people from all... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Wajda
Stars: Marek Walczewski, Izabella Olszewska, Ewa Zietek
Night Train (1959)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Takes place in a prewar Poland. A tubercular young man comes to stay with his brother on a farm. He is in love with life and constantly plays 1930's music on a piano. He gets involved with ... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Wajda
Stars: Daniel Olbrychski, Olgierd Lukaszewicz, Emilia Krakowska
Edit

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)
Edit

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 »
Edit

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 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Zespól Filmowy "Kadr" See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original: 108')

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

After the film's release, sales of sunglasses shot up because Zbigniew Cybulski wore them consistently throughout the film. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Maciek is running away from Drewnowski and then the Russian soldiers, a train above them passes by. In one shot it is going to the left of the screen. Then in the next shot it is going to the right, then to the left again. 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.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Lesson of Polish Cinema (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Si me quieres escribir
[Popular song from the Spanish Civil War]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Electric
6 September 2002 | by rmax304823See all my reviews

I've seen this movie only twice, stumbling across it the first time in a theater in Skopje, Yugoslavia, and I left the theater almost in shock. I'd never seen such a combination of direction, editing, cinematography, and acting. (That business about Cybulski being "the Polish James Dean" is disregardable nonsense; like saying that Chopin was the Polish John Phillip Souza.) Wajda's other films didn't seem so impressive, but "Ashes and Diamonds" was simply superb. The images linger in the mind, even now, when artiness has become commonplace. The shattered crucifix hanging upside down; the final chase through the drying laundry; and Cybulski on his side, kicking himself around in circles atop a heap of garbage! It wasn't simply thought provoking, it was shocking. I can only remember one other time I felt stunned into silence on leaving a theater, and that was in LA after the first Bergman film I saw, which happened to be "The Seventh Seal." Don't miss it.


39 of 48 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 40 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed