7.8/10
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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
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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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The entire film takes place over two days, May 8th and 9th 1945. 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.
See more »


Soundtracks

Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53
[Performed by orchestra for celebratory war's end banquet. Name of performers not listed.]
See more »

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User Reviews

lost youth in Poland
21 May 2006 | by thetrevSee all my reviews

This film shows an alternative lost youth to that of 1950's America. In the late 1940's and early 1950's some of Poland's teenagers were involved in a life and death struggle against the Soviet and Communist Polish authorities. these young people had been raised in the bloodshed of WWII and had learned to fight and die.

The film shows the lost youth of Poland struggling to find a way to leave this vicious upbringing and return to a normality which they often didn't ever have.

The film's hero wants to return to being a student and having romances and friends after years of fighting for the Polish underground (this is why he wears sunglasses, because his eyesight was damaged fighting in tunnels during the Warsaw Uprising), however he has a mission to kill a communist officer...

The film is amazing, the imagery reflects the detruction and sorrow of this lost generation. The direction and acting are superb. Like a previous poster, however, I was a little dis-satisfied with the ending, which differed from the book. That is a trivial point, though.


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