7.8/10
10,812
51 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 »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 win. See more awards »

Photos

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

Did You Know?

Trivia

Wajda was particularly influenced by John Huston's noir classic The Asphalt Jungle (1950). See more »

Goofs

Majek is shot in the back while running away from military, but in the following scenes his wounds show only in the chest and not in his back. See more »

Quotes

Maciek Chelmicki: Warsaw girls. Makes me want to stay.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Fejezetek a film történetéböl: A lengyel film (1990) 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 »

User Reviews

 
some people have to change roles
4 July 2007 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

At its most basic, Andrzej Wajda's "Popiol i diament" (called "Ashes and Diamonds" in English) may seem to be a look at where Poland would be going after WWII ended. The plot involves young Maciek Chelmicki (Zbigniew Cybulski), who has helped expel the Nazis from Poland. With the Soviet Union now taking over the country, he is ordered to shift his allegiance to them. Through Maciek's acquaintances with communist leader Szczuka and barmaid Krzystyna (Ewa Krzyzewska), a potentially explosive situation arises.

If you know nothing about how the movie got made, this seems to be the whole purpose. But there are other points. In a mini-documentary about the movie, Andrzej Wajda and his collaborators explain how the novel on which the movie is based had Szczuka as the main character. Wajda not only moved the focus to Maciek - and gave him sort of a James Dean look - but also stressed the scene where Maciek talks with the man who fought in the Spanish Civil War. Apparently, fighting like the man did is a Polish tradition. Therefore, the film likely appeals to the Poles in almost every way; the perfect Polish movie, if you will.

Although I've never seen any of Andrzej Wajda's other movies - hell, I'd never heard of him until the Academy Awards gave him an honorary Oscar - I staunchly recommend this one. One can clearly see how he used the movie to subtly challenge the Soviet domination of his country (of course, they couldn't openly say anything against the USSR). Poland's pro-Soviet government had approved the movie, but didn't want to let it outside Poland. Wajda got some people to smuggle it out of the country, and it reached much of the world. Probably the most amazing scene is the end. I won't spoil the end, but I'll note that blood on a white sheet looks a bit like Poland's flag (a nationalistic statement).

All in all, a great movie. Andrzej Wajda has every reason to be proud of it.


21 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 51 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
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 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Studio Filmowe Kadr See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original: 108')

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed