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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 »
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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 Halina Kwiatkowska ... Staniewiczowa
Ignacy Machowski ... Waga
Zbigniew Skowronski Zbigniew Skowronski ... Slomka
Barbara Krafftówna ... Stefka (as Barbara Kraftówna)
Aleksander Sewruk ... Swiecki
Zofia Czerwinska ... Barmaid Lili (as Z. Czerwinska)
Wiktor Grotowicz 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:

A Drama of Political Assassination 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

Zbigniew Cybulski came to be known as the Polish James Dean. A lot of this stemmed from Andrzej Wajda's direction of the actor, both having seen Dean on screen. Wajda wanted Cybulski to emulate Dean's air of diffidence and apparent "non-acting" for Ashes and Diamonds (1958). 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Charming Billy (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Czerwone maki
(Red Poppies) (uncredited)
Music by Alfred Schütz and lyrics by Feliks Konarski
Performed by Grazyna Staniszewska
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Post -war Poland
3 July 2008 | by esteban1747See all my reviews

I have seen this film several times and often I asked myself how the director Andrzej Wajda was allowed to film something that clearly shows the corruption of the new governing bodies in post-war Poland. This is a film of 1958, i.e. Poland well occupied by the Soviet troops and only 2 years after the Hungarian massacre. The acting of already disappeared Zbigniew Cybulski as Maciek is really impressive and reminds me to some extent James Dean playing "Rebel without a Cause". The personality of Maciek is difficult to understand if one ignores the suffering of Polish people during the war. Once this bloody confrontation finishes the Soviet came over and put their loyal people in the important posts of the government. The fact is that those soviet loyalists were not the appropriate ones, often corrupted and looking to climb for better position. The presence of the Soviet officers in the official parties and ceremonies was very common and this can also be well seen. Ewa Krzyzewska plays the role of a young lady working in a restaurant,she wants to live and to love, but even her dreams cannot become a reality. The film draws what was then wrong in Poland and how wrong the people felt and behave. Maciek is used by an anticommunist violent movement, in fact he wants to live differently, to stop fighting, to live and to love too. This film is really one of the classic of the filmography of Eastern Europe under the domination of the Soviets.


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