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Salto (1965)

A man hops off a train by the small town where he claims he was before. His presence allows to bring out the inner feelings and beliefs of the inhabitants. A man who has hidden through all ... See full summary »


Tadeusz Konwicki


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Zbigniew Cybulski ... Kowalski alias Malinowski
Jerzy Block ... Old man
Marta Lipinska ... Helena
Wlodzimierz Borunski ... Blumenfeld
Andrzej Lapicki ... Pietuch
Gustaw Holoubek ... Host
Zdzislaw Maklakiewicz ... Rotmistrz
Irena Laskowska ... Cecylia
Wojciech Siemion ... Artist
M. Babula M. Babula
A. Banas A. Banas
Iga Cembrzynska ... Kowalski's Wife (as I. Cembrzynska)
Krystyna Cierniak Krystyna Cierniak ... (as K. Cierniak)
Ludmila Dabrowska Ludmila Dabrowska ... (as I. Dabrowska)
K. Kessler K. Kessler


A man hops off a train by the small town where he claims he was before. His presence allows to bring out the inner feelings and beliefs of the inhabitants. A man who has hidden through all of the war because he looked Jewish, even if he is not, took on a fame of a dead Jewish actor he resembles. The visitor's wife shows up to claim his and indicate that he is always running off. He escapes in the end for another town. Written by Polish Cinema Database <http://info.fuw.edu.pl/Filmy/>

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Release Date:

11 June 1965 (Poland) See more »

Also Known As:

Somersault See more »

Filming Locations:

Wroclaw, Dolnoslaskie, Poland

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Featured in Zbyszek (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

Unsatisfactory, over-acted and unconvincing
12 November 2017 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

There are some films, and I do not mean horror films, which can only be described as 'weird', and this is one of them. The title is Polish for 'jump'. It is cognate with the Latin 'salto', which is the first person singular of the verb meaning 'to jump, to dance, or portray by dance'. But the word is older, not being from the Romance languages, as 'salta' occurs in Indo-European languages which are not derived from Latin, such as Latvian and of course Polish. I have a charming old Victorian board game called 'Salta', where the counters are meant to 'leap' from square to square. Our word 'somersault' is derived from this word. This film begins dramatically with the lead actor, Zbigniew Cybulski, jumping out of a moving train in the middle of the Polish countryside. He makes his way to an obscure village, where he meets the inhabitants and tells them that he originally came from there. He is overwrought, bordering on hysterical, and remains so for the whole film. There is only so much hysteria one can portray for 100 minutes without becoming tiresome. The intensity of Cybulski's unexplained anguish never lessens during the film. Several of the inhabitants mention that although the buildings were left standing, the entire population of the village had been executed by German soldiers during the War. In fact, we glimpse this in flashback very briefly, and more than once we see the same scene repeated, as if the director is trying to tell us something. Reference is made to the fact that 'they are all buried over there'. Many of the inhabitants are constantly to be seen digging in the fields looking for something, but it is never clear what precisely. Cybulski himself does so and unearths a live German grenade, which he tosses aside and it explodes. The Anniversary of the extermination of the population is celebrated every year on the same day, and the solemn inhabitants do this in a run-down village hall with weird music and ritualistic dancing (another meaning in Latin of 'salto'). What this all seems to mean is that they are all dead, including Cybulski, unless of course he is the only one who escaped, since he keeps saying he needs to atone. The film thus is apparently meant to be one long 'dance of death' as the ghosts of the dead villagers wander round gloomily, lost and bewildered. The film is extremely depressing and lacking both in clarity and any light touch. Some of the acting is restrained and appropriate, but much is over the top. The whole film seems to be essentially a surrealistic fantasy expressing anguish about the German occupation of Poland and the fates of all the Polish civilian dead at the hands of the Nazis. But the director, Tadeusz Konwicki, has overdone it, not made himself clear enough, and permitted the over-acting often to become ludicrous. The film is also too long, too intense, and too gloomy to work. Konwicki has not succeeded in whatever it was he intended. It is a strange effort. It is, as I said, 'weird', and extremely depressing.

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