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Pilot Pirx's Inquest (1979)

Test pilota Pirxa (original title)
The movie is about "finite nonlinears," robots that closely resemble human beings but are even more perfect than humans. They are intended to eventually replace human beings in space ... See full summary »


Marek Piestrak


Stanislaw Lem (short story), Marek Piestrak (adaptation) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Sergei Desnitsky Sergei Desnitsky ... Commander Pirx (as Sergiej Desnitski)
Boleslaw Abart ... Jan Otis
Vladimir Ivashov ... Harry Brown (as Wladimir Iwaszow)
Aleksandr Kaydanovskiy ... Tom Nowak (as Aleksandr Kajdanowski)
Zbigniew Lesien Zbigniew Lesien ... John Calder
Ferdynand Matysik ... Green (UNESCO Director)
Igor Przegrodzki ... McGuirr
Tõnu Saar Tõnu Saar ... Kurt Weber
Zygmunt Bielawski ... (as Z. Bielawski)
Janusz Bylczynski ... Juge (as J. Bylczynski)
Adam Cieslak Adam Cieslak ... (as A. Cieslak)
Edmund Fetting ... Oskarzyciel przed trybunalem (as E. Fetting)
Józef Fryzlewicz ... Obronca Pirxa przed trybunalem (as J. Fryzlewicz)
Marek Idzinski Marek Idzinski ... Czlonek trybunalu (as M. Idzinski)
Mieczyslaw Janowski Mieczyslaw Janowski ... Mitchell (as M. Janowski)


The movie is about "finite nonlinears," robots that closely resemble human beings but are even more perfect than humans. They are intended to eventually replace human beings in space flights. Somewhat apprehensive about their usefullness, the United Nations sets up a space flight to determine their reactions to the human beings who also make up the crew. Pirx is selected as a commander of the flight, although the identity of the robots is not revealed to him... Written by Polish Cinema Database <http://info.fuw.edu.pl/Filmy/>

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Drama | Sci-Fi


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Did You Know?


In the film Commander Pirx asked Harry Brown if he believed human beings possessed conscience. In the book the actual question was if Harry Brown believed in God. It was altered because of the communist censorship. See more »


The rings of Saturn are actually only a few meters thick and are not solid. The spaceship would pass through the Cassini division in less than a second, not (as in the film) take minutes through some kind of ice gorge. This error does not occur in Lem story the film is based on. See more »

User Reviews

Here be Replicants
17 January 2019 | by sagniknathSee all my reviews

This is definitely the first film ever made to introduce the SF idea of replicants (here called "Nonlinears") , android robots who are almost indistinguishable from humans. Sure , you might have had movies featuring androids before but not in sense of the term you would describe the characteristic features of Blade Runner's replicants that have become a staple of pop culture. The story in short is about a space pilot who has to commandeer a ship to Saturn to launch some probes, with his crew being an assorted mix of humans and replicants. With no knowledge provided of who is who, he has to ensure the mission's success which will influence the UN's decision whether replicants should be mass produced or "retired". There are a lot of Blade Runner vibes in terms of the ideas and themes discussed. How do you actually define human traits? Can human foibles actually have purpose? Would you consider yourself superior to humans if you are made physically stronger but as a factory product with an imposed life cycle( no real sense of growing up from child to adult) In terms of pacing, this movie oftentimes actually feels like a Hollywood action film of the era, very fast paced instead of vast stretches of time devoted to just dialogue between two-three characters, as is often the common perception of these Cold War era Eastern films by the West. If characters do talk, it's not usually about long expositions or ruminations but quick exchanges to move the plot along. The special effects are passable for the era. The space ship's interiors are well designed . However, the miniatures could have used more detail. At times, when the space ship is shown moving through space, it looks more like a gas cylinder suspended by rope than an actual miniature that was sculpted by an artist. Also, for some reason, for showing the lift off of the rocket from Earth, they chose to use NASA stock footage which is glaringly evident in the film quality differences between the NASA archive shots and regular film shots . At the very least, they could have done some post production to try to ease out these differences. Despite all of the film's shortcomings, the film succeeds in an entertaining suspension of disbelief in the light of the pacing and especially the good performances . I think all the actors were well chosen for the characters they played.Sergei Desnitsky is likable as Commander Pirx. Also noteworthy is Aleksandr Kaydanovski ,who also appears in Tarkovsky's Stalker. In conclusion, this is definitely a film to check out if you are a Blade Runner fan or simply want to explore the vast library of Soviet Polish films

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Poland | Soviet Union


Polish | Russian | Estonian

Release Date:

25 May 1979 (Poland) See more »

Also Known As:

Pilot Pirx's Inquest See more »

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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