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Popiól i diament (Ashes and Diamonds)

Popiól i diament (Ashes and Diamonds) (1958)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 8/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.

audience

88

liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 3,380

My Rating

Movie Info

This is the last film in the trilogy that began Andrzej Wajda's career as a director. Preceding this wartime drama are Pokolenie (1955) and Kanal (1957). Once again, Wajda presents a strong anti-war statement, this time in the personae of two men who are given orders on the last day of World War II in Poland to murder a leading communist. The orders come from the part of the resistance that opposes the new communist regime. One of Wajda's favorite performers and a friend, Zbigniew Cybulski,

Nov 18, 2003

Janus Films

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All Critics (19) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (1) | DVD (8)

Honest, brutally powerful and often shocking.

March 26, 2013 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Only Wajda, though, could muster such a mood, with everyone feeding on smoke and booze, and the assembled company, at the end, dancing to a cracked polonaise.

March 26, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Taut thriller about immediate postwar Poland also has a heavier theme of the futility of killing and violence. Its technical knowhow, fine acting and directorial prowess make this an above average drama.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Wajda's way is the sweet smell of excess, but some scenes remain powerfully memorable -- the lighting of drinks on the bar, the upturned Christ in a bombed church, and Cybulski's prolonged death agonies at the close.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Zbigniew Cybulski as the hero is sensitive, attractive and alert -- a lad with humor and compassion. One is strongly drawn to him.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Wajda tends toward harsh and overstated imagery, but he achieves a fascinating psychological rapport with his lead actor, Zbigniew Cybulski.

April 26, 2001 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Richly composed and photographed, with atmosphere aplenty, Ashes and Diamonds suffers somewhat from an excess of loose plot ends and of underdeveloped characters, perhaps a consequence of having been based on a prestigious novel.

March 26, 2013 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Wajda's deeply romantic and personal vision, inspired by both Italian neo-realism and by the more baroque images of Expressionism, makes Ashes and Diamonds a gripping experience.

March 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

When you watch Ashes And Diamonds, remember, you're not just seeing a film: you're looking at a manifesto that has found a voice and a face and speaks for a whole deceived generation.

March 26, 2013 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Beautifully filmed and percolating with the futility of violence "Ashes and Diamonds" is a treasure of Polish cinema from a master filmmaker.

April 11, 2009 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

The third panel in Wajda WWII trilogy (that began with Generation and continued with Kanal) is considered one of his best works; it also shows why Cybulski was labeled the Polish James Dean.

July 19, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

This taut political thriller is a fine example of one of the first Polish New Wave films.

September 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

This great film by Andrzej Wajda is considered the greatest Polish film ever made, and I'm sure that's not too far off the mark.

June 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Hailed as a masterpiece by others, Ashes and Diamonds failed to capture my imagination

November 6, 2003 Full Review Source: Movie Habit | Comment (1)
Movie Habit

An overlooked masterpiece of Eastern European cinema, this eminently powerful and sophisticated drama delicately dissects issues and themes rarely visited by war movies.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Cybulski, called the Polish James Dean, gives a broodingly intense performance.

March 30, 2003
KPBS.org

Audience Reviews for Popiól i diament (Ashes and Diamonds)

Cool fucking movie!
December 9, 2007
tsigur

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic][color=darkred]"Ashes and Diamonds" is a 1958 Polish film directed by Andrzej Wajda. It starts out with a botched assassination of a Communist Party leader. It seems the wrong person was killed. Most of the action takes place on the night of May 8, 1945 in and around a banquet celebrating the end of the war. Now, that the Germans have been defeated, Poland has to decide what kind of country it is going to be and various characters have to decide what kind of lives they are going to live now that fighting against the Germans has concluded or will they start fighting their countrymen? This is an intelligent, stylish, suspenseful film.[/color][/font]
January 23, 2005
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Part 3 of Wajda's War Trilogy. This one is considered the best, but I was a little disappointed. I really enjoyed it, but I was expecting to be blown away. It definitely looks the best and has some of the best acting of the three films. This film takes place the day the Nazi's surrendered and now the Polish are fighting each other for control of their war torn country.Cybulski is great as a man who is tired of fighting and ready to move on with the rest of his life. I think the problem I had was with the ending and how unnecessary it was or how it could have easily been done better. I also knew how the film ended and that took away from it also.This film is consistently better, but Kanal is a stronger film with a mediocre first half hour.
March 15, 2009
codyfranklin2

Super Reviewer

Stupendous work from Wajda.Impressive and too much of art class,nevertheless the finale and the discussion scene with the "crucifixion" statue will haunt you.
August 28, 2008
jimbotender
Dimitris Springer

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Asche und Diamant (DE)
  • Ashes and Diamonds (Popiól i diament) (UK)
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