Ashes and Diamonds
1958, Drama, 1h 43m22 Reviews 2,500+ Ratings
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A stylish thriller flavored with post-war political subtext, Ashes and Diamonds is incendiary intellectual cinema that still delivers genre thrills. Read critic reviews
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Critic Reviews for Ashes and Diamonds
Honest, brutally powerful and often shocking.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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…
Audience Reviews for Ashes and Diamonds
Oct 17, 2015A wicked intelligent and even hilarious political commentary with a sublime cinematography and a marvelous direction - which is noticeable from the applaudable way that Wajda never loses control of his material and the film's focus even with such a large gallery of characters.Carlos M Super Reviewer
Jul 31, 2010The last installment of this stupendous trilogy draws some "Renoirish" technical aspects (the bourgeois balance of ridiculousness, dialogue-driven comedy, politics, the criticism of social stratums) resulting in what sometimes is wrongly considered as a pretentious focus. Wajda, of course, doesn't give a damn, and presents an unparalleled story of the power of decisions and their respective implications. All in all, Popiól i Diament has even achieved a high level of historical importance, and rightfully so, since few directors would be capable of directing a post-war vision of this fantastic caliber, including a couple of most obvious and spectacular highlights: the fireworks scene, the last dance sequence, the upside-down crucifix and the wonderfully conceived ending scenes. 100/100Edgar C Super Reviewer
Mar 15, 2009Part 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.cody f Super Reviewer
Aug 28, 2008Stupendous work from Wajda.Impressive and too much of art class,nevertheless the finale and the discussion scene with the "crucifixion" statue will haunt you.Dimitris S Super Reviewer
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