Ashes and Diamonds

1958, Drama, 1h 43m

25 Reviews 2,500+ Ratings

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critics consensus

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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Movie Info

It's May 1945, and Nazi Germany has just surrendered. The war is over, but not in Poland. As the German soldiers vacate, the remaining Russian forces and Polish resistance fighters must work out the hierarchies of power in "liberated" Communist Poland. A Polish assassin (Zbigniew Cybulski) is given orders to kill a Russian soldier (Waclaw Zastrzezynsky) whom he, days before, was fighting alongside, and this moral conflict makes him question the goals for which he has been fighting.

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Critic Reviews for Ashes and Diamonds

Audience Reviews for Ashes and Diamonds

  • Oct 17, 2015
    A 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, 2010
    The 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. 100/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Mar 15, 2009
    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.
    cody f Super Reviewer
  • Aug 28, 2008
    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.
    Dimitris S Super Reviewer

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