A winter day at a Polish castle, half owned by a fatalistic notary and half by a volcanic old soldier’s niece. The old soldier, Cupbearer, and the notary are sworn enemies, which may doom the love between the niece, Klara, and the notary’s son, Waclaw. On this day, the tongue-tied Cupbearer asks a braggart courtier, Papkin, to sue on his behalf for the hand of the widow Hanna. Papkin succeeds and the wedding is set for the next day. In response, the notary plots to marry Waclaw to the widow to upend Cupbearer’s plans. When Cupbearer learns of this perfidy, he responds with his own plot. Will there be poison, a duel, kidnapping, and imprisonment; or, will fate bring another solution?
Tag Archives: polish
Piatka z ulicy Barskiej / Five from Barska Street (1954) Aleksander Ford, Aleksandra Slaska, Tadeusz Janczar, Andrzej Kozak, Drama
Diabel / The Devil (1972) Andrzej Zulawski, Malgorzata Braunek, Michal Grudzinski, Iga Mayr, Drama, Horror
During the Prussian army’s invasion to Poland in 1793, a young Polish nobleman Jakub is saved from the imprisonment by a stranger who wants in return to obtain a list of Jakub’s fellow conspirators. Following his mysterious saviour across the country, Jakub sees the overall chaos and moral corruption including his father’s death and his girlfriend’s betrayal. Being apparently demented by what he has seen, he commits a number of seemingly motiveless and gory killings.
Nóz w wodzie / The Knife in the Water (1962) Roman Polanski, Leon Niemczyk, Jolanta Umecka, Zygmunt Malanowicz, Drama
Well off Andrzej and Krystyna’s marriage is at a stage where familiarity breeds contempt, that contempt which is outwardly shown only behind closed doors and only when an incident of some sort sets off one or the other. While driving through the countryside on a Sunday on their way to the lake to embark on an overnight sailing excursion, they almost run over a young male hitchhiker. Despite the antagonism between Andrzej and the hitchhiker, Andrzej offers him a ride as far as the marina. By the time they reach the lake, their antagonism has dissipated enough that Andrzej asks if he would like to join them on their sailing trip. The hitchhiker accepts despite knowing nothing about sailing. As the sailing trip progresses, the antagonism between the two men begins to increase again, fueled on both sides as each strives to be the alpha male. Andrzej needs to show his superiority, while the hitchhiker needs to show that his young age and inexperience, not only with sailing but with life in…
Zezowate szczescie / Bad Luck (1960) Andrzej Munk, Bogumil Kobiela, Maria Ciesielska, Helena Dabrowska, Comedy
The story is an odyssey of a little man through Poland of 1930 to 1950. It shows his attempts to cope with a changing world which seems to have no place for him. He has no consciousness of any kind but is always on the verge of turning into a more coherent human being, only to be slapped down. It begins with the hero’s childhood. Then comes the first love marred by his unwilling involvement in fascict politics, him being taken for a Jew because of his nose. Later he decides to join the army to charm the girl, but arrives too late for any fighting. He is arrested by entering German troops while he dresses in officer’s uniform and mistakenly sent to POW camp as an officer.
Pigulki dla Aurelii / Pills for Aurelia (1958) Stanislaw Lenartowicz, Jerzy Adamczak, Andrzej Hrydzewicz, Jaroslaw Kuszewski, Action, Drama, War
Action drama that takes place in Poland during World War 2. Soldiers of the Polish underground resistance army (AK – National Army) prepares to break into a prison to release their friend imprisoned by Gestapo. The story focuses on their attempt to attempt to acquire guns, but the plot is not going according to the plan…
Jak byc kochana / How to Be Loved (1963) Wojciech Has, Barbara Krafftówna, Zbigniew Cybulski, Artur Mlodnicki, Drama
An actress travels from Warsaw to Paris and during the trip reflects on the last few years of her life. It goes back to the German occupation and her hiding of a fellow actor who has supposedly killed a collaborator. He is weak and a bit cowardly, but suffers most from not having any audience for his vanity, ego and supposed bravery. After the war he leaves her but finds out that he has been accused of cowardice. He finally commits suicide and she clears herself of a collaboration charge and eventually becomes a popular actress.
Ostatni etap / The Last Stage (1948) Wanda Jakubowska, Tatjana Gorecka, Antonina Gordon-Górecka, Barbara Drapinska, Drama
Martha Weiss, a Jew, is sent to Auschwitz concentration camp with her family. On the first day of their arrival Martha is, by a coincidence, chosen as an interpreter, but her entire family is killed. Waiting for the Red Army to deliver them from the prison camp, the film depicts Martha and her friends’ struggling life under the tyranny of camp guards and equally bad ‘capos’, administrative personnel chosen from among the prisoners.
Sennosc / Drowsiness (2008) Magdalena Piekorz, Malgorzata Kozuchowska, Michal Zebrowski, Rafal Mackowiak, Drama
The film focuses on the fate of three characters whose emotions are numb because of the blows of life and beings around them. None of them has the courage to change their lives, but their mutual encounter give them the chance to get out of this emotional drowsiness.
Pokolenie / A Generation (1955) Andrzej Wajda, Tadeusz Lomnicki, Urszula Modrzynska, Tadeusz Janczar, Drama, War
During the Nazi occupation of Poland, a generation of youth comes of age. Stach and his friends start with spontaneous acts of defiance, which can prove deadly, but have no organized purpose. Then, while at work as an apprentice, Stach learns elementary Marxian economics from a shop steward. When he sees the valiant and beautiful Dorota, a leader of the Youth Underground, he volunteers. He recruits his friends, and they become a cell in the resistance, tasting courage, discipline, and tragedy. In the background lies the potential conflict between the Communists and the partisans, both anti-Nazi, both Polish, and on their own collision course.