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Ashes and Diamonds Movie Review

cybulski andrzej wajda kill

If you want to watch Zbigniew Cybulski (1927–67) when he helped to put Polish films on the international movie map, don't miss Ashes and Diamonds. For marketing purposes, American publicists referred to Cybulski as the Polish James Dean, an over-convenient but apt comparison. Cybulski wore tinted prescription glasses throughout Ashes and Diamonds because of vision problems, but they also increased his mysterious allure. In the film, set on the last day of the war, his character must kill a man he doesn't want to kill and probably doesn't have to kill. He resists the job, but fate in the form of a poorly timed order is against him. Ashes and Diamonds says more about the postwar world of 1958 than it does of wartime life in 1945, especially when it contrasts Cybulski's destiny with his haphazard and rather naive pursuit of a young barmaid. In real life, Cybulski lived fast and died young while trying to board a train. His death increased his legendary status and several of his films (1954's A Generation, 1960's Innocent Sorcerers,1965's The Saragossa Manuscript) are still shown constantly in art houses all over the world. It is perhaps besides the point that, for all his tremendous presence and seemingly careless appeal, Cybulski often overacted like mad. As is evident here, he seldom approached his roles in a disciplined way or gave careful shadings to the characters he portrayed. But TRY tearing your eyes away from Andrzej Wajda's Ashes and Diamonds for a single second when Cybulski is onscreen. AKA: Popiol i Diament.

1958 105m/B PL Zbigniew Cybulski, Eva Krzyzewska, Adam Pawlikowski, Bogumil Kobiela, Waclaw Zastrzezynski; D: Andrzej Wajda; W: Andrzej Wajda, Jerzy Andrzejewski; C: Jerzy Wojcik; M: Filip Nowak, Jan Krenz. VHS, LV

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