Ashes and Diamonds (Criterion Collection) (Blu ray) [USA]

C.C. 95

The Snarky Assassin
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Sep 10, 2014
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The Land, OHIO - U.S.A.
Release Date: August 24, 2021
Prices and Links:
Criterion- $27.96
Amazon- $39.95
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Director: Andrzej Wajda
Writers: Jerzy Andrzejewski, Andrzej Wajda
Starring: Zbigniew Cybulski, Ewa Krzyzewska, Waclaw Zastrzezynski, Adam Pawlikowski, Bogumil Kobiela
  • Poland
  • 1958
  • 103 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.66:1
  • Polish
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A milestone of Polish cinema, this electrifying international sensation by Andrzej Wajda—the final film in his celebrated war trilogy—entwines the story of one man’s moral crisis with the fate of a nation. In a small Polish town on the final day of World War II, Maciek (the coolly charismatic Zbigniew Cybulski), a fighter in the underground anti-Communist resistance movement, has orders to assassinate an incoming commissar. But when he meets and falls for a young barmaid (Ewa Krzyzewska), he begins to question his commitment to a cause that requires him to risk his life. Ashes and Diamonds’ lustrous monochrome cinematography—wreathed in shadows, smoke, and fog—and spectacularly choreographed set pieces lend a breathtaking visual dynamism to this urgent, incendiary vision of a country at a crossroads in its struggle for self-determination.

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SPECIAL FEATURES​

  • On the Blu-ray: New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • On the DVD: restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Audio commentary from 2004 featuring film scholar Annette Insdorf
  • New video essay by Insdorf on the film’s legacy (Blu-ray only)
  • Andrzej Wajda: On “Ashes and Diamonds,” a 2005 program featuring director Andrzej Wajda, second director Janusz Morgenstern, and film critic Jerzy Plazewski
  • Archival newsreel footage on the making of the film
  • Rare behind-the-scenes production photos, publicity stills, and posters (DVD only)
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Paul Coates

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