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Polish Cinema Classics [DVD] [1958]

6 customer reviews

Price: £28.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Polish Cinema Classics [DVD] [1958] + Polish Cinema Classics Volume II [DVD] + Polish Cinema Classics Vol.III (3 DVD Box Set)
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Product details

  • Actors: Roman Polanski, Zbigniew Cybulski, Edward Dziewonski, Barbara Polomska, Lucyna Winnicka
  • Directors: Andrzej Wajda, Andrzej Munk, Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Janusz Morgenstern
  • Format: Anamorphic, PAL
  • Language: Polish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Second Run DVD
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Mar. 2012
  • Run Time: 348 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006T35UKC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,296 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

A 4-DVD set comprising four remarkable films (all available for the first time in the UK) from some of Polish cinemas most vital and provocative talents. All four films are newly remastered from brand new HD materials.

Eroica (1958) Andrzej Munk's two-part anti-war poem is a darkly comic, intelligent and insightful satire on duty, courage and heroism.

Night Train (1959): Jerzy Kawalerowicz's homage to Hitchcock. Two people - one of whom may be a vicious murderer - on the run and on a train bound for the Baltic coast. Taut and gripping with a wonderful jazz score.

Innocent Sorcerers (1960): Following after his renowned War Trilogy, Andrzej Wajda made this provocative film about contemporary youth from a script co-written by Jerzy Skolimowski. A young womanising doctor meets his match in the form of a spirited young woman.

Goodbye, See You Tomorrow (1960): Janusz Morgenstern's touching story of young love. With outstanding performances from Polish superstar Zbigniew Cybulski (known as the Polish James Dean ) and a young Roman Polanski, and with music by the great Polish composer Krzysztof Komeda (Rosemary's Baby).

New filmed interview with Andrzej Wajda
Booklet essays
Director Interviews.

New HD restorations with restored picture and sound
16.9 anamorphic widescreen
New and improved English subtitles

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By rigo yangtse on 12 Mar. 2012
Format: DVD
This Box Set features four incredible Polish films from the late 1950's and early 1960's: Andrzej Wajda's INNOCENT SORCERERS (1960), Jerzy Kawalerowicz NIGHT TRAIN(1959), Andrzej Munk's EROICA (1957) and Janusz Morgenstern's GOODBYE SEE YOU TOMORROW (1960).
The first thing to say is that they look stunning. The box says that "the films are presented from new HD masters" - and it shows. These films really do look astoundingly good.
Andrzej Wajda is certainly the best-known filmmaker here (his other works include ASHES & DIAMONDS, KANAL, DANTON, MAN OF IRON, KATYN and the upcoming Lech Walesa film). INNOCENT SORCERERS provides a tantalising look at late-50s, post-Stalin Poland of jazz clubs, sex and alienated young men and women. It's incredibly vibrant, stylish and fresh. The same can be said of the other titles here. The great mystery is WHY these films have never been released properly (if ever) in the UK before? All are quite wonderful in their own way - Kawalerowicz's Hitchcockian NIGHT TRAIN is a brilliant tale of suspense and intrigue, but also an insightful meditation on human nature; Munk's EROICA balances black comedy and human tragedy to profound effect and Morgenstern's GOODBYE, SEE YOU TOMORROW (a film I'd previously known nothing about) is a revelation - a romantic tale of a doomed love affair that prefigures the French New Wave.
I'm indebted to Second Run's brilliant and informative booklets that accompany their releases, they often - as here - prove invaluable in putting the films and filmmakers into context, full of intriguing details and information that enrich the viewing of the films.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By HJ on 6 April 2012
Format: DVD
The Second Run label has been doing a great job releasing vintage films from the former eastern bloc & they've really excelled themselves here. Four films from the so-called "Polish Film School" 1957-1960 on 4 discs, restored & looking good in rich black & white & new sub-titles, each with an illustrated booklet containing a lengthy informative essay, plus a few extras on the discs.

These films are "classics" in the sense that they had a big impact in Poland at the time and also met with acclaim internationally. However I doubt they've been seen in UK for decades - at least I don't recall ever seeing them on the art-house cinema circuit or late night TV. The reason might be that the Polish Film School was quite early, instigated by a mid 1950s post-Stalin cultural thaw in Poland but fading out in early 1960s after "discouragement" from the authorities. I guess it then became overshadowed by all the later new waves of the 1960s, including the Czech & Hungarian.

Many people will have Polanski's "Knife in the Water", Wajda's "Ashes & Diamonds" war trilogy and a few of the other previous DVD releases like "Saragossa Manuscript", "Mother Joan of Angels" & "Passenger" - and that's about it - so this box set should, at a stroke, give a big boost to the vintage Polish cinema collections of most of us. The four films are as follows:

Kawalerowicz: NIGHT TRAIN (1959). A mysterious, equally traumatized man & woman, strangers, are thrown together in a sleeper compartment on a crowded train - what will ensue: a one night stand or a murder? This is what we want from the Polish Film School! If you like "Knife in the Water" you'll love this - mostly filmed in the confined space of a train carriage with incredibly stylish cinematography & jazzy vocal soundtrack.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alan Pavelin VINE VOICE on 24 April 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As a longtime enthusiast for Polish films, I snapped up this boxset of little-known offerings from around 1960. Three of the four feature the "superstar" Zbigniew Cybulski, always with his trademark shades made famous in Andrzej Wajda's Ashes and Diamonds. Two feature a very young Roman Polanski in small roles.
Night Train, directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz, is on the face of it a Hitchcockian thriller about a murderer aboard a train. During the course of the film it becomes more of a character study, with a collection of disperate passengers all with their own concerns and preoccupations. The two central characters, unknown to each other, are a man and a woman finding themselves in the same sleeping compartment owing to a mixup. An enjoyable film with a haunting outdoor sequence involving the chase of the murderer.
I own nearly a dozen DVDs of Wajda's films, and have seen several others, but Innocent Sorcerers is totally untypical and, for me, a disappointment. In fact, Wajda himself states, in an "extra", that he doesn't know why he made the film. It is like an early French "new wave" feature, most obviously Godard's A Bout de Souffle, with a long meandering conversation between the male and female leads in the former's flat. As a film it seems extremely dated.
Eroica, directed by Andrzej Munk, is the only one of these films I have seen previously, and that not for many years. It is actually two separate stories, the first a cynical war film set during the Warsaw uprising, the second set in a POW camp. Both prick the balloon of the "Polish romanticism" myth, the notion that fighting to the death is the noble thing to do.
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