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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Love Story set in the War to save Poland of 1920
This was originally called `1920 Battle of Warsaw'. It is a film from Polish director Jerzy Hoffman (`Fire and Sword' and `Army of Valhalla') who uses a love story to retell what happened in the post World War I mess when The Red Russian Army decided to export the revolution going on there to the rest of Europe via Poland.

We meet Jan and Ola who are madly in...
Published on 8 Mar. 2013 by Tommy Dooley

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too long and somewhat sentimental, but an eye-opener
Before watching this, we had no clue about the interwar history of Poland. We knew it must have been a separate state to Russia and Germany before WW2, because the Nazi invasion is what triggered British involvement, but prior to that…

This Polish-language film, subtitled in English and set in 1920, provided both a history lesson and a couple of hours of...
Published 10 months ago by Rowena Hoseason


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Love Story set in the War to save Poland of 1920, 8 Mar. 2013
By 
Tommy Dooley (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Battle of Warsaw (Battle of Warsaw 1920) [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
This was originally called `1920 Battle of Warsaw'. It is a film from Polish director Jerzy Hoffman (`Fire and Sword' and `Army of Valhalla') who uses a love story to retell what happened in the post World War I mess when The Red Russian Army decided to export the revolution going on there to the rest of Europe via Poland.

We meet Jan and Ola who are madly in love with each other. He is a romantic member of the intelligentsia who want the Worlds onanists (or `self pleasurers') to unite against boring art sub groups, such as `cubists' and she is a performer at a cabaret where she has more than her fair share of admirers. Then the mobilisation is ordered and Jan marries Ola before mounting his horse, before he gets to do the same favour to her, and rushes off to fight the Bolsheviks at the front. He is soon in the thick of it and as the newly formed Red Army rolls forward to create the new Soviets of Europe all of Poland gets swept up into war with Ola even giving up the feather boa for a Maxim gun.

This is described as a `high octane action packed' war film, but is it? Well there are some battle scenes and on the whole they are all pretty well done. We have some average CGI bits but they never last too long and are ok as they are used for context most of the time rather than the pretend `action' that you sometimes encounter. The period detail seems pretty good and we do get the political analysis that is always appreciated in a war of this nature. The acting is all well above par and the two main leads are particularly convincing in their respective love roles.

This then is a 115 minute actioner that tells of a battle that is not much heard of outside of Poland and is done in an action infused film that will have you hooked pretty early on, and deals with a lot of historical issues but not so many that it becomes embroiled in its own cleverness and spoils the plot. It is also human and even humorous in parts. As ever Jerzy Hoffman has made a solid film that deserves a wide audience and especially so for those interested in twentieth century warfare or history or good love stories - recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Although they have a love story involved, 26 Sept. 2014
By 
Julian Janik (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
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I heard about this story at a wedding that my wife and I went to. We were sitting at a table with some Polish friends and they mentioned about it, saying it was a very, little known story of what happened in 1920 between Poland and Russia. So I went on the Internet and later on to You Tube to see what they had. I came across this movie and other related material to the Battle of Warsaw 1920.
After seeing some of the trailers and film clips, I decided to buy the dvd version. Although they have a love story involved, I found the historical aspects to be of great interest as to what happened. I was, also, amazed at the way the movie was made. The scenery, background, music, acting was very well done. It reminded me of the way movies used to be done back in 1950's - 60's. Good storyline, good acting and good battle scenes. Since I got the movie, and being fascinated by the way it was made, I watched movie up to 6 or 7 times so far. I am also a history buff. If a movie has good, quality material, I'll add it to my collection of war movies. and so far, I have an outstanding collection....In watching this movie, it is interesting to note as to what is happening today with Russia and the Ukraine...
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jerzy Hoffman brings one of the world's most decisive battles to film, 24 April 2012
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Polish director Jerzy Hoffman brings one of the world's most decisive battles to film in 1920 Bitwa Warszawska (The Battle of Warsaw). This 2011 film has special effects galore and happens to be the first Polish movie made in 3D. It evokes feelings of a historic epic and is teeming with the best Polish actors (and even a few Russian actors too).

Poland just resurfaced on the map in 1918 after 123 years of being wiped off the map by her neighbors, but trouble is never too far away. Thankfully, Poland has strong leaders like Jozef Pilsudski (Daniel Olbrychski), Jozef Haller (Jacek Poniedzialek) and Boleslaw Wieniawa-Dlugoszowski (Boguslaw Linda) that are able to defend her from the Soviet invaders that would like to see socialism across all of Europe. There only stands one thing in the way from spreading socialism across the world: Poland.

1920 Bitwa Warszawska tries to balance spoon-feeding us historical details that give the story context with the personal side of the war by showing us how the war affected the lives of a newlywed couple. Jan Krynicki (Borys Szyc) marries her girl Ola Raniewska (Natasza Urbanska) just before he is sent out to war. While the frame of the story is a romance, it doesn't develop this part of the story too greatly as there is so much other things that need to be shown. The film takes on a lot in a short amount of time, so it could have easily been at least an hour longer to develop the details in greater depth, but then some would complain the film is too long.

Jan is seemingly sympathetic to socialistic ideas, which gets him in trouble with his fellow soldiers, but ends up saving his life as well. Jan is cured of his sympathy when he sees firsthand the doubletalk and absurdity that come with socialism, convincing him that he must do everything to stop the Soviets. We see both many forms of Soviet propaganda pushing socialism and Polish patriotism that attempts to stir every emotion among its people to stand up to the coming tide of Russian assault.

Although there are many Poles apathetic to what is happening, as they would rather not mix with politics knowing that things can change too quickly and being on the wrong side means death, many do all they can to help with the ongoing war. While Ola worries for her husband's safety, she decides to help by joining the army and gives her heart and soul into defending Poland.

Blood and guts are not spared in the least, so war is by no means some glorious parade of brave men in uniform, but rather a chaotic hell in which one can loose one's life or limb at any moment. While there are many skirmishes and clashes of forces throughout the film, it really all leads up to the big fight at the end. The battle doesn't look miraculous save for its outcome, as it really is just a slaughter, with both sides having its people massacred.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Hoffman Romantic Plot set around the 1920's Polish-Soviet War., 25 July 2012
Jerzy Hoffman, director of "Ogniem i Mieczem", "Pan Wlodyjowski" and "Potop" ["With Fire and Sword", "Colonel Wlodyjowski" and "The Deluge"], returns to the genre of Polish romantic film with "1920 Bitwa Warszawska".

The film as with previous Hoffman movies is meant as entertainment based on the historical 1920's Battle of Warsaw.
The historical background o this battle is the pre-emptive attack by Pilsudski against massing Soviet troops along the Polish border. Lenin had every intention of carrying his revolution into Europe across Poland's corpse. Initial Polish successes against the Soviets took Polish troops as far as Kiev before the Soviets counter-attacked and began pushing the Poles back. The brutal struggle covered large areas of Eastern Poland and Western Ukraine and torture, pillage and mass killings of surrendered soldiers were common-place at the hands of the Soviets.
Whilst Poland did have some help from the West, such as French military observers and Merien Cooper's invaluable Polish-American's pilots which formed a fighter squadron, pro-Soviet propaganda in the west undermined the Polish effort and leftist Unions at ports hampered the supply of munitions for the Poles.
The turning point known as "The Miracle on the Vistula" came with a Polish counter-attack on the 15th August 1920. With Polish radiographers listening into Soviet communications, Pilsudksi found a gap in the Soviet front and pushed his forces into it. At first there was scant sign of the Soviets then with the realisation that they were outflanked the Soviet retreat took them across the advancing line of Polish troops which inflicted high casualties and spread panic.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too long and somewhat sentimental, but an eye-opener, 15 Jun. 2014
By 
Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Battle of Warsaw (Battle of Warsaw 1920) [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Before watching this, we had no clue about the interwar history of Poland. We knew it must have been a separate state to Russia and Germany before WW2, because the Nazi invasion is what triggered British involvement, but prior to that…

This Polish-language film, subtitled in English and set in 1920, provided both a history lesson and a couple of hours of entertainment – although by the end we were fairly immune to the extended battle sequences that could easily have been shortened by 15 minutes or so without losing any narrative effect. The producers obviously had thousands of extras and wanted to use them. Lots. Being blown up, bayoneted and shot at.
The plot follows a young Polish solider, who marries his best girl before going off to fight on the front with Soviet Russia. WW1 finished not so long ago with Germany defeated, but the new Soviet state seeks to spread communism throughout Europe in a sweeping workers’ revolution – and there are some great scenes with Lenin, Stalin, et al, planning the Red Army’s course through the Ukraine and westwards. Poland has allied itself to Ukraine, believing that together they will be strong eno9ugh to repulse the Soviet advance when either alone would fall.
What follows is an occasionally clumsy and unsophisticated kind of docu-drama, showing the chaos of military action at a time in between the mechanised methods of WW2 and the traditional cavalry and foot-soldiers. The narrative highlights the massive confusion; how men who fought against each other in WW1 now unite against a different side: how Russian Cossacks switch sides to fight for the Poles and against the Red Army. We follow our two characters through their own wars, and see the decisions being made by the generals – there’s even a tip of the hat to the polish codebreakers (without whom Station X would have initially struggled) and a surprisingly nuanced segment alongside a Soviet commissar, bringing freedom to the peasants at gunpoint.
Inevitably, the personal story veers into slushy sentimentality that would have done Spielberg proud, but the historical plot was fascinating to watch unfold. If Warsaw had fallen then so might the rest of eastern Europe, long before the USSR spread its influence after WW2.

A surprisingly enjoyable and informative feature film. And stacks of battlefield action with things being blown up, if that’s your thing…
7/10
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The most important battle you've never heard of deserves a better film, 8 Sept. 2012
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This film is let down by a poor script, flat direction and colourless male lead performance. The key point of the battle was a daring counter attack so why does the last battle scene have the Russians attacking? The film does do good by showing how radio communication and code-breaking are crucial to warfare; but fails in the key aspect of capturing the times and what it really meant to Poland. You are better off with Zamojski's book which really takes you there; or the Polish television series Wojna i Milosc. I have only seen one episode of the latter and it hit the spot far better than this entire film did.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poles beat the Russians, 16 Mar. 2012
A war of which many western viewers will be unaware. A little over-romanticised but an interesting historic portrayal of the events at the end of World War 1 in Eastern Europe. Good characterisation of Pilsudski (Polish leader) and Wieniwa Dlugoszowski (his close confidant). Warsaw between the wars (WW1 and WW2) was one of the livliest capital cities in Europe - well reflected in many of the film's scenes.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good film which coiuld have been great, 8 Nov. 2014
By 
M. jackson - See all my reviews
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For me it was a bit of a mixed bag. When it focused on the spectacle of the armies and on the battle scenes it was outstanding - up there with Private Ryan but the plotting was a mixed bag. The scenes around the the generals and planners were not linked in well enough to know what was going on and where in relation to each other so it was a bit chaotic. The romantic hero plot is contrived and a waste of screen time which tried to bring a human side to the fighting but failed. The female led story however was superbly pitched and acted. Miss Urbanska is a wonderful singer and actress and was outstanding among the cast. Her story and the battle scenes are what make this film worth watching. The producers clearly watched " O what a lovely war" and "A Bridge to far" but needed to follow through.
Highly recommended but with regrets for what might have been.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just feels quite disjointed and a bit of an ego ..., 22 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Battle of Warsaw (Battle of Warsaw 1920) [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Just feels quite disjointed and a bit of an ego trip for Olbrychski who plays Pilsudski. Worthwhile viewing by those who don't know of this battle which saved Europe from the Soviet Empire until 1945 at least.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice, 29 Mar. 2014
A rare war film set in history period between I and II WW. What is even more interesting is how subtle this film is considering his heavy war and historical subject. Very original.
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