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Press Release Criterion Press Release: Ashes & Diamonds (1958) (Blu-ray) (1 Viewer)

Ronald Epstein

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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.

FILM INFO​

  • Poland
  • 1958
  • 103 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.66:1
  • Polish
  • Spine #285

SPECIAL FEATURES​

  • Blu-ray: New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • 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

    New cover illustrated by Danijel Zezelj, with lettering by Jillian Adel

PURCHASE OPTIONS​

Coming soon, available Aug 24, 2021
BLU-RAY1 Disc$27.96SRP: $39.95

 

Ronald Epstein

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Thank you for supporting HTF when you preorder using the link below. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link. As an Amazon Associate HTF earns from qualifying purchases

 
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titch

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Kevin Oppegaard
Have been waiting for this for the longest time. In Martin Scorsese's top 10


Criterion still lacks hi-def editions of Contempt and Salvatore Guiliano from his list (but both are available in decent region B blu-rays).
 

bujaki

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Jose Ortiz-Marrero
Can the other 2 films forming the Trilogy be far behind?
The Criterion Channel recently showed Ashes and Diamonds; it must have been the new transfer since it looked gorgeous.
 

jayembee

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Can the other 2 films forming the Trilogy be far behind?
The Criterion Channel recently showed Ashes and Diamonds; it must have been the new transfer since it looked gorgeous.

Depends on how much work is needed. Criterion says this is from a new 4K restoration, but sometimes they have creative ideas about what constitutes "new". I wonder if this is the same as what was in the third Masterpieces of Polish Cinema set. If so, that would be a good reason why this was ready for release and not the other two.
 

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