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Man of Iron (1981)

Czlowiek z zelaza (original title)
A worker becomes a "man of iron" forged by experience, a son comes to terms with his father, a couple fall in love, a reporter searches for courage, and a nation undergoes historic change. ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Agnieszka
...
Winkel
Wieslawa Kosmalska ...
Wieslawa Hulewicz
Irena Byrska ...
Matka Hulrwicz
...
Dzidek
...
Lech Walesa
Anna Walentynowicz ...
Anna Walentynowicz
Jerzy Borowczak ...
Stanislaw J. Borowczak (as Stanislaw J. Borowczak)
Zbigniew Lis ...
Zbigniew Lis
Teodor Kudla ...
Teodor Kudla
...
Badecki
...
Z-Ca Szefa
...
Kapt. Wirski
...
Grzenda
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Storyline

A worker becomes a "man of iron" forged by experience, a son comes to terms with his father, a couple fall in love, a reporter searches for courage, and a nation undergoes historic change. In Warsaw in 1980, the Party sends Winkel, a weak, alcoholic TV hack, to Gdansk to dig up dirt on the shipyard strikers, particularly on Maciek Tomczyk, an articulate worker whose father was killed in the December 1970 protests. Posing as sympathetic, Winkel interviews people who know Tomczyk, including his detained wife, Agnieszka. Their narrations become flashbacks using actual news footage of 1968 and 1970 protests and of the later birth of free unions and Solidarity. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

27 July 1981 (Poland)  »

Also Known As:

Man of Iron  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film got an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. However, because of the martial law in Poland, the communist authorities decided to withdraw it from competing for the award as they didn't want it to represent Poland. The winner in the category was eventually the Hungarian film "Mephisto", which previously lost the Golden Palm at Cannes with Wajda's movie. See more »

Quotes

Maciej Tomczyk: You know why? Because students and workers all act alone. When we moved; they held back; now they're moving and we're scared. We'll always lose this way.
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Connections

Follows Czlowiek z marmuru (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballada o Janku Wisniewskim
Music by Andrzej Korzynski
Lyrics by M. Cholwa
Performed by Krystyna Janda (vocal), Jacek Kaczmarski (guitar), Przemyslaw Gintrowski (guitar)
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User Reviews

 
Poland triumphs...as does Wajda
13 March 2003 | by See all my reviews

What you need to know about "Man of Iron":

1. Palme D'Or 1981

2.Wajda's sequel to "Man of Marble"

3.Sweet-a** performances from Poland's acting elite

****NOTE**** Ok, you really do have to have a Warsaw-pact historical/political background when approaching this film, because it's compactly interwoven into flashback sequences recalling various anti-commie events (worker's movements and so on). And yes, that's mustachioed Lech Walesa making a cameo. If you have no idea what the Solidarnost movement was read up before watching this. Of course, the emotional and thus universal element is present (Maciek and Agnieska's love, etc) but this is mostly a story of survival and determination in the face of corruption and political hostilities. Polish people took amazing steps against their government as early as the late 60s, and here we see the triumphant and climactic finish to these efforts. Wajda incorporates interesting documentary footage within the film to make it more effective and appealing to his audience.

See "Man of Iron" and feel nostalgia for the times when Eastern Europe saw change as a forthcoming and hopeful force. Classic.


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