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Kanal (1957)

Drama | 95 minutes
3,71 102 votes

Genre: Drama / War

Duration: 95 minuten

Alternative title: Kanał

Country: Poland

Directed by: Andrzej Wajda

Stars: Teresa Iżewska, Tadeusz Janczar and Wieńczysław Gliński

IMDb score: 7,9 (8.021)

Releasedate: 20 April 1957


This movie is not available on US streaming services.


Kanal plot

Story about Polish patriots during the 63-day-long uprising in Warsaw against the Germans in 1944. In the last week, the Germans decide to mass search all freedom fighters who are still alive. One group of Poles heads into the sewers, where they are quickly disoriented by the stench and darkness. Whenever they find a point of orientation, the Germans are already waiting for them.

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Full Cast & Crew

Actors and actresses

łączniczka "Stokrotka"

Podchorąży Jacek "Korab", dowódca plutonu

Porucznik "Zadra", dowódca kompanii

Sierżant "Kula", szef kompanii

"Smukły", zastępca "Koraba"

Porucznik "Mądry", zastępca "Zadry"

Kompozytor Michał (w napisach: Władysław Sheybal)

łączniczka Halinka

Kobieta szukająca córki

[obsada aktorska]

Reviews & comments


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avatar van wibro


  • 11590 messages
  • 4098 votes

The 2nd film in Wajda's war trilogy and I liked it much better than the debut. the insurgents tried to find a way out through the sewers to the river or another exit. But all exits appeared to be barricaded with bars or grenades and, if they were not, the Germans were waiting for them. Very impressive images where, unlike the first film of the triptych Pokolenie (1955), I was barely able to detect a trace of communist propaganda.

By the way, I have to correct mrklm. This film was not set during the uprising in the Jewish ghetto of 1943, but it concerns the heroic uprising of the Polish resistance army Armia Krajowa that started on August 1, 1944 but was unfortunately doomed to failure due to a lack of outside support, with the result that almost all of Warsaw was razed to the ground by the Nazis. At the beginning of the film we saw authentic images of this.


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avatar van Shadowed


  • 8469 messages
  • 5312 votes


Special piece of film in which we actually see two different films. The first part seems to focus more on the war above ground, while the second part focuses on the underground. In principle, that also entails a very different kind of genre.

The first part is mainly a war drama that is significantly better presented than the second part. Greatly constructed environments where the war is depicted widely and completely over the ruins. It certainly produces some very nice and beautiful images for that time. Unfortunately, there are also characters in those images.

From women whose hair always looks good to men who cannot read any meaningful dialogue, it is a somewhat disruptive factor for the clear visual beauty. This gets in the way of the film, especially during the second half, as the second half is more of a psychological thriller where we spread through a sewer. That just doesn't interest you one bit.

All in all it is well made and astonishingly good even for its time. A bit of a forgotten film from the looks of it, but if the film continued as it did in the first half it could easily have received a passing grade. Perhaps it is not the story that the film wanted to tell, but it is a film that works better because the focus is less on characters.

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avatar van Fisico

Fisico (moderator films)

  • 8407 messages
  • 4719 votes

A solid war drama set during the Second World War in Poland. A platoon or small battalion of soldiers is fleeing the encirclement by the Germans. Well depicted and the decor with destroyed buildings and streets looks very neat.

Then there is the escape into the sewers. It results in a claustrophobic film in which psychological fear and despair also surface. You can almost smell the filth in the living room. All in all, a cynical film in which heroes are subordinate to the fate that awaits them.

The film looked quite raw and realistic. Fortunately, we were also able to support the energetic and, above all, stunning Teresa Izewska.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original