WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Ashes And Diamonds

Reviewed In Issue 12 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Zbigniew Cybuiski, Eva Krzyzewska, Adam Pawlikoski & Bogumil Kobiela

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 2
Sound Rating: 1.5
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): Criterion Collection
(Catalog Number): CC1394L-242
(MPAA Rating): NC-17
(Retail Price): $$49.95
(Running Time In Minutes): 105
(Color Type): Black & White
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): No
(Theatrical Release): 1958
(LD Release Date): 8/1/94
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Andrzej Wadja
(Screenplay/Written By): Andrzej Wajda & Jerry Andrzejewski
(Story): NA
(Music): Fillp Nowak & The Wroclaw Rhythm Quintet
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Roman Mann
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): Halina Nawrocka
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): NA
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Film Polski

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Flat
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 1.85:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 1.78:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Mono Sound
(Theatrical Sound): Optical Mono
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital): No
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround): No
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Andrzej Wajda’s Ashes And Diamonds is an intense and brilliant film that emerged from the new Polish cinema in the early sixties. Set in a small provincial town in Poland during the German capitulation in 1945, the story is a chilling account of Poland’s first day of peace after World War II, dealing with the emergence of a Russian supported Communist regime that is threatened by armed opponents. A regional party member has arrived in town to set up the new government, but so have two underground soldiers with instructions to assassinate him. The film is both dynamic and stark, and a controversial film in its time, depicting a brutal history with great theatrical drama and astounding visual imagery.

LaserDisc Picture:
The black and white picture has been matted at 1.75:1. Image quality is poor. Apparently the transfer element was a not so exceptional print. Noise and grain as well as artifacts are visible throughout. Torn and damaged segments show scratches that add to the reminder that this is deficient.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The soundtrack is presented in undistinguished monaural with pops and other distortions that are distracting.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz): No
(Aggressive System Surround): No
(Intense 25Hz Bass): No
(Deep Bass Challenging): No
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield): No
(Aggressive Split Surround): No
(Center Back Surround Imaging): No
(Directionalized Dialogue): No
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition: