• Poland
  • 1957
  • 96 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 1.33:1
  • Polish
  •  
  • Spine #284

“Watch them closely, for these are the last hours of their lives,” announces a narrator, foretelling the tragedy that unfolds as a war-ravaged company of Home Army resistance fighters tries to escape the Nazi onslaught through the sewers of Warsaw. Determined to survive, the men and women slog through the hellish labyrinth, piercing the darkness with the strength of their individual spirits. Based on true events, Kanal was the first film ever made about the Warsaw Uprising and brought director Andrzej Wajda to the attention of international audiences, earning the Special Jury Prize in Cannes in 1957.

Cast

Stokrotka (Daisy)Teresa Izewska
Korab/JacekTadeusz Janczar
ZadraWienczyslaw Glinski
Kula (Bullet)Tadeusz Gwiazdowski
Smukly (Slim)Stanislaw Mikulski
Madry (Wise)Emil Karewicz
The composer/MichalWladyslaw Sheybal
HalinkaTeresa Berezowska

Credits

DirectorAndrzej Wajda
ScreenplayJerzy Stefan Stawinski
From the short story byJerzy Stefan Stawinski
CinematographyJerzy Lipman
CameraJerzy Wojcik
Second directorKazimierz Kutz
Assistant directorsAnna Janeczkowa, Janusz Morgenstern, Maria Starzenska and Roman Mann
Production managerStanislaw Adler
SoundJozef Bartczak
EditingHalina Nawrocka
MusicJan Krenz

Disc Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Andrzej Wajda: On Kanal, a 27-minute exclusive new interview with the director, assistant director Janusz Morgenstern, and film critic Jerzy Plazewski
  • Jan Nowak-Jezioranski: Courier from Warsaw, a new 28-minute interview by Wajda of a Warsaw Uprising insider
  • Rare behind-the-scenes production photos, publicity stills, and posters
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A new essay by film critic John Simon

Film Essays

Kanal

By John Simon April 25, 2005

There was also, let it not be forgotten, a Polish New Wave, even if not so labeled. One of its big billows for our imagination to surf on was Andrzej Wajda’s Kanal, made in 1956 and released in . . . Read more »

Dispatches

Pdc-with-wajda_thumbnail

Flashback: Andrzej Wajda

By Peter Cowie September 30, 2013

The author describes his interactions with the great Polish filmmaker. Read more »


Film Essays

Kanal

By John Simon April 25, 2005

There was also, let it not be forgotten, a Polish New Wave, even if not so labeled. One of its big billows for our imagination to surf on was Andrzej Wajda’s Kanal, made in 1956 and released in . . . Read more »