Man of Iron (1981)

  • Year: 1981
  • Released: 27 Jul 1981
  • Country: Poland
  • Adwords: Nominated for 1 Oscar. 6 wins & 4 nominations total
  • IMDb:
  • Rotten Tomatoes:
  • Metacritics:
  • Available in: 720p, 1080p,
  • Language: Polish
  • MPA Rating: PG
  • Genre: Drama, History
  • Runtime: 156 min
  • Writer: Aleksander Scibor-Rylski
  • Director: Andrzej Wajda
  • Cast: Jerzy Radziwilowicz, Krystyna Janda, Marian Opania
  • Keywords: individual, strike,
80% – Audience

Man of Iron 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.—

Man of Iron Photos

Man of Iron Torrents Download

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Man of Iron Subtitles Download

Arabicsubtitle Czlowiek.z.Zelaza.1981.720p.BluRay.AVC
Arabicsubtitle Czlowiek.z.Zelaza.1981.720p.BluRay.AVC

Man of Iron Movie Reviews

A Dubious Redemption

A sequel and companion to and a parody of Man of Marble. Whereas Agnieska, a young woman and an idealist about what she can do, is trying to find the truth, here Winkel, middle-aged and alcoholic, is out to create convincing lies to discredit a strike-leader, the son of Agnieska’s subject and now her husband. The same process of flashback and revelation takes place, showing past strikes in the ship-works and how Maciej Tomczyk became the “man of iron”. The ironies here are harsher than in Man of Marble- there’s an unmentioned man of steel- Stalin, creator of communist Poland- lurking behind the scene; the state operatives- minister, shipyard manager, Captain Wirski of the police- have lost any of the idealism or beliefs that may once have inspired them and have only the belief in their right to rule. At the end the manager insists that an agreement imposed by force isn’t valid to explain why the one agreed to between Solidarity and the government will fail, without ever realising that that is why every government-imposed agreement has failed and would fail. We see Captain Wirski practising Polish Police martial arts- truncheon work- in a gym for exercise while his subordinates sympathise with and help the strikers. Finally, even if Winkel cannot tell the lies he is meant to, the strikers will not accept him as a friend; he is too tainted by his past. He has to go out and probably lose his job and face prison for the accident that was hushed-up but he may have begun to save his soul.

One fascinating thing about this film and Man of Marble is the revelation of how helpless the Polish government was. A dictatorship, with ideological control of the police, the film studios, the press, could not stop Wajda making films excoriating them. The best they could do was to censor them for Polish distribution.

An important but unknown film…

Typing in a correctly spelt ‘Man of Iron’ into a DVD search-engine and immediately every conceivable configuration of Robert Downing Jnr’s “Iron Man” comes up ….presuming that we are both illiterate morons AND couldn’t possibly want a 1981 film about Poland – made in Poland.

Even the most news-shy hermit could fail to have heard something about Solidarity, Gdansk and Lech Walesa’s rallying, admittedly 30 years ago but now is a time to reflect, with the dust settled.

Like many, I was already familiar with Poland’s most well-known (at least in the “west”) director Krzysztof Kieslowski but Andrzej Wajda was a name I’d heard but not seen his work. I’m always keen to see movies, especially long ones made about social issues by a native of that country and reviews were all favourable. Buying this Mr Bongo DVD, I was not disappointed.

Some other reviewers have gone into detail about the political ins & outs but it was the film itself I primarily wanted to see and I want to immediately commend both the casting and performance of Marian Opania, as Winkiel, who excellently conveys a very believable TV journalist whose lifestyle may be typical of the profession. We witness and share his hopes and anxieties, from squeezing out the cloth he used to mop up the vodka from the bottle he’d just broken into a toothbrush cup, his other mental and physical angsts and the very real situations of power- cuts and strikes that affect everything, such as the phones.

As Winkiel gets down to the task of reporting on the uprising from the inside, especially of the charismatic leader of the striking shipbuilders, Maciek Tomczyk, whose father was killed in the riots of 1970 and whose wife was detained. As the journalist interviews those around and who know Tomczyk scenes are recreated, including the occasional use of actual news footage which illustrate the various strands leading up to the strike.

Obviously, a lot more than this goes into a riveting two and a half hour film but hopefully, with your appetite whetted, you’ll now want to try it yourself. There’s a whole canvas here on which Poland is painted and it’s an absolutely fascinating one, but still well enough made to be both informative and entertaining.

Highly recommended for those who, like me, want to expand their World Cinema repertoire beyond the easily available/popular but still want to play safe as this is a universal film that just happens to made in the Polish language. If the subject matter is of particular interest too, well, you know it’s one for your online shopping cart!

Poland triumphs…as does Wajda

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.