Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Sharing Polish & American Movies

My husband and I enjoy watching movies. Different ones, including TV series, comedies and history dramas, war films and adventure stories, SF and fantasy tales, documentaries and natural history shows, detective stories and educational programmes, thrillers and action movies. The ones made in the 30s and more recent productions. However, I need to mention, we are not very much keen on horrors. Anyway, we have watched tonnes of films together. I also introduced my husband to some Polish movies and he presented to me a few American ones, which I had not known before. If you have not seen them yet, maybe you will also watch them soon.

Since my hubbie is interested in WW2 history, most of the Polish movies we watched are various stories connected with that time frame/life in Poland during WW2. Needless to say, I like these films too.

1. The Four Tank Men And A Dog - TV series of my childhood. Everybody (in Poland) watched the adventures of the four friendly guys - a tank crew - and their dog Szarik. I used to have khaki shorts with a picture of Szarik on them. That was cool (when I was little)!
The series was created in 1966 - 1970 (three seasons altogether).

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2. Captain Kloss - More Than Life at Stake. Another series I grew up on. Everybody in Poland knew Captain Hans Closs - (fictional character) a Polish spy who operated as a Nazi Abwehr officer during WW2. The episodes were quite involving and interesting. Made in 1968.

3. How I Unleashed World War II (3 parts) - a comedy about a Polish soldier Franek Dolas who escapes from a stalag and his adventures on different fronts/different countries during the war. One of the movies I can watch again and again. Quite hilarious. Made in 1970.

4. The Law And The Fist. Made in 1964. The movie is regarded as one of the very first films made in a western convention. It does not show any cowboys though. "At the end of World War Two, Polish people move to the western lands vacated by Germans. But some ruthless profiteers pose as government representatives and intend to make off with loot from a deserted town they took over. One honest man stands up against them because he believes these goods belong to the people." (citation from:
I also like the song from this film.

5. The Sewer - another classic, made in 1956. It depicts the last days of the Warsaw Uprising 1944 and the desperate battle of an Uprising company against Nazis - occupants of the city. The fighters retreat through the Warsaw sewer system. Very tragic story.

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6. Vabank (two parts). A comedy which plot has nothing to do with the war. The plot is set in the 30s. The main character Kwinto is an old styled bank robber who wants to revenge a friend killed by Kramer's men. Kramer is a crook who used to be Kwinto's bank robbery associate. A good and funny movie with an interesting plot. Made in 1981.

7. Europa Europa - another WW2 movie. This one was directed by Agnieszka Holland, made in 1990. A story of a Jewish boy who tries to escape the Holocaust and survive in the Nazi Germany. He joins the Hitler Youth and pretends he is an 'Aryan' boy. Quite a movie.

And some of the American shows I was introduced to by my husband.

1. Kung Fu - TV series (first season made in 1972). I love the Shaolin teachings and philosophy included in all the episodes, and the calmness calming from it. It is interesting to know that David Carradine, who played the Kung Fu man, actually did not know any kung fu at the beginning of the first season - he learned it later. But thanks to his former ballet background, he was able to imitate kung fu-like moves and jumps. Very much my kind of show, I find the second season the weakest though.

2. Hatfields & McCoys (2012) - I learned the true story of two families involved in deadly feud which lasted almost thirty years (from 1863 to 1891). The story has become part of the American folklore lexicon so now, when I hear the names 'Hatfields' and 'McCoys', I kow what it means.

3. Band of Brothers (2001). The series was also presented on a Polish TV channel but somehow, when I lived in Poland, I never watched any episode. I am glad I finally did.  The story of the soldiers of Easy Company (the US Army 101st Airborne division) is as great as truly tragic. As tragic as the Second World War was. As any war is. I cried a lot while watching 'Band of Brothers'. It all reminded me of a man I used to know, who had thought during the war too. He never spoke of it though. I feel so bad now that I never cared to ask about it, did not show any interest. Maybe I was too young and too busy with my own life. Maybe he would not have wanted to talk about it anyway. I do hope that, although he is gone and no longer among us, he knows how much his and his fellow soldiers' sacrifice has been appreciated.

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4.  Combat! Made in 1962/1967. A TV series about a frontline American infantry squad who fights in Europe during WW2. We watched a few episodes - an interesting fact is that each of them includes a  kind of moral/personal studies of individual characters. In a way the series reminds me 'The Four Men And A Dog' as they were made almost at the same time. But of course, Combat! is totally different. Much more serious.
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5. The Three Stooges - first episode made in 1925. I knew Laurel and Hardy but did not know the three funny guys and their adventures.

 6. Lonesome Dove. Mini TV series made in 1989. A 'story about two former Texas rangers who decide to move cattle from the south to Montana. Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call run into many problems on the way, and the journey doesn't end without numerous casualties' (citation from Quite involving and interesting plot based on the novel by Larry McMurtry. I wish we could watch the Lonesome Dove sequel/s made later.

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7. The Rifleman - TV series (made 1958/1963) about a rancher Lucas McCain and his son Mark. The plot is set in the 1870s and 1890s in New Mexico. I especially like the intro of each and every episode.

8.The Howdy Doody Show - children's TV show (1947/1960).

Howdy Doody to you!


  1. Pretty good list! Would love to see some of these. Currently I'm enjoying North and South. First time I watched it back in Poland in the 80s, but it's a whole different experience to watch it as a grown up, and living in the US. Still, I love this movie almost as much as Gone with the Wind.

    1. I remember North & South - watched in Poland too. Quite a coincidence - recently I talked to my husband about it, that - living in the South now - it would be good to watch it again.