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The Deluge (Potop)
The Deluge
Actors: Daniel Olbrychski, Malgorzata Braunek, Tadeusz Lomnicki, Kazimierz Wichniarz, Wladyslaw Hancza
Director: Jerzy Hoffman
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
UR     2004     5hr 15min

Following up on WITH FIRE AND SWORD, this is the heady second volume in the classic trilogy of warfare, romance, and derring do. War rages across Europe in the 17th century. A dashing warrior fights for the heart of a yo...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Daniel Olbrychski, Malgorzata Braunek, Tadeusz Lomnicki, Kazimierz Wichniarz, Wladyslaw Hancza
Director: Jerzy Hoffman
Creators: Jerzy Wójcik, Jerzy Hoffman, Zenon Piórecki, Adam Kersten, Henryk Sienkiewicz, Wojciech Zukrowski
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
Studio: Polart
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 05/18/2004
Original Release Date: 04/00/1975
Theatrical Release Date: 04/00/1975
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 5hr 15min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Polish
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Horrible Quality DVD - Good Movie
Polvaga | Washington DC | 08/21/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Don't buy this DVD distributed by Polart. It looks as if someone setup a video camera and then videotaped the movie playing on a cheap TV. You can actually see the TV scan lines in the picture. Plus the colors are washed out to a dull uniform gray, and the picture is literally crooked on the screen (their video camera wasn't pointed directly at the TV, but was off to the side somewhere).

If you can get a copy of the Polish release, you'll see this movie with the colors and picture intact. But you will not get subtitles. That's the only reason to buy this Polart release.

NOTE: Polart recently remastered these DVDs. I took a chance and purchased the new ones - they are greatly improved. Still not the highest quality, but worth buying."
Film Shows Its Age
(2 out of 5 stars)

"This film shows its age in both a positive and negative way. Produced during the 70's, i.e. at the height of the Soviet occupation, it treads lightly while dealing with Poland's war-torn history. At one point a lead character explains that he is willing to accept Swedish rule temporarily in order to use their assistance against Poland's other "enemies." Since these enemies - Russians and Ukrainians - made up the bulk of the Soviet occupation forces, it is hardly surprising that they are not named. The acting in the film is overwrought, especially in the beginning. Making matters worse, the lead, Daniel Olbrychinski, is made-up like a silent film star. In an effort to impress the audience with the size of the Swedish army invading the country, the Director marches the same 40 or 50 extras past the camera about 10 times. (...) That said, this film is worth seeing (if not owning) if you're interested in Eastern European History circa the seventeenth century. (...)"
One of the greatest epics ever made
William A. Levinson | Wilkes-Barre, PA USA | 03/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The protagonist, Andrei Kmicic, is a headstrong young man whose thoughtless violence gets him in trouble and threatens his relationship with his fiancee Olenka Billevich. When war breaks out with Sweden he swears allegiance to Janusz Radziwill, the Hetman of Lithuania. What he doesn't know is that Radziwill has conspired to betray the Commonwealth to the Swedes.

Kmicic (or Kmita) goes along with Radziwill, thus earning the hatred and contempt of former comrades like Michael Wolodyjowski. Upon learning just how bad the Radziwills are, however, he changes sides in an attempt to redeem himself. Sienkiewicz has him play a central role in the siege of Czestochowa (Poland's Fort McHenry), and Sweden's failure to capture the fortress may in fact have been the turning point of the war. He also saves the King of Poland from an ambush and later plays a central role in winning a decisive battle.

As shown in the book, Sienkiewicz actually meant Kmita to symbolize the unruly Polish nobility while Olenka symbolized Poland itself. Of the three books in the Trilogy, "The Deluge" is probably the best because of the protagonist's character development throughout the story and the epic struggle to liberate Poland from the Swedes.

The film's color quality leaves something to be desired and in fact seems to become black-and-white when distant objects are involved. This is perhaps due to the fact that Poland was still under Soviet control and the quality of everything in the Eastern Bloc may have been second-rate. The story and the performances are nonetheless every bit as good if not better than any four-star epic from the black-and-white era and there are no problems with the soundtrack."
An epic history that captures the spirit of Polish patriotis
Richard J. Brzostek | New England, USA | 06/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Potop (The Deluge) is the second film directed Jerzy Hoffman depicting the 17th century adventures of Henryk Sienkiewicz's trilogy of novels. This epic history captures the spirit of Polish patriotism at the time when the Swedes scourged the Polish countryside in the 1650s. The story is not entirely straightforward, but has some twists and intrigues.

Daniel Olbrychski plays Kmicic in this film, who gets himself into several touchy situations where doing what seemed right at the time created problems for himself and his reputation. He faces several ethical dilemmas as his actions led to him killing his fellows and his country. As much as he tries to make a good choice, he comes up short. He puts himself in the "line of fire" several times trying to make up for his misdeeds. To me, this was an amazing part of the film as we all try to do well, but do not always make the wisest of decisions. As this theme was repeated several times, it made an impression on me that the film is not just a war story, but has meaningful messages as well, such as our attempt to make the right choices in life.

Kmicic at first seems annoying and even boorish, but as we get to know him, he becomes a very likeable and charming character. The fact that Olbrychski convincingly makes us dislike this character then love him is a reflection of his strong acting skill. Olbrychski plays a different role in all three of Hoffman's movies of the Sienkiewicz trilogy, but this one is the largest, being the lead character.

Potop brings us close and personal into 17th century warfare. Although the battles are gruesome, I have to say the effects and costumes are remarkably well done for this 1974 film. We get to see duels on foot and horseback, the siege of Czestochowa in which the Swedes and the Poles both use cannons to bombard each other, and a large-scale battle in which Tartars then winged-hussars attack a Swedish formation. My favorite has to be all the cannons, so much so that it makes me want to get one. I highly recommend Potop for those that enjoy historic epics. The movie has it all: war, love, and even deeper meanings if we look for them.