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Colonel Wolodyjowski DVD
by Richard Brzostek Date Added: Thursday 10 August, 2006
"Pan Wolodyjowski" is Jerzy Hoffman's 1969 classic historical film, at the time of the Turkish invasion, in 1668. At this time, Poland controlled lands far beyond its current borders, but was under constant invasion by its neighbors. Some of the images of warfare and conquest in this film may send a shiver down your back.

After the death of his fiance, Pan Wolodyjowski, one of the greatest swordsmen of the time, enters a monastery. His friends sense the impending wars with the advance of the Turkish army and trick him into leaving before he takes his vows. Shortly thereafter, he falls in love with a woman, but she ends up falling for his Scottish friend Ketling. However, the third time is a charm, and Pan Wolodyjowski soon focuses his attention on another woman named Basia, whom he marries.

Pan Wolodyjowski is sent to a frontier region, where his troubles intensify. One of the nobles in that region took in a boy named Azja (as played by Daniel Olbrychski) he found in the steppe and raised him. Azja took a liking the nobleman's daughter when he was older and both were punished for their love of each other. Now bitter, Azja takes a liking to Basia and manipulates her in order to attempt to kidnap her. To make matters worse, Azja turns out to be the son of Tuhaj-Bej and could be the Kahn of the Crimea if he so desired. The traitorous tartars that served Poland follow the command of Azja and turn on the Polish nobles of the area, resulting in one of the saddest and most unfortunate scenes in the film.

However, more action is in sight, for the Turks reach the region and scale a major battle. With the Poles winning several small battles earlier, a long siege is in store for them with a less clear outcome.

This 147-minute film is based on the third novel in the historical fiction of Henryk Sienkiewicz. The other two novels, "Ogniem i Mieczem" and "Potop," have also been made into films by Jerzy Hoffman. Incidentally, Daniel Olbrychski also plays Tuhaj-Bej in the film " Ogniem i Mieczem " (1999), and also has a role in "Potop" (1974).

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
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