Pan Twardowski (1936)

Article 5315 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 12-5-2016
Directed by Henryk Szaro
Featuring Franciszek Brodniewicz, Kazimierz Junosza-Stepowski, Maria Bogda
Country: Poland
What it is: Faustian legend

Pan Twardowski sells his soul to the devil for supernatural powers, but attempts to trick him by making it impossible for him to collect.

The copy I found of this one was in Polish without English subtitles, but I wasn’t totally lost; it’s a variation on the Faust story, and it’s based on a well known Polish legend, so I was able to do a bit of research and read about the legend. Yes, some of the details did elude me, but I got the gist of it. This one clearly belongs in the realm of fantastic cinema; some of the scenes involving Satan are moody and scary, and Twardowski does exercise his magical powers several times during the course of the movie. It’s a fun movie in its way, though it does have a few problems; the music in particular is problematic, and there are times where it gives the scene a comic touch where none is intended. It’s also well acted, though it does get quite a bit theatrical at times. At any rate, it’s nice to take a foray into the world of Polish cinema, which has rarely happened in this series.


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