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Man of Iron (1981)

Czlowiek z zelaza (original title)
A few years after the events of Man of Marble (1977), a journalist investigates Mateusz Birkut's son Maciek Tomczyk, now an activist leading a shipyard strike.


Andrzej Wajda


Aleksander Scibor-Rylski (scenario)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jerzy Radziwilowicz ... Maciek Tomczyk / Mateusz Birkut
Krystyna Janda ... Agnieszka
Marian Opania ... Winkel
Wieslawa Kosmalska Wieslawa Kosmalska ... Wieslawa Hulewicz
Irena Byrska ... Matka Hulewicz
Boguslaw Linda ... Dzidek
Lech Walesa ... Lech Walesa
Anna Walentynowicz Anna Walentynowicz ... Anna Walentynowicz
Jerzy Borowczak ... Stanislaw J. Borowczak (as Stanislaw J. Borowczak)
Zbigniew Lis Zbigniew Lis ... Zbigniew Lis
Teodor Kudla Teodor Kudla ... Teodor Kudla
Franciszek Trzeciak ... Badecki
Janusz Gajos ... Z-Ca Szefa
Andrzej Seweryn ... Kapt. Wirski
Marek Kondrat ... Grzenda


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. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Drama | History


PG | See all certifications »

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Did You Know?


This was the first, and so far the only, sequel to win the Golden Palm at Cannes Film Festival. It was also the first Polish film to win this prize - the second was Roman Polanski's "The Pianist" in 2002. See more »


Maciej Tomczyk: You know why? Because students and workers all act alone. When we moved; they held back; now they're moving and we're scared. We'll always lose this way.
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Referenced in The Last Horror Film (1982) See more »


Ballada o Janku Wisniewskim
Music by Andrzej Korzynski
Lyrics by M. Cholwa
Performed by Krystyna Janda (vocal), Jacek Kaczmarski (guitar), Przemyslaw Gintrowski (guitar)
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User Reviews

One of the most important films from arguably the most important film movement in cinema history - the "Films of Moral Anxiety".
26 May 2001 | by dawidblejaSee all my reviews

This film movement, while in no way the most important film movement artistically, considerably helped morally support and unite the Poles into a decade long, almost nation-wide rebellion against the Communist party which bloomed into the freeing of the Polish state from Soviet rule. This was a catalyst for the break-up of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, the end of the cold war, and a new stability in Europe, and indeed the world. Only taking this into account can one watch "Czlowiek z Zelaza" and truly appreciate how powerful this film is.

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Release Date:

27 July 1981 (Poland) See more »

Also Known As:

Man of Iron See more »

Filming Locations:

Zespol Filmowy X Studio, Poland See more »


Box Office

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Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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