Deluge, The (1974): Hoffman’s Polish Oscar-Nominated Historical Epic

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Jerzy Hoffman directed The Deluge (Polish: Potop), a historical drama based on the 1886 novel by Henryk Sienkiewicz.

Grade: B+ (**** out of *****)

The Deluge
Potop plakat.jpg

It was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar at the 47th Academy Awards, but lost to Fellini’s Amarcord.

The third-most popular in the history of Polish cinema, The Deluge film sold more than 27 million tickets sold by 1987. It was also popular in the Soviet Union, with 30.5 million admissions. Union.

The tale is set in the 16th century during the Swedish invasion of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, 1655 to 1658, known as The Deluge, which was thwarted by the Polish-Lithuanian forces.

However, a quarter of the Polish-Lithuanian population died through war and plague, and the country’s economy was devastated.

The original film was digitally restored and shown on Polish T.V. in December, 2013.

For the film’s 40th anniversary, in 2004, a new cut named Potop Redivivus was released, which is two hours shorter than the original.

Daniel Olbrychski as Andrzej Kmicic
Małgorzata Braunek as Oleńka Billewiczówna
Tadeusz Łomnicki as Michał Wołodyjowski
Kazimierz Wichniarz as Jan Onufry Zagłoba
Władysław Hańcza as Janusz Radziwiłł
Leszek Teleszyński as Bogusław Radziwiłł
Ryszard Filipski as Soroka
Wiesława Mazurkiewicz as Aunt Kulwiecówna


Directed by Jerzy Hoffman
Written by Jerzy Hoffman, Adam Kersten, Wojciech Zukrowski
Based on The Deluge by Henryk Sienkiewicz
Cinematography Jerzy Wójcik
Edited by Zenon Piórecki
Music by Kazimierz Serocki

Production company: Zespoły Filmowe

Running time: 287 minutes