Konrad Nałęcki, the main Director responsible for the series, filmed it based on a book by Janusz Przymanowski, who also wrote the script for this TV series.
Czterej pancerni i pies/Four tank-men and a dog is one of the most-legendary film series made by Polish Television, considered to be the best Polish film series of all time, together with Stawka większa niż życie/More Than Life at Stake.
The series portrays the combat trail of the crew of tank No. 102, nicknamed Rudy.
The success of the series was the result of a combination of several elements. One of the most-important was the light and full-of-humour approach to the War which had ended 21 years ago, bereft of any martyrdom.
Another solid aspect of the series was the excellent acting skills demonstrated by both the actors in the leading roles and those playing episodic parts.
The pilot episode of the series, Załoga (The Crew), was broadcast on 9th May 1966, at 8:00 p.m., on Polish Television.
The film crew visited four locations in the Province of Kujawsko-Pomorskie, namely Świecie, Starogród near Chełmno, Bydgoszcz, and Toruń.
The greatest number of shots was taken in Bydgoszcz, where as many as 4 episodes of the second series were filmed.
The following episodes were filmed in Bydgoszcz: Zamiana (episode 9), Czerwona seria (episode 14), Wysoka woda (episode 15), and Daleki patrol (episode 16).
The film crew camped by the Brda River from 19th August 1968 to the end of September 1968. In the episodes mentioned above, Bydgoszcz played the German town called Ritzen, where the tank crew experienced some serious fighting. The filmmakers used various locations, including
In Toruń, the film crew did shooting for episode 6, entitled Burza. The filmmakers used the access way to the Józef Piłsudski Bridge from the direction of the Old Town.The Old Parish Church in Świecie played in episode 16 entitled Daleki patrol, in which it became the place where Janek and Marusia meet for a date, while the area near Chełmno by the Vistula River was used to film the crossing over the Brda River (in the film, it is the Vistula River), and the scene in which the tank crew of Rudy is captured – it happens in episode 13, entitled Zakład o śmierć.
Czterej pancerni i pies / Four tank-men and a dog
Poland 1966-1970, TV series
Directed by: Konrad Nałęcki, Andrzej Czekalski
Screenplay: Janusz Przymanowski, Maria Przymanowska, Stanisław Wohl
Cinematography: Romuald Kropat, Mikołaj Sprudin
Music: Wojciech Kilar, Adam Walaciński
Produced by: Zespół Realizatorów Filmowych Syrena, Wytwórnia Filmów Fabularnych in Wrocław, Wytwórnia Filmów Fabularnych in Łódź
Cast: Janusz Gajos, Wiesław Gołas, Franciszek Pieczka, Włodzimierz Press, Roman Wilhelmi, Pola Raksa, Małgorzata Niemirska, and others.
The 1st Degree Award of the Ministry of Culture and Art for Janusz Przymanowski, Konrad Nałęcki, Stanisław Wohl, and Romuald Kropat. The 1st Degree Award of the Ministry of National Defence for Janusz Przymanowski, Stanisław Wohl, Konrad Nałęcki, Romuald Kropat, Pola Raksa, Janusz Gajos, Tadeusz Kalinowski, Janusz Kłosiński, Franciszek Pieczka, Włodzimierz Press, and Roman Wilhelmi.
* A complex analysis of the filmmakers’ visit to Bydgoszcz was published by Tomasz Izajasz, Łukasz Mamert-Nadolski, PhD, Łukasz Skoczek, Magdalena Jurczyk, and Karolina Glabus, as a book entitled Czterej pancerni i pies – śladami filmowej sagi w Bydgoszczy, Four tank and the dog-the footsteps of the film saga in Bydgoszcz, in which they listed all the locations in Bydgoszcz used in the film series.