The famous film by Jerzy Passendorfer from 1958 (its première took place in 1959) portrays one of the most-`famed operations of the Polish Home Army during WWII. It was the assassination of SS-Brigadeführer and Police Leader Franz Kutschera, who was commonly known as the butcher of Warsaw. From day one after taking his office in Warsaw, he organised massive street roundups and executions. Each week, 300 people were executed. The successful assassination resulted in a significant reduction in the scale of Nazi terror.
Zamach/Assassination is an accurate film reconstruction of the operation from 1st February 1944. The film by Jerzy Passendorfer was a breeding ground for new talents in Polish cinema. The roles of men and women soldiers of the Home Army were played by actors who at the time had just started their film careers, but who would later go down in the history of Polish cinema. These were such masters of cinema as Tadeusz Łomnicki, Roman Kłosowski, Jan Kobuszewski, Stanisław Mikulski, and Wojciech Siemion, to name but a few.
The scene involving evacuating fighters “Sokół” and “Juno” from the battlefield (in the film, they have the pseudonyms “Zawada” and “Orzeł”) was filmed on the Józef Pilsudski bridge in Toruń. In the film, both fighters jump down from the Kierbedź Bridge into the Vistula River, after a shoot-out with the Germans, and drown. Since the bridge had been destroyed during the Warsaw Uprising, the film crew looked for a similar bridge, which could play the Kierbedź Bridge. They found the ideal candidate in Toruń.
Zamach / Assassination
Poland 1958, 81′
Directed by: Jerzy Passendorfer
Screenplay: Jerzy Passendorfer
Cinematography: Jerzy Lipman
Music: Adam Walaciński
Produced by: Zespół Filmowy Iluzjon
Cast: Bożena Kurowska, Grażyna Staniszewska, Zbigniew Cynkutis, Andrzej Kostenko, Roman Kłosowski, Tadeusz Łomnicki, and others.
Mar del Plata IFF – Second Prize of the Committee of Theatre Critics in Argentina, an award for the script; San Sebastian IFF – the FIPRESCI Prize and a Special Mention for the best script; the IFF in Mexico – an award for Best Director; the IFF in Guadalajara – The Silver Sombrero; the Cuneo International Film Festival dedicated to resistance movements – Gold Medal; and others.