Poland: Costume Dramas: Cine-Televisual Alliances in the Socialist and Post-Socialist Poland

Dorota Ostrowska and Małgorzata Radkiewicz

in European Cinemas in the Television Age

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780748623082
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651122 | DOI:
Poland: Costume Dramas: Cine-Televisual Alliances in the Socialist and Post-Socialist Poland

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In the 1960s, across Europe and the United States, the production of large-scale, spectacular, and costly historical blockbusters was seen as an expression of the battle between silver and small screen, in which cinema was trying to attract the spectators with a spectacle they would not be able to see on their television screens. In the socialist bloc countries such as Poland, the same period was marked by quite a different development. Instead of competition there was a deep synergy between the two media regarding the production and exhibition of lavish adaptations of the classics of national literature, which were compared to the Italian peplum, to westerns, to family melodramas, and to historical romances. Przygody Pana Micha ła (Sir Michael's Adventures, 1969) was compared to a western film; Noce i Dnie (Nights and Days, film 1975, TV serial 1977) was compared to a family soap opera by Maria A. Hessel (Hessel 1969); and Hrabina Cosel (Countess Cosel, film 1968, TV serial 1968) was praised for being a spectacular historical romance full of balls, duels, and galloping horses (Toeplitz 1968). Each of these major productions was accompanied by a television serial, which was an extended version of the cinematic film, shot using the same casts, crew, directors, locations, and decorations as the film, but adjusted to the needs of television. TV serials were characterised by an extended narrative scope and the division of episodes.

Keywords: Polish cinema; Polish television; films; synergy

Chapter.  9408 words. 

Subjects: Film

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