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Polish movies with English subtitles

ranjit 1 | 11
1 Apr 2008 #1
I have been looking for ever to get a source for polish movies with english subtitles.
I would appreciate any info
1 Apr 2008 #2
Welcome to the forum, but be sure to check other threads, lest you find your post merged with one of the other threads already in existence.
isthatu 3 | 1,164
1 Apr 2008 #3
Hi ranjit,a good one,though not in the stricktest sense a Polish movie(despite most of it being in Warsaw and the cast and crew being 99.9% Polish) is Three colours White,available in HMV etc with subtitles(and the added bonus of Julie Delphy ;) )
EbonyandBathory 5 | 249
1 Apr 2008 #4
Also Criterion issues a box set of three films by Wadja- "Generation," "Kanal," and "Ashes and Diamonds." A&D in my opinion is the greatest Polish film of all time and Kanal is just a few steps behind, although I wish they offered Man of Iron instead of Generation but what can you do. All three have English subtitles as well as great bonus features. They're expensive (around 50 to 70 USD) and you can't buy them separately (at least not through Criterion which does the best job of DVD transfer in the business) but I think they're worth it. If you're into expensive Polish films, the ten part "Decologue" is also breathtaking and it can be ordered through amazon with subtitles, but it will set you back upwards of 100 bucks.
isthatu 3 | 1,164
1 Apr 2008 #5
Fantastic recomendations there Mr President :)
EbonyandBathory 5 | 249
1 Apr 2008 #6
I'm a big fan of the 3 Colors Trilogy myself so hats off to you, isthatu, or in your case, Polish Airborne plk caps off to you.
isthatu 3 | 1,164
1 Apr 2008 #7
I havent actually seen the other 2 yet,over here Polish films can be stoopidly expensive..Europa Europa cost me £25 on DVD (about $900 ;) )
But Wajdas Trilogy pops up now and again on one of our Digital Free channels,Film4. Decalouge was shown in full on the BBC a year or so ago too( the hanging scene reaffirmed my abomination of the death penalty,gruesome.)

I was also surprised to find on my last trip to Poland that Kanal wasnt available on DVD so for a couple of years I had to make do with picking out some of the dialouge on a non subtitled video cassete and make the rest of the story up from my knowladge of the uprising :)
Kennitz 5 | 32
1 Apr 2008 #8
Hey ranjit,

I order my movies from and they are quick. The site is in English and they are based in Florida, in the U.S. You pay the same as any other DVD, like 15 dollars or so. Also, they clearly say if it is English sublitited, but almost all I looked at say they were.

Hope this helps you or anyone else.
isthatu 3 | 1,164
1 Apr 2008 #9
If he's in Europe the US DVDs may be the wrong region...
Krzysztof 2 | 973
1 Apr 2008 #10
ranjit, I really don't know your taste, so I just tell you what you can/could buy in Poland (I'm guessing you're living here like your profile says).

From my collection, films that have Eng subs listed on their cover (I haven't checked each of them, but let's hope the are no mistakes):

- Sami Swoi, S.Chęciński, 1967 / (my vote 9.5 out of 10)/ hilarious comedy, set in the post war Poland, portraying conflicts of the "old" (peasant traditions) with the "new" (communist state), great performances by leading actors, a cult movie in Poland (also PL subtitles).

- Wszystko co najważniejsze, R. Gliński, 1992 / 7 out of 10 / drama, based on a biographical book, Polish family (husband communist, - mother of Jewish origin + son), separated and deported by Russians (WWII) to Kazachstan (mother and son), their struggles with everyday life, humiliations by both Russians guards and Polish co-prisoners (because they're atheist/communist, and also Jewish).

- Dekalog, K. Kieślowski, indeed 100 bucks (also here), but it's 10 episodes (each one is ~55 minutes and it's not a TV series, though made for TV) it's basically 10 (maybe 8, depending on taste) good or very good movies for the price of 10 bucks each. (the series is rather famous, so I won't go into details, the Polish release DVD cover mentions also PL and French subtitles).

- Pornografia, J.J. Kolski, 2003, based on a book by famous (yet not much translated into English) Polish writer, Witold Gombrowicz, can't say if it's good or not, because I don't fancy Kolski so I just bought the DVD a while ago (because of Gombrowicz), but haven't seen the movie yet :(

- Pół serio, 2000, Ciało, 2003, both by T. Konecki (the second one co-directed by his scriptwriter A. Saramonowicz), Pół serio gets 6 out of 10 from me, Ciało 6.5. Pół serio is para-biographical - about a 2 young film makers that want to make their first movie, so they show their script to a producer who, depending on his mood, is forcing them to re-write the script to make it a bloody action movie, or a Star Wars wannabe, or Bergmanesque, or modern Romeo and Juliett (with product placement going way overboard), it's actually a series of loose episodes (because all those attempts at different cinematographic styles are shown in a form of 5-10 minutes pieces), not very coherent, on purpose. Ciało is close to absurd, misadventures of a dead body transported by nuns from abroad, for the funeral in Poland, the deceased was their fellow nun who died in Hungary or Czech Rep., but because of robbery the body ends up in a wrong place and subsequently changes hands several times, because there's another body in a movie etc.

- Pręgi, M. Piekorz, 2004, my vote 8 or 6 (depending on the mood) out of 10. A drama, divided into 2 parts, first the main character is a child (I like this part of the movie more), in the second part he's a 25 y.o. or so man. It's about a difficult (and phisically painful) relations with his father and later him not being able to liberate himself from the childhood trauma, but also from the father's shadow (going into his footsteps too much).

- Nóż w wodzie, R. Polański, 1962, my vote 10/10. Polański's only movie made in Poland (except of course his shorts), a psychodrama for 3 (a married couple and a stranger) on a boat. The tensions between the the older, rich husband, his younger wife and the young hitchhiker. The problem is that the Polish release (by TVP / Best Film) has a VHS tape quality of the picture, so maybe check if there hasn't been a new release with restored picture. Criterion release probably lacks some crucial dialogues in the subtitles, if I'm not mistaken.

Wojna światów - następne stulecie, 1981
O-bi, O-ba - Koniec cywilizacji, 1984
Ga, Ga - Chwała bohaterom, 1985
all by P. Szulkin, a sci-fi trilogy, of course very low budget (it was made right before/after the martial law in Poland), not great, but not bad either, has its fans even abroad, the main focus is not on the technique but rather on philosophical, psychical and social aspects of an alien invasion or post nuclear life in a closed, decimated society.

- Edi P. Trzaskalski, 2002, drama, can't really say I liked it, but it's not bad for a modern Polish cinema (which suffered a huge collapse in the 90's),

- A. Wajda was already mentioned, so I just write what foreign subtitles are available on the Polish releases of his movies I got on DVD:

- Kanał, 1957 - eng / fra / ger / rus
- Popiół i diament, 1958 - eng / fra / ger / rus
- Wesele, 1972 - eng / fra / ger / rus / pol
- Ziemia obiecana, 1975 - eng / fra / ger / rus / spa / ita
- Panny z Wilka, 1979 - eng / fra / ger / rus / spa / ita

- Iluminacja, 1972 and Barwy ochronne, 1976, both by K. Zanussi, a specific director, his films are mostly all talk, but he lacks the wit of Woody Allen for example, and the dynamics of the character relations isn't satisfaying for me, still he covers some important topics (the choices we make in our lives), in the 70's he was one of the most prominent figures in the Polish "moral dilemmas cinema" (with K.Kieślowski, A.Wajda, A.Holland).

Iluminacja has the following subs - eng / esp / fra / ger / pol
Barwy ochronne - eng / esp / fra / ger

Just remember that the mentioned films are the ones I own so it doesn't exclude English subtitles in other movies, but here's a list of my DVDs without subtitles, to save you some time searching (I'm referring to recent years releases of course, mostly 2003-2007, currently you can buy Dvix movies on or other online shops, cheap, 10 bucks for a DVD with usually 3-4 films, it's said the quality is good, because it's some improved dvix format, but I don't have any of them, so I don't know if it's is really DVD quality and if they have subtitles):

Rozmowy kontrolowane
Miś (Polish cult classic, comedy)
(both by S. Bareja)
Przesłuchanie, R. Bugajski (great drama, 10/10 from me)
Nie ma mocnych, S.Chęciński (his sequel to Sami swoi, not so succesful, but not bad, the third part, Kochaj albo rzuć sucked)

Wodzirej, F. Falk
Matka Joanna od Aniołów
(all 4 by J. Kawalerowicz)
Życie wewnętrzne, M. Koterski
Dzień świra, M. Koterski
Dług, K. Krauze (I only have the VCD, so not sure about the DVD)
Mój Nikifor, K. Krauze
Pułkownik Kwiatkowski, K. Kutz
Kiler edit: I forgot I only have a cheap 4 złoty version, sold witha newspaper, so maybe the regular release does have subtitles
Seksmisja (another Polish cult classic, comedy, as good as Sami swoi or Miś)
(both, Kiler and Seksmisja, by J. Machulski)
Eroica. Symfonia bohaterska w dwóch częściach
Zeoowate szczęście
(both by A. Munk)
Rejs, M. Piwoski, also a cult comedy, but rather hermetic, too difficult for a foreigner, unless he knows something about Polish reality (in the seventies), but I would recommend S. Bareja's comedies first (those form the 70's and also TV series Alternatywy 4, as a kind of introduction to the absurds of the everyday life in the communist times. Unfortunatelly, I'm not sure if any Bareja's movies have subtitles.

Tato, M. Ślesicki
Matka Królów, J. Zaorski
isthatu 3 | 1,164
1 Apr 2008 #11
Polański's only movie made in Poland

erm,The Pianist anyone...;) filmed on location in Poland(but full of Brits)
Krzysztof 2 | 973
1 Apr 2008 #12
filmed on location in Poland

I've always considered Polański a Polish director, but the original poster asked about "Polish movies"
it's the producers who aren't Polish (plus the language) that makes it a "foreign" movie for me :)

as much as Jerzy Skolimowski's "30 Door Key" (based on Gombrowicz's book Ferdydurke), but made in English (using the English translation of the book)
OP ranjit 1 | 11
2 Apr 2008 #13
wow, thatnks for all the great info I wasnt expecting such quick and thorough replies.

eras77 - | 7
16 Oct 2008 #14
these posts are awesome for me as a student studying on polish cinema for MA thesis! i also gonna examine all of them, thanks so much!
R Brzostek - | 17
10 Jan 2009 #15
I am aware of several companies that make them in the USA, UK and Poland. Many have English subtitles.
eras77 - | 7
9 Mar 2009 #16
hi again!
i almost looked every thread about movies, cinema and subtitles at forum but i couldn't find anywhere else to write my problem. as i said at the above post i have been studying on polish cinema for my MA thesis and because living in Turkey my sources are so limited to work on a foreign, rarely known subject. both for written academic sources and virtual material. online ordering from amazon or other foreign websites is so hard here because of shipping fee and other problems. i try to come over the academic sources problem through the university library, but the great problem is about movies. i found almost all movies unfortunately by illegal ways (download lets say), but as the bad chance i cant find subtitles except wajda's and kieslowski movies. even for Zanussi or Holland there is no subtitles on internet. i searched every corner of it :)

here my list of films that i have, i must watch but i cant watch without subtitles. the problem is above pleasure and leisure time, i need the subtitles of them urgently to complete the thesis. otherwise i can't watch and i can't write any analysis. and unfortunately i have no time to learn enough polish :((((

please please help me! perhaps i may help you too, with other issues i have specialized on.

Aktorzy prowincjonalni by Agnieszka Holland (1978)
Bez Znieczulenia by Andrzej Wajda (1978)
Kobieta Samotna by Agnieszka Holland (1981)
Barwy Ochronne by Krzysztof Zanussi (1976)
Wodzirej by Feliks Falk (1978)

the thesis is specifically on "the cinema of moral anxiety between 1975-81" so i need these films, i don't need any other recommendations for now. on the other hand if exist, subtitles might be different from eng., i can translate by google, so another language is not a problem. but i cant understand polish dialogs by just listening:(((

you may contact by pm.
thanks already!

i try to introduce polish cinema academically in my country, please help me!
R Brzostek - | 17
2 Apr 2009 #17
I don't think those are even on DVD...
Krzysztof 2 | 973
10 Apr 2009 #18
Yes, they are. I PM'ed eras77, so she knows more about the recent releases (I know she got her hands on Barwy ochronne, but I'm not sure if she still needs any of the other films).
apocan 1 | 2
13 Apr 2009 #19
sorry can i download polish films with subtitles ? do u know where can i do that ? or watch ? plz help me
14 Apr 2009 #20
A very good movie is called "Chlopi the peasants" It has alot of polish culture in it with English subtitles.
18 Aug 2009 #21
what website., !!! looking to watch a polish movie but cant find one anywhere on the internet., its so annoying with internet coz you know everything is out there somewhere, everyfilm ever made is somewhere on the internet, finding it is hard part. Benjo reevo smytho
Trevek 25 | 1,699
20 Aug 2009 #22
A numer of recent mainstream Polish films have been issued on DVD with English subtitles.
Ranczo, Da Vinci, Angels in Krakow, Ogniem i Mieczem and loads more.

What's annoying is that British/US films issued by Polish firms such as monolith DON'T have English subtitles, just Polish lektor and Polish subs.
R Brzostek - | 17
6 Feb 2010 #23
not confirmed, but I think these have subtitles: wse/product/2,703675.html,756811. html
Aliloveskrakow - | 19
9 May 2010 #24

I agree it is difficult to find Polish movies with English subtitles, but not impossible :)

You could try this site:

The average cost is around $14 and most films have subtitles.

However, I don't see on there two of my personal fav. films; Job - very funny and I would say should have a broad appeal to both Polish and English viewers, watch out for the old lady who is teaching English from her 'pokuje full of kotami' - room full of cats!! :)

and also a newish film called Mannan, which must be the best made low budget, two man comedy I've ever seen. Very simple story, but will make you smile :)

I saw that someone on here also mentioned Dekalog as being very good, allbeit expensive... I do like this series of 10 stories, all different takes on the 10 comandments, espcially so as it's from the 80's and therefore shows a much different Poland. I bought my copy about 8 years ago from HVM and I think/I'm sure it was only £14, though I did have to order a copy in special.

If you get a chance try to see Londynczycy, it has run for two series and is an interesting show, well from my perspective as an English woman facinated with all things Polish!

Long live Polskego Kino!

pa pa
internaldialog 4 | 144
9 May 2010 #25
If you get a chance try to see Londynczycy, it has run for two series and is an interesting show, well from my perspective as an English woman facinated with all things Polish!

Got it on DVD just as i have got both series of Czas Honoru which i equally recommend back and is in production for its third series to be shown this September/October time :)
Aliloveskrakow - | 19
11 May 2010 #26
Oooh thanks Internaldialog, looks like we have a lot in common! Czas Honoru, not heard of that one, will have to look it up now!

Dziekuje :):)
internaldialog 4 | 144
11 May 2010 #27

have to let me know what you think it is done by TVP who also do Londynczycy as well :) :) good casting and acting from all involved.

czas honoru

i have these films though -

Dlaczego Nie
Tylko mnie Kochaj
Francuski numer
U pana boga ....
Serce na dłoni
mała wielka miłość
to nie tak jak myślisz kotku

i tend to watch a few movies with polski lektor on as well
Aliloveskrakow - | 19
11 May 2010 #28
Hahaha Ms Internaldialog will 'ave to stop meeting like this!

Thanks for the link to czas honoru, I'm having trouble getting it to play, but I'll sort it and get back to you.

Wow you have a veritable libruary of Polska Kino.... I am jealous!

Mmmm I too have U pana Boga and have seen Testorsteron, but I didn't like it to be truthful. There was another good film, but I can't for the life of me remember what it's called, roughly translated it's 'Crazy Days', it's about a guy living in a block of high rise flats, like those in Dekalog, but in the 90's or early '00 and he's being driven to distraction by his neighbours, the builders and the million sausage dogs pooing everywhere! Tulipan is interesting too, if you get chance to see it, it's from '86 and is about a fisherman who leaves his mother and home town to chase rich woman and live off them... Quite sad really :(

Pa pa
dtaylor5632 18 | 1,999
11 May 2010 #29
Also look out for the film Rezerwat. I thoroughly enjoyed this when I watched it in Pod Baranami in Krk. Since you are in Krk Ali, check the place out for Polish movies. On certain days they play them with the English subtitles on.
internaldialog 4 | 144
12 May 2010 #30

peb here i come and ill give it a viewing over weekend whilst not doing my database assignment due day of the same exam next week :)

Hahaha Ms Internaldialog will 'ave to stop meeting like this!

lolz indeed, hope you get it to play for you ;)

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