Puchalski, Edward

(1874-1942)
   One of the most prolific early film directors who produced a variety of films in Russia and Poland: melodramas, comedies, patriotic pictures, religious films, and literary adaptations. He started his career around 1912 in Poland but, like several filmmakers of his generation (for example Ryszard Bolesławski), he moved to Moscow in 1914. He became internationally popular for his more than twenty short comedies that he produced with actor Antoni Fertner. After Puchalski's return to Poland in 1921, he directed The Year 1863 (Rok 1863, 1922), a depiction of the (anti-Russian) January Uprising of 1863 that was an adaptation of Stefan Zeromski's novel, which was followed by Bartek the Victor (Bartek zwycięzca, 1923), an adaptation of Henryk Sienkiewicz's novella about the struggles to preserve the Polish identity under German rule.
   After 1923 Puchalski worked mostly for the film studio Sfinks, where he directed several melodramas belonging to the "Sfinks golden series," such as The Unspeakable (O czym się nie mówi, 1924) and The Unthinkable (O czym się nie myśli, 1926). Among his Sfinks films is the box-office hit, starring Jadwiga Smosarska, The Leper (Trędowata, 1926, codirected with Józef Węgrzyn), an unsophisticated love story that goes beyond class borders. Equally popular among audiences were his two films from mid-1930s. Abbot Kordecki: The Defender of Częstochowa (Przeor Kordecki. Obrońca Częstochowy, 1934) referred to a much mythologized episode from the Polish-Swedish war in the mid-seventeenth century. Puchalski's Under Your Protection (Pod twoją obronę, 1933) was one of the biggest box-office hits of the decade. Virtually directed by Józef Lejtes, the film offered the combination of a simple melodramatic plot and strong religious content.
   Select other films: Ah, Those Pants (Ach, te spodnie, 1914), On the Clear Shore (Na jasnym brzegu, 1921), The Tragedy of Russia and Its Three Epochs (Tragedia Rosji i jej trzy epoki, 1921), In His Own Trap (We własne sidła, 1921), The Secret of the Medallion (Tajemnica medalionu, 1922), People Today (Ludzie dzisiejsi, 1928).
   Historical Dictionary of Polish Cinema by Marek Haltof

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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