Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
August 21
October 3, 1958
Poland's New Wave

In Warsaw, audiences gathered to see Ashes and Diamonds, the final film of Andrzej Wajda war trilogy –– the other two being the Polish ghetto tragedy A Generation (1955) and Kanal (1956), a brutal drama about the Warsaw uprising. Ashes and Diamonds, adapted from Jerzy Andrzejewski's celebrated novel, follows a resistance fighter (played by the "Polish James Dean" Zbigniew Cybulski) who must kill a communist official on the last day of the war. Wajda's ironic, existentialist vision captured the complex mood of rising Polish cinema and of a people dealing with Soviet occupation.


More Flashbacks
Orson Welles August 21, 1939
Orson Welles signs with RKO

On this day in 1939, the Mercury Theatre's wonderboy, Orson Welles, signed a contract with RKO Pictures to write, direct, produce and act in two movies for the studio.

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August 21, 1932
Melvin Van Peebles born

Melvin Van Peebles, since his birth in Chicago on August 21, 1932, has been battling the odds and the system – and winning.

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21 August 1932
Sweet Payback

Melvin Van Peebles couldn't get a break playing white Hollywood's game. But when he rewrote the rule book with Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, everything changed.

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