Cinema: Polish Variations

Eroica, made in 1957 by Polish Director Andrzej Munk, who died in a 1961 auto crash, reaches the U.S. with a reputation as a classic. But Munk's film stands up less well than Ozu's under the glare of posthumous appraisal. It looks like a roughing out of the masterwork that it was meant to be—one angry young Pole's bitter, blackly comic jeer at wartime myths of courage and honor.

Munk started out to make a trilogy but for some reason had to pare Eroica down to the less esthetic form of a double episode. The...

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