I Died to Live war movie
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I Died to Live war movie

I Died to Live (1984, Poland)

Original / alternative title: Umarłem, aby żyć

Categories: resistance movies

I Died to Live

Director: Stanislaw Jedryka

Czas: 90 minut

Laguages: Polish

war movies info
1970-01-01 / 1970-01-01

True story of Polish resistance member arrested and tortured by Gestapo in Warsaw. Since he knew the coding methods it was vital for the organization Germans would not gain any knowledge out of him. He was prepared to die, but the resistance came up with different solution.

In 1941 Polish resistance member Leopold Wojcik is caught by the Gestapo in one of the Warsaw cafes while he was delivering the encoded messages. Germans quickly realize they intercepted the cryptographer and put Wojcik in Pawiak, the infamous Gestapo prison, where he is tortured to reveal the encoding methods of the resistance. Wojcik is close to break down, but doesn’t want to place other resistance members in danger of being exposed. He receives secret message from the organization that they changed all the contacts within local network, so the information he would pass to Germans could not hurt anyone, but still he can reveal the encrypting methods. Tortured Wojcik breaks down and asks the resistance to smuggle poison into Pawiak prison, so he could kill himself. Meanwhile his mother, Maria, tries to seek the contacts in resistance to see if they could save her son, but since she is already under scrutiny from Germans the resistance members are trying to avoid her and convince her not to try to contact them any more. They planned to smuggle the poison to the prison, but one of the doctors came up with another plan...

Film based on a true story of Stanislaw Miedza-Tomaszewski, member of Polish resistance, who was arrested by Gestapo and placed in the infamous Pawiak prison, where tortures were present on daily basis. Tomaszewski takes part as himself in the first and last scene of the film explaining his story. Like most of the movies based on true stories this one also is worth to know, it shows the atmosphere of occupied Warsaw and the methods resistance used to pass the messages and try to rescue their members from one of the worst prisons in occupied Poland. The quality of the movie is another thing - in 1980s all Polish movies were made on terrible equipment, lacked proper sound and lighting, but the interesting story makes up for the quality of the material.

Our rating


Film value

5 / 10

Realism factor

4 / 5

Adventure factor

2 / 5

Historical accuracy

5 / 5

I Died to Live 1984 war movie

I Died to Live videos

I Died to Live

Creators of I Died to Live

Jerzy Janicki movies

Jerzy Janicki


Cast of I Died to Live

Andrzej Grabarczyk movies andrzej-grabarczyk

Andrzej Grabarczyk

as Leopold Wojcik

Zygmunt Hubner movies zygmunt-hubner

Zygmunt Hubner

as professor Tadeusz Pytel

Wojciech Wysocki movies wojciech-wysocki

Wojciech Wysocki

as doctor Lesniak

Halina Labonarska movies halina-labonarska

Halina Labonarska

as doctor in Pawiak

Marek Walczewski movies marek-walczewski

Marek Walczewski

as doctor in Pawiak

Anna Ciepielewska movies anna-ciepielewska

Anna Ciepielewska

as Maria Wojcik

Jerzy Zass movies jerzy-zass

Jerzy Zass

as Prahl

Joanna Jedryka movies joanna-jedryka

Joanna Jedryka

as sister Salomea

Janusz Bukowski movies janusz-bukowski

Janusz Bukowski

as Major Wrobel

Henryk Talar movies

Henryk Talar

as Hauptsturmfuhrer Knothe

Bronislaw Pawlik movies bronislaw-pawlik

Bronislaw Pawlik

as Zygmunt Bruzda

Events depicted in I Died to Live

World War II (1936-1945)

I Died to Live trivia

Pawiak prison

The scenes that take place in Pawiak were filmed in real interiors of that prison to show the horrible atmosphere of that place.


Two sequels were made to I Died to Live, After Own Funeral and Born for the Third Time (both in 1989) showing the further events, but both of them were complete fiction and were rather poor.

Themes in I Died to Live

Polish resistance

I Died to Live full war movie

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