Writer and Director. Nationality: Polish. Born: Grudziadzh, 16 March 1928. Education: Attended the University of Warsaw, graduated 1950. Career: Writer; 1951—first film script, for Sailors; 1963—directed first film, Everyday; 1972–78—director of the film group Pryzmat; 1977—author of TV series Lalka. Died: In Warsaw, 3 April 1983.
Films as Writer:
Matrosowcy (Sailors) (Banach—short)
Wesoła II (Wesiewicz—short)
Cień (The Shadow) (Kawalerowicz)
Pigulki dla Aurelii (Pills for Aurelia) (Lenartowicz); Ostatni strzał (The Last Shot) (Rybkowski)
Rok pierwszy (The First Years) (Lesiewicz); Dotknięcie nocy (The Touch of Night) (Bareja)
Komedianty (The Comedians) (Kaniewska)
Dom bez okien (House without Windows) (Jędryka); Czarne skrzydła (Black Wings) (E. & C. Petelscy)
Ich dzień powszedni (Everyday) (+ d)
Pózne popołudnie (Late Afternoon) (+ d)
Popioły (Ashes) (Wajda); Jutro Meksyk (Mexico Soon) (+ d)
Morderca zostawia ślad (The Murderer Leaves Traces) (+ d); Wilcze echa (Wolf Echoes) (+ co-d)
Sasiedzi (The Neighbors) (+ d)
Południk zero (Meridian Zero) (Podgórski)
Seksolatki (Hübner); Złote koło (Gold Ring) (Wohl); Agent Nr. 1 (Kuźmiński); Trad (Leprosy) (Trzos-Rastawiecki)
Gniazdo (The Nest) (Rybkowski)
Dagny (Sandoy); Człowiek z marmuru (Man of Marble) (Wajda)
Człowiek z żelaza (Man of Iron) (Wajda)
By ŚCIBOR-RYLSKI: books—
Orczewski i jego brygada, Warsaw, 1949.
Górnicze gołębie pokoju, Warsaw, 1950.
"Pancerze" Józefa Szulca, Warsaw, 1950.
Staszek Kaluga staje do współzawodnictwa, Warsaw, 1950.
Dwanaście felietonów, Warsaw, 1951.
Węgiel, Warsaw, 1952.
Wieczór u Hanysa Dębiczka, Warsaw, 1953.
Iwan, Warsaw, 1954.
Sprawa Szymka Bielasa, Warsaw, 1954.
Cień i inne opowiadania, Warsaw, 1955.
Styczén, Warsaw, 1956.
Bliski nieznajomy, Warsaw, 1968.
Rodeo, Warsaw, 1969.
Ich dzień powszedni, Warsaw, 1972.
Człowiek z marmuru, Człowiek z żelaza, London, 1982.
By ŚCIBOR-RYLSKI: articles—
Film (Warsaw), no. 48, 1960.
Special issue of Kino (Munich), 1982.
On ŚCIBOR-RYLSKI: articles—
Film (Warsaw), no. 899, 1966.
Film (Warsaw), 7 September 1969.
Filmowy Serwis Prasowy (Warsaw), 1–15 April 1977.
Filmowy Serwis Prasowy (Warsaw), 1–15 August 1977.
Jeune Cinéma (Paris), July-August 1981.
Iluzjon (Warsaw), April-June 1991.
Kino (Munich), vol. 26, September 1992.
* * *
Aleksander Ścibor-Rylski was a fiction writer, playwright, publicist, screenwriter, and film director. His main claim to fame, however, was as a scriptwriter, to which he devoted himself from 1951 until his death. Like Jerzy Stefan Stawinsky and Tadeusz Konwicki, he was especially sensitive towards social and moral conflicts stemming from the Second World War, and from the difficulties in the founding and stabilizing of the people's government of Poland. Pills for Aurelia, directed by Stanislaw Lenartowicz, captured the experiences of its characters during the occupation with unusual violence and cruelty. Witold Lesiewicz's The First Years portrays postwar difficulties, showing with what drastic force political opinions can divide honest people.
His work in film, however, is highly diverse. He did not specialize in any theme or genre, and worked with a relatively wide circle of directors. Among his most important works are his scripts for Andrzej Wajda's films, the historical epic Ashes and the drama Man of Marble; the script for Jerzy Kawalerowicz's film The Shadow—three stories from the period of the occupation about a faceless man who is provocateur, traitor, and saboteur; the script for Andrzej Trzos-Rastawiecki's Leprosy about gangs and hooliganism; and the script for Jan Rybkowski's The Nest, a historical drama about the origins of the Polish state. His scripts are noted for their courageous view of events, dynamism, convincing characterizations, and logical structure.
After the "revolt of the scriptwriters" in the early 1960s, which he led together with Stawinsky, he, too, began to direct films. Except for the chamber stories Everyday and Late Afternoon, noted for the "little realism" with which he told ordinary stories of ordinary people, and his attempt at a Polish western, Wolf Echoes, about the struggle of a soldier with a postwar terrorist gang, his stints as a director have not been highly regarded. His main contribution to Polish cinema remains his scriptwriting.