Hollywood on the Danube: Hungarian Filmmakers in a Transnational Context

Catherine Portuges


Exile, emigration and displacement have marked the trajectories of Hungarian filmmakers over the past century. Michael Curtiz, the Korda brothers—Alexander, Vincent and Zoltán—André de Toth, Emeric Pressburger, Vilmos Zsigmond, Miklós Rózsa, Peter Lorre, Géza von Radvány and other talented artists have crossed borders, cultures and languages, creating such classics as Casablanca, Somewhere in Europe, The Red Shoes and The Lost One. The legendary sign posted in Hollywood studios read: "It is not enough to be Hungarian, you have to have talent, too!" Accompanied by film extracts, rare footage, personal interviews, archive photographs, and documentary materials, my presentation explores the transnational odysseys of these Hungarian directors, producers, cinematographers, composers, actors and screenwriters whose artistic contributions became an indispensable part of international cinema, suggesting that the challenges of emigration may also offer opportunities for critique, self-examination and artistic creativity.


Hungary; exile; Hollywood; filmmakers

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/ahea.2012.83

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