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Ferenc Molnár



http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi

Playwright

Ferenc Molnar studied criminal law in Budapest and Geneva and became a journalist for the Budapest newspaper Budapesti Napló as the full-time Paris correspondent. In 1901, after writing a number of short stories, he published his first book, The Hungry City, a story of dirty politics, corruption, social inequality and anti-semitism and became the the darling of Budapest café society. Molnár was the ringleader of a circle of artists and musicians in Budapest. They were called "The Elastics," because they wore a new kind of laceless shoe with elastic on the side. The group comprised of young playwrights, writers of farce and light comedy, as well as some musicians, operetta composers and conductors from operetta and musical theatres.

A friend commissioned him to write a play for the National Theatre, a farce. Although this play, The Lawyer, was never performed at the National Theatre, it played in 1902 at the new Comedy Theatre and audiences demanded more from Molnár. But he wanted to write something more serious, so he wrote The Devil, which was very modern, slightly Freudian and very titillating (in fact, it was banned in London) and brought him international acclaim. His most famous work, Liliom, was translated to English and performed in 1926 in London with Charles Laughton.

He moved to New York in 1939, one of the many talented immigrants that were part of the "Hungarian Invasion" of New York Theatre, and Liliom was revived to rave reviews. Liliom provided the plot for Rodgers' and Hammerstein's famed musical, "Carousel" which debuted in 1945. Some of his plays were adapted for the Big Screen, including The Swan, starring Grace Kelly, Charles Vidor, Alec Guiness, and Louis Jourdan.

Source: The Hungary Page

 
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