IMDb > American Torso (1975)

American Torso (1975) More at IMDbPro »Amerikai anzix (original title)

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Ambrose Bierce (short story)
Gábor Bódy (screenplay)
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Mail <> for translation. A film az 1948-49-es magyar szabadságharc katonáinak sorsát követi az emigrációban... See more » | Add synopsis »
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American Civil War impression from foreign perspective See more (1 total) »


  (in credits order)

Directed by
Gábor Bódy 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ambrose Bierce  short story
Gábor Bódy  screenplay
Sándor Csoóri  poem
János Fiala  diary
Gyula Kúné  diary
Karl Marx  article
László Teleki  letter
Walt Whitman  poem
László Árvay  diary

Original Music by
Ferenc Sebö 
Cinematography by
István Lugossy 
Gábor Bódy (uncredited)
Péter Tímár (uncredited)
Film Editing by
Gábor Bódy 
Production Management
István Fogarasi .... production manager
Sound Department
István Sipos .... sound engineer
Special Effects by
Gábor Bódy .... special effects
Péter Tímár .... special effects
Other crew
Miklós Benyó .... production staff
Mariann Bosnyák .... production staff
Paula Bíró .... production staff
Kati Csordás .... production staff
István Császár .... production staff
Béla Ferenczy .... production staff
Géza Gonda .... production staff
Tamara Gáspár .... production staff
Józsefné Holhos .... production staff
Ferenc Hábetler .... production staff
László Kenesi .... production staff
Gábor Kernyaiszky .... production staff
Jenõ Koltai .... production staff
Nóra Kovács .... production staff
Zsigmond Károlyi .... production staff
Mari Miklós .... production staff (as Miklós Mariann)
Lóránt Méhes .... production staff (as Lorant Mehes)
Péter Nagy .... production staff
György Németh .... production staff
István Oswald .... production staff
Zsuzsa Pataki .... production staff
Károlyné Sinkovits .... production staff
Éva Sugár .... production staff
János Szölgyéni .... production staff
György Sándor .... production staff
Vera Sármány .... production staff
Judit Tõrös .... production staff

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Amerikai anzix" - Hungary (original title)
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91 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Director Gábor Bódy used a self-invented special editing process called "light-editing" making the image teared, aged and over-exposed in order to resemble a silent film from the late 19th century.See more »


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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
American Civil War impression from foreign perspective, 28 June 2011
Author: oOgiandujaOo from United Kingdom

One of the first feature films of the great Balázs Béla Stúdió, which had existed for a decade before as pretty much a film club where enthusiastic young Hungarian artists could showcase their avant-garde shorts (it was for example where István Szabó cut his teeth).

American Torso is a Western par excellence though it is a brilliant solitary tropical orchid, a clade apart from it's genealogy (genre convention)-bound prairie flower American contemporaries.

Whilst distinct in filmic terms, it has the genuine civil war feel of a Winslow Homer painting, no small feat as he was a man in the thick of the action. The movie could almost be seen as a study using Homer's painting Sharpshooter (1863) as its seed. Both works of art highlight the strictly mechanical nature of war, with Homer himself finding sharpshooting not much different from murder. Contemoporary Hungarian director, Miklós Jancsó was the ultimate proponent of that viewpoint, war as a game of honourless chance.

The story itself, if you want to call it that (director Gábor Bódy was more a fan of metacommunication than narrative), concerns some Hungarian gentlemen soldiering for the Union in the Civil War, several conversations they have, and events they observe and participate in.

After the defeat of the Hungarian army in 1849, many professional soldiers of that army left Europe as part of the "Kossuth emigration" and fought in the American Civil War. The end of that war coincided with an amnesty back home towards fighters who had fought in the Hungarian Revolution. This circumstance provides a framing of the film's central proposition, that of ambivalence towards the American project. Some Hungarians abandoned the offer of American citizenship and returned home to Hungary, others stayed on.

Americans in the film are shown in the main as rambunctious tyros, brawling, whoring, drinking, or killing, controlled by rather sinister puppeteers (railwaymen and generals). There's a sense of a new world on the move, but also that some of the men yearn for the quiet civilities of their settled homeland.

American Torso is very experimental, ignoring much of narrative convention in favour of impression, containing at times an impish Vertovian playfulness in mise-en-scene. It's quite beautiful, has high production values, is educational, and at times mysterious and transcendent.

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