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No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos -- NO SUBTITLES NECESSARY: LASZLO AND VILMOS.
The lifelong friendship of the great cinematographers Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond and their impact on American cinema. As film students in Hungary, Laszlo and Vilmos took to the war-torn streets of Budapest to shoot footage of the Russian invasion, and subsequently volunteered to smuggle it out of the country. Barely escaping with their lives, the two friends fled to America and settled in Hollywood, eventually saving enough money to buy their own 16mm camera. 

After working on a string of low-budget horror and biker movies, both men soon rose to prominence in the late 60's and 70's, shooting the films that defined what came to be known as the American New Wave: Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Deliverance, Paper Moon, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and more. Working with directors including Robert Altman, Bob Rafelson, Peter Bogdanovich, and Martin Scorsese, they helped create a new American film aesthetic, and pioneered innovative, fearless ways to tell stories.

“When it comes to Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond, it's clear that the American New Wave of the late 1960's and early '70s wouldn't have flowered as it did without them." 	
 – Leonard  Maltin

Told through interviews with Laszlo (who died in 2007) and Vilmos, as well as directors including Rafelson, Bogdanovich, John Boorman, Graeme Clifford, Richard Donner, William Richert, Mark Rydell, composer John Williams and actors such as Jon Voight, Peter Fonda, Sandra Bullock, Karen Black, Dennis Hopper and Sharon Stone, NO SUBTITLES NECESSARY is an intimate portrait of two giants of modern imagemaking and their deep bond of brotherhood that transcended every imaginable boundary. Two heroes. One road.


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The lifelong friendship of the great cinematographers Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond and their impact on American cinema. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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Prolonged lifetime tribute See more (5 total) »



Karen Black ... Herself

Peter Bogdanovich ... Himself

Sandra Bullock ... Herself
James L. Carter ... Himself
Rodney Charters ... Himself
Graeme Clifford ... Himself
Allen Daviau ... Himself

Richard Donner ... Himself
Bob Fisher ... Himself

Dennis Hopper ... Himself

László Kovács ... Himself

Ellen Kuras ... Herself
Tal Lazar ... Himself
Todd McCarthy ... Himself

Robert McLachlan ... Himself

Rachel Miner ... Herself
Steven Poster ... Himself (as Steven B. Poster)
Dan Pritzker ... Himself

Bob Rafelson ... Himself
William Richert ... Himself
Owen Roizman ... Himself

Mark Rydell ... Himself
Ian Sherrington ... Himself
Crayton Smith ... Himself
Ray Dennis Steckler ... Himself

Sharon Stone ... Herself

Vittorio Storaro ... Himself

Barbra Streisand ... Herself

Jon Voight ... Himself

Haskell Wexler ... Himself

John Williams ... Himself

Irwin Winkler ... Himself

Vilmos Zsigmond ... Himself

Directed by
James Chressanthis 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
James Chressanthis  writer

Produced by
Elisa Bonora .... co-producer
James Chressanthis .... producer
Jimmy Conroy .... executive producer
Tony Frere .... producer
David B. Kaminsky .... executive producer
Zachary Kranzler .... producer
Ashley Welles Lewis .... associate producer
Art Monterastelli .... co-executive producer
Kian Soleimanpour .... producer
Mahboobeh Soleimanpour .... co-executive producer
Original Music by
Jeffrey Kite 
Cinematography by
Anka Malatynska 
Film Editing by
Elisa Bonora 
Production Management
Ryan R. Moos .... post-production supervisor
Sound Department
Mary Jo Devenney .... sound mixer
Michael Feldman .... sound re-recording mixer
George Flores .... sound mixer
Alexandra Gallo .... boom operator
Jaya Jayaraja .... sound mixer
John Middelkoop .... sound mixer
Daniel D. Monahan .... additional sound mixer
Michael Rayle .... additional sound mixer
Visual Effects by
Ben Campanaro .... compositor: Eden FX
Rick Trader .... digital effects artist
Camera and Electrical Department
Patrick Blanchet .... assistant camera
Elisa Bonora .... camera operator
Joe D'Alessandro .... camera operator
Michael Di Ricco .... electrician
Shaun Dixon .... lighting technician: Mole Crew
Rachel Donofrie .... additional first assistant camera
Zoltan Honti .... additional cinematographer
Chris W. Johnson .... additional cinematographer
Károly Kamerda .... focus puller
Edwin Kim .... electrician
Zachary Kranzler .... camera operator
David Mahlman .... camera operator
David Mahlmann .... camera operator: "b" camera
Fernando Montes .... electrician: Mole Crew
Jay Nefcy .... camera operator
Julianne Louise Reynolds .... camera operator (as Julianne Reynolds)
Paul Marcus Rodriguez .... camera operator (as Paul Rodriguez)
David Tarango .... electrician: Mole Crew
Tarina Van Den Driessche .... additional cinematographer (as Tarina Reed)
Editorial Department
Don Burt .... on-line editor
Zimo Huang .... assistant editor
Ryan R. Moos .... assistant editor
Tom Runquist .... assistant editor
Jim Tanguay .... assistant editor
Other crew
Michael Carvaines .... researcher
Nick Chandler .... assistant: director: post-production
Bob Fisher .... consultant
Edward Hewitt Jr. .... post production assistant
Michael Carvaines .... thanks
Klaudia Kovacs .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Argentina:97 min (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente) | USA:86 min
Filming Locations:

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Features Targets (1968)See more »
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6 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
Prolonged lifetime tribute, 22 September 2009
Author: jadw59 from United Kingdom

I'm afraid this left me unmoved and it was, at times, tedious. The trouble is that it's not one thing or another - or the thing that it is not interesting. It's a film made by an acolyte who was given his first chance by Vilmos and there's not much digging beneath the surface at any time. The thing it most reminded me of was one of those tributes to a person winning a lifetime award at BAFTA or the Oscars - but extended for a rather lengthy 1hour 45minutes.

The film is a rather bland mix of the outline story of their lives, extracts from the films they shot (a reminder of how many interesting American films were made in the 70's and 80's compared with today), some war stories and interviews with actors and directors who say what good cinematographers they were/are. Also, a little about their seminars in Budapest.

I didn't really come away any wiser about their personal relationship except that they used to get jobs for each other in the early days and they expressed great personal affection. Ultimately, they were good mates. This is a relationship which exists between many people in many jobs and is not necessarily inherently interesting unless you go beneath the superficial. I got no emotional charge from the film, unlike the other writer on this page, and I'm as ready as anyone to be moved by a film.

There must be some interesting stuff there. We were told that after they'd escaped from Hungary they got their girlfriends out and, I think, married them. That was that on that subject and different wives seemed to get interviewed for the film. Apparently, the existing Hungarians in Hollywood gave them no support when they arrived and the way they shot films was, no doubt, found rather threatening by the unions in those days. Nothing about all that.

I'm not saying don't see it if you get the chance - just don't expect too much.

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