Karl Lajthay wrote and acted in more than twenty films and he directed at least twelve. All of his work from the silent era is lost. The Hungarian film industry in the 20's was a victim of the bitter political landscape that existed in the country after the First World War. Internecine fighting and lack of money combined to cripple the chances for talented filmmakers to make movies in their country. Many quit the business or became expatriates. Lajthay went back to his first training with the theater and was away from film for almost twenty years.
Lajthay returned to film-making briefly before he died in 1945. He was involved in the production of two sound films. The second, which he co-directed, was Yellow Casino (Sárga kaszinó), made in 1943. Yellow Casino is a comedy-suspense thriller in the Hitchcock tradition. A man has a jealous rage over a woman he loves, and finds himself in an insane asylum. (In Hungarian, "yellow house" is Hungarian for mad-house.) Artists frequently return to themes important to them, and this film, which happily survives, turns out to be a recasting of elements from The Death of Drakula. So although the original film is probably lost forever, Lajthay's vision lives on in a remake of sorts.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this