Budapest Classic Film Marathon: Semmelweis

Hungarian drama, bw, 81 min, 1939
in Hungarian with English subtitules

Show times:

Director: Tóth Endre

Screenplay by Vilmos Müller, József Babay, László Bihari, Sándor Nagymihály, László Kalmár
Director of photography: István Eiben
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Cast: Tivadar Uray, Margit Árpád, Juliska Ligeti, Gyula Gózon

Tóth Endre | André de Toth

Introduction: Rita Boronyák, researcher, archivist, National Film Institute - Film Archive

The work debuting the genre of biographical films in Hungary recounts the true-life story of Ignác Semmelweis, the world-famous Hungarian professor of medicine. After attending a pathology class, the young and frivolous Vienna law student settles down and switches to the faculty of medicine. He becomes an obstetrician and devotes all his energy to finding the reason for the mysterious and fatal disease taking so many lives in the clinic. After much experimentation he discovers the cause of puerperal, or childbed fever and becomes known as the ‘Saviour of Mothers’ even as he faces scepticism and malice from his own colleagues. The attacks he endures damage his health and he ends his days in an asylum. The unique feature of this early work by André de Toth is that he easily switches between genres, from comedy to horror.

More information about the Budapest Classic Film Marathon's program in Uránia >>

»Dec. 2. – Saturday«

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