Hyppolit, the Butler

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Hyppolit, a lakáj
Directed by István Székely
Screenplay by Károly Nóti
Based on Hyppolit, a lakáj (play) 
by István Zágon
Starring Gyula Csortos
Gyula Kabos
Pál Jávor
Music by Mihály Eisemann
Cinematography István Eiben
Eduard Hösch
Edited by László Benedek
Production
company
Sonor Film
Distributed by Kovács Emil és Társa
Release dates 1931
Running time 77 minutes
Country Hungary
Language Hungarian

Hyppolit, the Butler (Hungarian: Hyppolit, a lakáj) is a 1931 black-and-white Hungarian film comedy of manners. It was one of the earliest full sound films produced there.

In 2000, Hungarian film critics chose it as one of the twelve best films of Hungary.[1]

It was remade in 1999 as Hippolyt, a lakáj (with the y and the i interchanged).[2]

The screenplay was written by prolific Hungarian screenwriter Károly Nóti AKA Karl Noti,[3] based on a stage play by István Zágon.[4] It was directed by Székely István AKA Steve Sekely,[5] who earlier worked in Germany and later worked in Hollywood and Great Britain. The music was composed by Mihály Eisemann.[6]

Cast[edit]

Plot[edit]

Mátyás Schneider (Gyula Kabos) is a transportation entrepreneur who has become rich quickly. Despite their humble origins, his wife (Mici Haraszti) strives to live a 'sophisticated' and 'aristocratic' lifestyle. When she engages a butler, Hyppolit (Gyula Csortos), who has served in the household of a count for 27 years, their whole life is turned upside down: Schneider has to shave off his mustache, wear a dinner suit for dinner and eat French food instead of his beloved onions and roasted goose, while his wife is bullied by the butler into engaging in gymnastics and a rather meagre diet.

In the meantime, the Schneiders' spirited daughter, Terka (Éva Fenyvessy), falls for their good-looking manager, the former driver István Benedek (Pál Jávor), who keeps secret that he is in fact an engineer with a college diploma. Her mother, however, would prefer the good-natured, but quite stupid Makáts (Gyula Gózon) as a suitor, because Makáts's uncle (Sándor Góth), a city councillor, may help them to get a lucrative contract.

Things begin to turn upside down, when Schneider follows Hyppolit's suggestions to start dating Mimi (Mici Erdélyi), a singer and dancer at a sleazy night club. When he fails to show up at a date with her, the girl enters the Schneiders' villa, where a dinner party with important guests - including Makáts's uncle - is taking place, and causes a scandal. Meanwhile, Terka follows her own plans to get the man she wants...

Subsequent history[edit]

The film was shown again in Hungarian cinemas in 1945, 1956 and 1972.[7] It is also shown regularly on the small screen and is still popular with viewers.

Almost eighty years after its premiere, in 2008, the original film was digitally restored by the Hungarian National Film Archive.[8][9][10] The restored version erroneously awarded director Sekely a writing credit that does not appear in either the original film titles[11] or in any subsequent documentation. It has been released on DVD and Blu-ray.

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]