This programme is dedicated to three people which ideally represent the magic triangle “Budapest – Vienna – Hollywood”: Erich von Stroheim (Vienna), Michael Curtiz/Kertész Mihály (Budapest) and Austro-Hungarian Peter Lorre – who also serves as a “link” between the other two.

Stroheim’s grand vision of Vienna as staged in Hollywood (notably in The Merry Widow, a version of which—now lost—was made even earlier by Curtiz) is mirrored in the portrayals of Vienna and Austria at the beginning and end of Curtiz career: Der junge Medardus and A Breath of Scandal, the latter based on a Molnár play. Meanwhile Lorre’s experience as an emigrant who had to flee from the Nazis to find himself typecast in Hollywood, which deeply informs in his key roles (Fritz Lang’s M foreshadowing it, Der Verlorene reflecting on it) is echoed in some of Curtiz’ greatest masterpieces, made during world War II: Casablanca, of course, but also two great seafaring entertainments – one light, one dark – that double as crypto-anti-Nazi films (The Sea Hawk, The Sea Wolf). After all, this remains the crucial story when discussing the influx of European talent to Hollywood.

The programme is organised in cooperation with the Austrian Film Museum. Curators: Christoph Huber, Michael Loebenstein, Elisabeth Streit.