It is Hard To Be a Father

Márton Keleti, 1938. An abandoned little boy causes a mix-up in the girls’ school in this Hungarian adaptation of a French film.

Premiere: 16 September 1938
Genre: feature film, comedy, sound film
Director: Márton Keleti

Original length: 2451 m, 91 minutes
Lost film.

Körössy Pál, Jr., a graduating doctor gets married secretly. He lives in a hotel with his wife and 15-month-old son, Palika. One day the grandfather arrives unexpectedly. Since he has no idea that Palika exists, the father hides his son in the neighbouring room. Palika gets mixed up among the luggage of Vass Gedeon, a teacher and is soon travelling towards Zsolca on the luggage-rack of a third-class compartment. The teacher grows to love him and smuggles him to his new school, a strict college for young ladies. His secret is soon discovered, and it is only the arrival of the parents, who have been desperately looking for their son since he disappeared, that saves him from being fired.

What makes it interesting?
This is where audiences of the day first came across the expression remake. It Is Hard to Be a Father was one of the first Hungarian-language remakes, which Miklós Vitéz wrote on the basis of the Léonide Mogoy film Le Mioche (1936). Another interesting feature of the film is that it had a female producer in the person of the iron-handed Mrs. Miklós Vitéz, Elza Vadász. Elza Vadász remained a key player in Hungarian filmmaking until the 1950s, taking part in the creation of many films as production manager and producer.

Cast & Crew
Production Companies: Reflektor Film
Screenwriter: Miklós Vitéz (based on Léonide Mogoy's film Le Mioche, 1936)
Cast: Antal Páger (Kőrössy Pál, Jr.) Zita Szeleczky (his wife), Gerő Mály (Gedeon Vass), Ferkó Csöpi (Palika), Mária Egry, Piri Vaszary, Mariska Vízváry, Lajos Köpeczi-Boócz, György Nagy, Károly Huszár, Tivadar Bilicsi, Sándor Peti, József Bihari, Ferenc Pethes, Júlia Komár, Márta Lendvay, Ilona Dajbukát, Romola Németh, Ferike Vidor, Irén Sitkey, Terus Kovács


Photo: the film's poster. Source: NFI