The Sirens are Blasting

Jenő Csepreghy, 1939. The first Hungarian aviation film prepares for war.

Premiere: 30 November 1939
Genre: feature film, drama, sound film
Director: Jenő Csepreghy

Original length: 2370 m, 88 minutes
Lost film.

The lieutenant colonel of the air force, Bánáthy, lives a happy family life with his wife and daughter, Erzsi, who is suited by the serious and likeable Kovács, the lieutenant of the air force. Bardócz, a factory owner and the richest man in town, one who ignores all air-raid precautions, courts her also. She refuses him since she loves Kovács. Suddenly the country falls victim to an unexpected air raid. The Hungarian air force fights the attack. Bardócz, whose factory is destroyed during the raid, clears debris from the ventilation shaft of the air raid shelter in order to save those inside at the cost of risking his life. The heroes of the air force, led by Colonel Bánáthy, beat off the attack. Lieutenant Kovács is killed in action. Bardócz, who underwent a major transformation, hopes that the lonely Erzsi will eventually consent to marrying him.

What makes it interesting?
The motion picture, advertised as the first Hungarian aviation film, featured outstanding aerial footage and exciting dogfights in the sky, but the work also disseminated information on civil defence to a wide audience. Shot in Hunnia Film Studio, the film foreshadowed the horrors of war that the country’s population would soon experience.

Cast & Crew
Production Companies: Palatinus Film
Writer: József Bánáss
Screenwriter: István Békeffy
Cinematographer: Árpád Makay, József Bécsi, István Berendik, József Horváth
Cast: Gábor Rajnay, Karola Zala, Margit Lukács, Zoltán Greguss, Lajos Vértess, Béla Mihályffy, Imre Apáthi, Ferenc Szécsi, Valéria Hidvéghy, György Kürthy, Lajos Kelemen, Gyula Kőváry, Terus Kovács, Jr., Árpád Latabár, Bea Huszár, Anny Gödölle, Zsuzsa Bánáss, Béla Csermely, Ilona Náday, Vilmos Károlyi, Attila Bimbó, dr. István Mikó, Ödön Gyalogh, contributes: Hungarian Royal Air Force, Hungarian Royal Air Defense Artillery, Hungarian Royal State Police, the Budapest Voluntary Rescue Association, the Budapest Capital City Fire Brigade, plants of Budapest Capital City