Photo: NFI

1929 Hungarian silent film recovered, remastered to be shown under EU programme

Prisoner Number Seven, a 1929 silent film believed to have been lost, will be screened in Budapest's Urania cinema on December 15 as part of this year's Season of Classics Films programme supported by an EU cultural scheme, the National Film Institute (NFI) said on Tuesday.

The only, incomplete copy of the film was obtained from a Dutch collector by the National Film Archives of Austria. A remastering based on the only copy began in Budapest and was completed in 2023 after the missing parts emerged, NFI said in a statement.

The eventful thriller-romance is about the adventures of a young woman who is taken off to jail by mistake. Censors at the time banned screening the film in Hungary which was later shown to the public after its success abroad, NFI said.

The film was co-directed by Paul Sugar, who became well-known in Berlin, and Lajos Lazar, who travelled to Budapest from Vienna for the film shoot.

It stars German actress Lissy Arna in the main role as well as Hans Adalbert Schlettow, Charlotte Susa and native Creole actress and revue dancer El’ Dura in the role of an exotic dancer. The film also features Hungarian rising starts Ida Turay and Szidi Rakosi along with renowned Hungarian poet and journalist Lorinc Szabo.

The Season of Classics Films is a series of free film screenings across Europe aimed at drawing attention to the work of film archives and the significance of film preservation.

The programme is an initiative of the Association des Cinematheques Europeennes (ACE) and is supported by the EU Creative Europe MEDIA scheme.

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