After nearly 100 years, Hollywood’s Hungarian star returns to the big screen in Budapest

MOVIE NEWS – One of the highlights of this year’s Budapest Classic Film Marathon will be the screening of The Sheikh’s Son, an emblematic film of the silent era in Hollywood, which is seldom seen on the big screen today. But for us, it is unmissable, especially because of the female lead. Vilma Bánky, who plays the dancer who falls in love with the Arabian prince, was the first Hungarian world star to enter the history of the dream factory, and she rose to heights that no actress from Hungary before or since has ever reached.


Vilma Bánky (originally Vilma Koncsics), who had been interested in acting since she was a little girl, was attracted to the film industry at an early age. She appeared in a silent film in 1919 when she was only 18 years old, and after that, she didn’t move away from the camera for more than ten years. The young girl, who had previously worked as a typist’s apprentice, could almost immediately prove herself on the international stage. In 1924, they made the silent film Max, King of the Circus, which will also be shown at the Budapest Classic Film Marathon 2022, in which Vilma Bánky played Ketty, the daughter of the circus director, and Linder played the bohemian protagonist who falls madly in love with the girl. Their light-hearted, crowd-pleasing cinematic adventure played a significant role in Hollywood’s lure of the Hungarian silent film actress.

Studio founder Samuel Goldwyn launched his discovery at the Dream Factory with a massive campaign, and he immediately began his overseas career at the top. Alongside Rudolph Valentino, who created the heroine of the Latin lover, she played the female protagonist in The Black Eagle. The heartthrob star immediately took her on to her next film, which became The Sheik’s Son. In it, Vilma Bánky plays Yasmin, a poor dancer who is secretly in love with the sheikh’s son Ahmed. Their budding relationship is frowned upon by the man’s relatives, who will do anything to keep them apart forever. This thrilling, fast-paced film, spiced with adventure, exoticism, violence and eroticism, will be digitally restored for this year’s Budapest Classic Film Marathon.

Vilma Bánky, who died in 1991, was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, an eternal remembrance of the Hungarian actress who became a world star. However, Bánky and Rudolph Valentino were not to enjoy further success together, due to the unexpected and young death of the latter at the age of 31. Still in her twenties, the actress’ career continued to soar for a few more years, but with the advent of the talkies, her star, like that of her foreign counterparts, was also fading. She retired with dignity and found a new hobby and vocation. As a golfer, he was still active at the age of eighty, while his property investments enabled him to live a carefree life for the rest of his life. The dream company has not forgotten him.

Source: BKFM

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