The freshly renovated The Vulture will be the one of the great sensations of this year’s Budapest Classic Film Marathon.
With this work presented in 1982, Ferenc András laid new foundations for the Hungarian crime film. The Vulture blurred the boundaries between the criminal and the little man. He turned an honest citizen into a must-have gangster, who is actually not motivated by money, but by regaining his honor. In the film, Budapest is not an immaculate backdrop either. The story takes place in a world in which it is almost impossible to live decently, and where everyone tries to cheat the system by trickery and cleverness. In addition to all this, The Vulture is the first film in its genre that created life-like characters and situations. He successfully adapted the rules of crime fiction, thriller, action film, and even film noir to the domestic environment, in which György Cserhalmi perfectly portrays the figure of a lonely anti-hero defying a hostile world.
1) In the film, one of the criminals, Szántóné Perczel, is played by Zita Perczel, the star of the early sound films, who was lured home from Italy by the director, Ferenc András, for this role. When choosing the actors, he thought that Perczel’s name would also attract the older generation to the cinema. When József Simon visits his retired parents in the film, one of the actress’s greatest film successes, the 1934 Fairy Tale Car, plays in the background on the TV.
2) The crew filmed the car chase scene on Kerepesi út, without closing it off from motorists for the purpose of filming. A couple of stuntmen and the cameraman, Elemér Ragályi, really caught everything in front of the traffic. They also collided with a Zaporozhian at Örs Vezér square, but the damage was paid and filming could continue.
3) György Cserhalmi was taught how to use the car’s equipment by the taxi drivers working at the film factory. Preparing for the role, the actor once went out into the traffic and a lucky passer-by who waved him off personally took him to the airport. He did not ask for the fare from the passenger bursting with happiness.
4) The director also asked him for Elem Ragályi, because the cinematographer was famous for his professional hand-held camera shots. In addition, the steadicam camera stabilization system, which was used for the first time in Hungary in the movie “The Vulture”, was also used during the filming of the film’s action-packed scenes.
5) While it was clear to the director from the first minute that he wanted to assign the main role to György Cserhalmi, he searched for the right candidate for the role of Cecília for a long time. Finally, his Polish film friends recommended Maria Gladkowska, who got her first film role. The Polish actress – who was dubbed by Mari Kiss in the film – later appeared in two Hungarian cinemas: Vadon (Ferenc András – György Ordódy, 1989) and Iskolakerulők (Ferenc Kardos, 1989).
The story of The Vulture:
Taxi driver József Simon is robbed by two of his elderly female passengers. The divorced man swimming in debt turns to the police in vain, but they don’t believe him. In his helpless rage, he starts investigating himself and soon finds the professional thieves. Since he hopes in vain for justice through legal means, he launches a one-man campaign, using increasingly professional methods. Ferenc András put the Hungarian crime film on a new foundation, and his influence can be seen in almost every crime film made since then.