It Happened in Europe



IMDb Rating 7.7 10 1001

Plot summary

March 11, 2023 at 11:42 AM


Géza von Radványi

Top cast

720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
934.02 MB
Hungarian 2.0
25 fps
1 hr 41 min
P/S ...
1.69 GB
Hungarian 2.0
25 fps
1 hr 41 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by kovesp1 10 / 10

A highpoint of Hungarian cinema

The script was co-written by Béla Balázs who also wrote the libretto of Bartók's opera Bluebeard's Castle. He was a renowned film theorist influencing among others Eisenstein, Pudovkin and Pabst. He also wrote the script for Leni Riefenstahl's Blue Light. Balázs's masterful cinematography is ever present in the film, but is perhaps best exemplified by the sequence with the girl and officer. Generations of Hungarians have seen and valued this movie.

It is of course no surprise that Tamas Polgar (who uses the moniker of Tomcat on IMDb and either is, or is not identical with the well known Hungarian neo-Nazi and anti-Semite with the same name and moniker) hates this movie. After all, Balázs was a Jew, and a Marxist Jew at that. While the film was produced by the movie company of the communist party, it was made before the party came to power. The movie was compulsory viewing for generations of Hungarian schoolchildren. Watching it again now ... this frankly surprises me: a masterpiece of socialist realism it is not. Dismissing it as communist propaganda is about as useful as saying the same thing about the Ballad of a Soldier.

Reviewed by brogmiller 7 / 10

The worst captivity is Misery.

Bela Balazs returned to Hungary after the War to help rebuild its film industry. He scripted this film which has been classified by some as an example of 'socialist realism' because he was a committed Marxist. This is debatable as Balazs was dismissed amid hardening political attitudes and died alas, in 1949. If one has to attach a label then I think that of 'neorealism' is far more appropriate as I sense there is more than a passing nod here to Rossellini's 'Rome, Open City' of 1945. It also calls to mind de Sica's 'Shoeshine' of 1946 especially in its depiction of the children. Just a theory of course. The children in this have been utterly dehumanised by the horrors of war. They are gradually made to feel worthwhile and given hope for the future by the philosophy and civilising influence of Artur Somlay as an elderly classical musician despite their initially wanting to hang him! The run down castle that they have made their home is attacked by fascists and to give themselves courage they whistle the 'Marseillaise' that he has taught them. A truly marvellous moment. The scene where Suszsa Banki as Eva shoots her abuser is a splendid piece of film making. Director Geza Radvanyi and his cinematographer Barnabas Hegyi have given us some wonderful images here especially in the grouping of the children. The editing alas leaves a lot to be desired and the score is rather intrusive especially in the earlier sequences. Radvanyi changed his style in the 1950's with varying results but he would never again match this in terms of immediacy, vitality and above all, 'heart'. Good to know that the talent and vision of Bela Balazs were recognised in 1957 by the founding of a studio bearing his name.

Reviewed by marie_D 9 / 10

Well it's about time somebody commented on this hidden treasure

I didn't know that this was produced by Hungary's young Communist Party until I read about it on IMDb but it was obvious from the beginning that we were going to be treated to some pretty heavy propaganda. It took about 20 minutes for it to dawn on me that it was going to be some really well-made sincere propaganda. The film features a gang of war orphans and runaway teens and children in the last days of WWII who rampage through the countryside plundering what food and wine they can get their hands on, while being persecuted by nasty Nazi Hungarians. Since they were stealing from people almost as poor as they were, the gang didn't entirely get my sympathy. They are fortunate to make a raid on a ruined fortress occupied by a world-renowned conductor who, after being more or less tortured by the little hooligans, feeds them, teaches them "La Marseillaise", and turns them into comrades and freedom fighters. It all may sound, and be, trite but there is tremendous energy and heart in the film. Some of the group scenes with the children are masterful. Recommended (warning: animals (a pig and some chickens) were harmed and killed in making this film).

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