Budapest Noir – A view of the dark and mysterious world of 1930s Budapest

by | Jan 21, 2019 | What’s Happening

Wednesday, January 30, 7:15 pm
Beach Cinema Alehouse, $10

Budapest Noir is a period thriller set in the politically-troubled autumn of 1936. The film follows Zsigmond Gordon, a worldweary reporter asking unwanted questions about the seemingly unimportant murder of a young woman found beaten to death and dumped in a courtyard. While supposedly covering the funeral of fascist-leaning real-life Hungarian prime minister Gyula Gombos, Gordon’s investigation leads him deep into the city’s dark underbelly—a shadow world of pornographers, fixers, all-night “smokers,” boxing rings, seedy brothels, powerful crime syndicates, and Communist cells—all the way to the highest echelons of power. It is in that world where one of Hungary’s most influential business figures plans to make a fortune through his political ties to Germany’s leadership—as long as he can somehow keep secret the fact that he is of Jewish heritage.

A crime thriller for the ages, Budapest Noir was adapted for the screen by the late Andras Szeker (The Notebook) from the original 2008 award-winning novel by Vilmos Kondor (a pseudonym for the secretive author whose identity still remains unknown). The story was popular with both critics and the public, making it an instant bestseller that sparked several sequels and has appeared in numerous languages around the world.

Mark Robbins, Film Festival screening committee co-chair, urges people to join him for an evening of suspense and mystery. “Everyone loves a good mystery. The novel and film are tributes to Dashiell Hammett (American author of hard-boiled detective novels) and Raymond Chandler (American novelist and writer of crime fiction), and with that combination you can’t lose,” he says.

Capturing the atmospheric look of 1936 Budapest, award-winning cinematographer Elemer Ragalyi brings the city to life in this classic noir film. Budapest Noir keeps audiences on the edge of their seats as they work to unravel this dark tale.

Callah Terkeltaub

Budapest Noir is a part of the 26th Annual Virginia Festival of Jewish Film. For tickets or information on the festival, contact Arts + Ideas manager, Callah Terkeltaub at or visit