Fábri, Zoltán

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Fábri, Zoltán


Born Oct. 15, 1917, in Budapest. Hungarian motion-picture director and screenwriter.

In 1941, Fábri graduated from the acting department of the Budapest Theatrical Academy. From 1941 to 1944 he performed in the National Theater, where he also staged his first theater productions: Grillparzer’s A Faithful Servant of His Master and Falstaff (based on Shakespeare’s Henry IV). Beginning in 1949 he headed the Budapest Theater for Young Audiences, the first theater in Hungary for children.

Fábri made his debut as a film director in 1952 with The Storm. In The Merry-go-round (1956), a landmark in Hungarian cinema, he depicted the breakdown of old world views and bourgeois mores in a clear and original manner. Fábri consistently deals with significant subjects, including social and political problems. In his films Professor Hannibal (1956), and Edes Anna (1958) he portrayed the stifling atmosphere in Hungary during the fascist Horthy regime and the beginnings of social protest.

Fábri made an outstanding contribution to Hungarian cinema with Twenty Hours (1964; Grand Prize at the Fifth International Film Festival in Moscow, 1965), a profoundly realistic epic depicting the breakdown of the old way of life and the establishment of socialism in Hungary. His other films include Sign of Life (1954, Soviet version entitled Fourteen Saved Lives), Blue April (1957), The Paul Street Boys (1969, Grand Prize at the International Children’s Film Festival in Moscow), The Anthill (1971), One Day, More or Less (1973), and The Unfinished Sentence (1974, awarded a special prize by the judges of the Ninth International Film Festival in Moscow, 1975).

Fábri was awarded the Kossuth Prize in 1953, 1955, and 1970.


Gershkovich, A. Zoltan Fabri. Moscow, 1969.
Pogozheva, L. Budapeshtskie tetradi. Moscow, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.