Molnár, Ferenc, 1878-1952

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1878-01-12
Death 1952-04-02
Hungarians
English, Hungarian

Biographical notes:

Ferenc Molnár was born Ferenc Neumann in 1878 to an upper middle class Hungarian-Jewish family in Budapest. During his schooling he changed his German indoctrinated family name to the Hungarian Molnár. He studied law in Geneva for a brief time and then returned to Budapest in 1896 to devote himself to journalism, writing feuilletons-a mixture of cultural op-ed pieces, literary essay and reportage- for various European newspapers. As a result of these he gained renown in Budapest and began traveling in the local artistic circles. In 1902, after trying his hand successfully at novels and short stories, he wrote his first play The Lawyer . His first popular success came with The Devil, which, in 1909, saw three simultaneous productions in New York, one in English, one in German, and one in Yiddish. Though he wrote largely romantic comedies, satires, and farces (of drawing room society, aristocracy and domestic squabbles), he was also sensitive to the plight of the underclasses which showed through in his articles and fiction. Strains of his works are often compared to Maugham, Wilde, Pirandello, and Shaw. The plays are occasionally tinged with sentimentality and tempered by a basic humanity, but their real force is their humor. His plays were well-received in Budapest, Berlin and Vienna before the second World War, as well as in New York where they enjoyed revivals and debuts. Molnár had great crossover success from Broadway to Hollywood as many of his plays were made into or inspired movies, namely The Good Fairy, Liliom, Olympia, No Greater Glory, One, Two, Three, and The Swann . Both Puccini and Gershwin were interested in setting Liliom to music but Molnár declined. Eventually it was transformed with much success into Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel . Other plays were adapted for new productions, such as Arthur Miller’s 1947 radio play of The Guardsman, and Tom Stoppard’s 1985 staging of Rough Crossing . To avoid the rising tide of National Socialism in Germany, Molnár immigrated in 1939 to New York City and resided at the Plaza Hotel where he lived and continued to write until his death in 1952. Though the Communists banned his work in his homeland his work has since experienced a resurgence there.

From the guide to the Ferenc Molnár papers, 1927-1952, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)

Hungarian novelist, dramatist and short story writer.

From the description of Companion in exile : manuscript, 1950. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71132206

Edmond Pauker, literary agent and play broker, was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1887 or 1888. He became associated with the theater after an early career as a professor of law and economics. Pauker came to the United States in 1922 and established an agency in New York City. During the 1920s and 1930s, much of Pauker's business came from his relationships with European colleagues. Early in his career, Pauker was the U.S. representative for a number of agencies in Germany, Hungary, and Austria. His business arrangements with Felix Bloch Erben, Dr. Alexander Marton, G. Marton Verlag, the Society of Authors and Playwrights of Hungary, and the International Copyright Bureau, Ltd., enabled him to arrange for the production and sale of rights to numerous plays by European authors, including Ferenc Molnar, Miklos Laszlo, and Melchior Lengyel. His American clients included Vicki Baum, Edward Chodorov, Joseph Fields, and Russell Janney, and he was also instrumental in arranging for the sale of European rights for works of a number of other American writers including S. N. Behrman, Theodore Dreiser, and Robert Sherwood. Pauker gave up his practice in 1959. He died on May 6, 1962

From the guide to the Edmond Pauker papers, 1910-1957, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)

Ferenc Molnár was a Hungarian dramatist.

From the guide to the Ferenc Molnár papers, ca. 1947, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)

The Hungarian playwright, Ferenc Molnár was born Ferenc Neumann in 1878 to an upper middle class Hungarian-Jewish family in Budapest.

During his schooling he changed his German indoctrinated family name to the Hungarian Molnár. He studied law in Geneva for a brief time and then returned to Budapest in 1896 to devote himself to journalism, writing feuilletons - a mixture of cultural op-ed pieces, literary essay and reportage - for various European newspapers. As a result of these he gained renown in Budapest and began traveling in the local artistic circles. In 1902, after trying his hand successfully at novels and short stories, he wrote his first play The Lawyer. His first popular success came with The Devil, which, in 1909, saw three simultaneous productions in New York, one in English, one in German, and one in Yiddish. Though he wrote largely romantic comedies, satires, and farces (of drawing room society, aristocracy and domestic squabbles), he was also sensitive to the plight of the underclasses which showed through in his articles and fiction. Strains of his works are often compared to Maugham, Wilde, Pirandello, and Shaw. The plays are occasionally tinged with sentimentality and tempered by a basic humanity, but their real force is their humor. His plays were well-received in Budapest, Berlin and Vienna before the second World War, as well as in New York where they enjoyed revivals and debuts.

Molnár had great crossover success from Broadway to Hollywood as many of his plays were made into or inspired movies, namely The Good Fairy, Liliom, Olympia, No Greater Glory, One, Two, Three, and The Swann. Both Puccini and Gershwin were interested in setting Liliom to music but Molnár declined. Eventually it was transformed with much success into Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel. Other plays were adapted for new productions, such as Arthur Miller's 1947 radio play of The Guardsman, and Tom Stoppard's 1985 staging of Rough Crossing.

To avoid the rising tide of National Socialism in Germany, Molnár immigrated in 1939 to New York City and resided at the Plaza Hotel where he lived and continued to write until his death in 1952. Though the Communists banned his work in his homeland his work has since experienced a resurgence there.

From the description of Ferenc Molnár papers, 1927-1952. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 77918018

Loading...

Loading Relationships

Information

Permalink:
http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6h41t6v
Ark ID:
w6h41t6v
SNAC ID:
36780102

Subjects:

  • European drama
  • Theater--Hungary
  • Theater--United States
  • Dramatists--Hungary
  • Dramatists
  • Hungarian drama
  • Theatrical productions--United States
  • Theater--Germany

Occupations:

  • Authors
  • Playwrights
  • Literary agents
  • Dramatists

Places:

  • Hungary (as recorded)