Molnár, Ferenc, 1878-1952

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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

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Emeline Clark Roche Collection, 1815-1988 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Sam Jaffe Papers, 1915-1991, (bulk 1925-1984) Manuscript Division, Library of Congress
referencedIn Robert E. Sherwood papers, 1917-1968 (inclusive), 1934-1955 (bulk). Houghton Library, , Harvard College Library, Harvard University
creatorOf Josephine Barrington Collection. The Swan / by Ferenc Molnar ; directed by Carroll Aikins, 1928 - house program. University of Guelph
creatorOf Molnár, Ferenc, 1878-1952. Ferenc Molnár papers, 1927-1952. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Pauker, Edmond, ca. 1880-1962. Edmond Pauker papers, 1898-1960. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Stratford Festival Collection. The Guardsman / by Ferenc Molnar ; english version by Grace I. Colbron and Hans Bartsch ; acting version by Philip Moeller ; directed by Robin Phillips, 1977 - reviews and articles. University of Guelph
creatorOf Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph). The President / by Ferenc Molnár, adapted by Morwyn Brebner ; directed by Blair Williams, designed by Cameron Porteous, 2008 - house program. University of Guelph
creatorOf Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph). Guardsman / by F. Molnar, 1969 - tour publication. University of Guelph
creatorOf Ferenc Molnár papers, 1927-1952 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Rodgers, Richard, 1902-1979. Carousel. Library of Congress
creatorOf Molnár, Ferenc, 1878-1952. Best of Broadway-- "The guardsman" : a comedy / by Ferenc Molnar ; adapted for television by Reginald Lawrence. Bowling Green State University, BGSU Libraries
creatorOf Molnár, Ferenc, 1878-1952. "Studio one" presents Franz Molnar's "Riviera". Bowling Green State University, BGSU Libraries
referencedIn Jaffe, Sam, 1891-1984. Sam Jaffe papers, 1915-1991 (bulk 1925-1984). Library of Congress
referencedIn H.A. Condell stage and costume designs [graphic] / H.A. Condell, 1930-1959 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Lawrence Langner papers, 1915-1962 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Molnár, Ferenc, 1878-1952. Arthur; three acts. English text by P.G. Wodehouse. Dallas Public Library, Central Library
creatorOf Molnár, Ferenc, 1878-1952. Guardsman / by F. Molnar ; directed by S. Porter, 1969 - performance file. University of Guelph
creatorOf Molnár, Ferenc, 1878-1952. The Play's the Thing / by Ferenc Molnar -reviews and articles, 1976. University of Guelph
creatorOf Molnár, Ferenc, 1878-1952. Westinghouse summer theatre-- The swan / by Ferenc Molnar. Bowling Green State University, BGSU Libraries
creatorOf Rodgers, Richard, 1902-1979. Carousel / [book and lyrics] Hammerstein ; [music] Rodgers. Library of Congress
creatorOf Ferenc Molnár papers, ca. 1947 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Burton, David. The swan : costumes, properties, lighting & effects, settings, music, labor, etc., as arranged and executed under the supervision of Mr. David Burton. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Jo Mielziner papers, 1903-1976 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Edmond Pauker papers, 1910-1957 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Armstrong, Paul, 1869-1915. "Der Einbrecher" : Schwank in 3 Acten / von Molnar & C. Lindau. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
creatorOf Dan H. Laurence Collection. The Dark Lady of the Sonnets / by Bernard Shaw - program of production by the South Shore Drama Group, Lawrence, Long Island, N.Y., Aug. 13-14, 1954. University of Guelph
referencedIn Rosamond Pinchot Papers, 1918-1955, (bulk 1923-1937) Manuscript Division, Library of Congress
creatorOf Grand Theatre Collection (University of Guelph). Carousel / music by Richard Rodgers ; book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II ; based on the play Liliom by Ferec Molnar ; musical direction by Don McKellar ; staged and directed by Peter Dearing and Don Fleckser, 1960 - house program. University of Guelph
creatorOf Molnár, Ferenc, 1878-1952. Companion in exile : manuscript, 1950. Library of Congress
referencedIn E. E. Cummings additional papers, 1870-1969. Houghton Library, , Harvard College Library, Harvard University
referencedIn Pinchot, Rosamond, 1904-1938. Rosamond Pinchot papers, 1918-1955 (bulk 1923-1937). Library of Congress
creatorOf Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph). The Guardsman / by F. Molnar, 1969 - production photos. University of Guelph
creatorOf Toby Gordon Ryan Collection. Arthur / by Ferenc Molnar, 1953 - house program. University of Guelph
creatorOf Molnár, Ferenc, 1878-1952. Compositions : manuscript, 1948. Harvard University, Houghton Library
referencedIn Pauker, Edmond, ca. 1880-1962. Edmond Pauker papers, 1910-1957. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Stratford Festival Collection. The Guardsman / by Ferenc Molnar ; English version Grace I. Colbron and Hans Bartsch ; directed by Robin Phillips, 1977 - house program. University of Guelph
creatorOf Play Actors Collection. Arthur / by Ferenc Molnar ; directed by Toby Gordon, 1953. University of Guelph
referencedIn Edmond Pauker papers, 1898-1960 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn David Belasco papers, 1868-1967 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Eva Le Gallienne papers, 1903-1986 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Edmond Pauker papers, 1923-1959 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Molnár, Ferenc, 1878-1952. Guardsman / by Ferenc Molnar ; directed by Stephen Porter, 1969 - house program. University of Guelph
creatorOf Speiser, Maurice J., 1880-. Miscellaneous manuscripts, 1915-1938, n.d. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Armstrong, Paul, 1869-1915. person
associatedWith Bartha, Wanda, 1908-1947. person
associatedWith Baum, Vicki, 1888-1960 person
associatedWith Belasco, David, 1853-1931 person
associatedWith Burton, David. person
associatedWith Chodorov, Edward, 1904-1988 person
associatedWith Condell, H. A. (Heinz A.) person
associatedWith Cummings, E. E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962 person
associatedWith Dan H. Laurence Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Fields, Joseph A., 1895-1966 person
associatedWith Grand Theatre Collection (University of Guelph) corporateBody
associatedWith Horch, Franz, 1901- person
correspondedWith Jaffe, Sam, 1891-1984. person
associatedWith Janney, Russel person
associatedWith Josephine Barrington Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Langner, Lawrence, 1890-1962 person
associatedWith Laszlo, Miklos person
associatedWith Le Gallienne, Eva, 1899-1991 person
associatedWith Lengyel, Menyhért, 1880-1974 person
associatedWith Margo Jones Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Mielziner, Jo, 1901-1976 person
associatedWith Mussey, June Barrows, 1910-1985. person
associatedWith Pauker, Edmond, ca. 1880-1962. person
associatedWith Penn, Irving. person
associatedWith Phoenix Archives. corporateBody
correspondedWith Pinchot, Rosamond, 1904-1938. person
associatedWith Play Actors Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Porter, Stephen, 1925- person
associatedWith Roche, Emeline Clark, 1902-1995 person
associatedWith Rodgers, Richard, 1902-1979. person
associatedWith Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph) corporateBody
associatedWith Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph) corporateBody
associatedWith Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph) corporateBody
associatedWith Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph) corporateBody
correspondedWith Sherwood, Robert E. (Robert Emmet), 1896-1955 person
associatedWith Speiser, Maurice J., 1880- person
associatedWith Stratford Festival Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Stratford Festival Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Toby Gordon Ryan Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964. person
associatedWith Wodehouse, P. G. (Pelham Grenville), 1881-1975. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Hungary
Subject
European drama
Theater--Hungary
Theater--United States
Dramatists--Hungary
Dramatists
Hungarian drama
Theatrical productions--United States
Theater--Germany
Occupation
Authors
Playwrights
Literary agents
Dramatists
Function

Person

Birth 1878-01-12

Death 1952-04-02

Hungarians

English,

Hungarian

Information

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