Life on the Hortobagy (1937) Movie Script

For a thousand years the Magyars
have lived on their plains,
guarded by distant mountains.
Through the centuries
they have remained horsemen,
following their ancient callings
hunting, fishing,
and breeding livestock.
This way of life,
shaped by Nature and tradition,
created a rich folk culture.
But in the past century,
agriculture has subdued
their ancient pursuits.
Hunting lands and pastures
have become ploughed fields.
Today, of the endless plains
there are few patches
to remain unaffected, and even
the remotest swathes of land
are crumbling before
the iron of the Tractor.
A thousand-year-old fairytale:
this is Hungary.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
no sooner had we got
acquainted with the tractor,
and the gas drill,
than a new machine,
the film shooting machine,
arrived at the Great Plain.
It was the gentlemen
coming along who brought it.
They spent two summers with us,
from spring to fall.
We played roles forthem, but,
nevertheless, we are no actors,
but herdsmen and peasants.
And we do present ourselves
as what we are.
We have grown fond
of your machine, of the motion
pictures, because it shows
our ranch, our plain, our life
the way they are.
See you soon in the film,
in our beautiful plain,
which is called Hortobgy!
Adapted and directed by
George Michael Hoellering
After the short story The Gloomy
Horse by Zsigmond Moricz
Music: Lszl Lajtha
Camera: Lszl Schiffer
Sound: Ferenc Lohr
With the
Budapest Concert Orchestra
conducted by Viktor Vaszy
The folk songs were collected by
Lszl Lajtha.
Produced in Hunnia Film Factory
Tobis Klangfilm system
Copy by Kovcs and Faludi
Production Hllering-Film
Jnos Czinege plays Jnos Czinege,
a head csikos
Mrs. Jnosn Czinege plays
Jnos Czinege's wife
lstvn Knysi plays Jancsi,
Czinege's son
Margit Szincsk plays Juliska,
Czinege's daughter
Mihly Nagy plays Mihly,
Czinege's csikos
Jnos Srkny plays lmre,
Czinege's ranchman
lstvn Veress plays Pista,
the rich peasant boy
lmre Kovcs plays lmre Kovcs,
an old head csikos
Mrs. lmrn Kovcs plays
widow Srknyn
Lajos Kelemen plays the mechanic
Get back, this is the boundary.
Your machine has taken away
enough from us already.
The rain has blurred the sign.
I could not see it.
Get away and open your eyes,
or else you'll get a whipping.
- Good morning, Mr. Mechanic!
- Hi, Jancsi!
- Will you find gas today'?
- I hope so.
- How much more iron pieces'?
- Three will do.
Jancsi, your father is just
mounting the horse at the ranch.
I must go with him to
the village and to the market.
Hurry up, or he kills me
if he finds you here.
Iam going. Give me
some tools for my bicycle,
because it needs mending.
Here you are.
- Thank you.
- Farewell!
Should Jancsi follow you'?
To the devil with him,
a csikos must be punctual.
- Where is father'?
- He is gone to the village.
- Give me my boots.
- You don't need them.
Your father took Mihly.
- And what about me'? - He said
you should go to the devil.
Iwill rather mend my bicycle.
The herdsmen from the
Hortobgy are here!
Bring the horses
to the breeding place.
Not ready for the market yet'?
Yes, Jnos, we'll come at once.
Make yourself pretty!
Pista is coming from Debrecen.
I don't want him, father.
Where is Jancsi'?
- The kid wasn't there, when
I left. - Have a drink, Jnos.
- Who has come with you, father'?
- Mihly.
Get Mihly out of your head.
Pista is the one for you.
I will not have the conceited fool.
L'll decide that.
/n Ho/Tobg y the violet
is in fu// bloom
The cattle grazes happily
in its blue...
Its herdsman drinks
his wine in the tavern
The poor lift/e bird
finds no rest
It flies from
one branch to the next...
A lone/y guy as I am
/ find no rest either
A lone/y guy as I am
/ find no rest either
/'m a cowboy m yse/lj
from top to toe,
Not like others,
who make it for sham.
There my herd is grazing,
My darling violet.
There the y're grazing,
There the y're grazing,
Six gray foals alone,
with no horseman.
Al/ the six though, all the six though
Wear copper fetters to force them.
Come on darling,
let's snatch those grey foals
Rasp down, file ofi'
those copper fetters.
Hide the bicycle pump,
father must not see it.
Jancsi will be glad.
To the devil with the bicycle!
- I saved up three years for it.
- A csikos doesn't need a bicycle!
Everyone is catching horses
for the market,
while you play with that
rubbishy machine.
Come here, Jancsi.
Embracing, embracing,
Embracing my gray horse...
- Come on, lmre.
- l'm coming.
L'll drive the big herd to market
with Mihly, you drive the others.
That's Jancsi's job, he is the csikos!
I don't want a csikos
with a bicycle.
Anyway, do what I tell you.
Here is my whip, you will
need it at the market.
- And you'?
- I don't need it any more.
- You don't need it any more'?
- No.
- All the best.
- Thank you, good bye.
- Mihly, ride back and
fetch Jancsi. - l'm going.
You can only stay here
if your father allows it.
Will you keep me fortoday'?
Yes, but tomorrow
l'll speak to your father.
Is she going to the market too'?
- Who'?
- Srkny's widow.
How should I know'?
She has never been there.
- Where are you going'?
- To the market.
- To Kovcs, the head csikos'?
- Yes.
- But you have never been there.
- Now l'm going.
Well, I never! She's going --
I want to see him once again
before I die.
That's a wonder, a real wonder!
What does she want
with old Kovcs'?
He used to be her sweetheart
before she married Srkny.
Why didn't she marry Kovcs'?
They made her marry
the rich peasant.
Kovcs was only a csikos
back then.
- And was the marriage a
happy one'? - No.
- You want to force me too.
- Not l, and father means well.
Drive faster, mother, and get over
there to ride with Mrs. Srkny.
L'll go to meet father on the ranch.
Well, to meet father. Well! Well!
All right then!
- Hasn't Jancsi been here'?
- Not today.
Horsemen, herdsmen...
Jancsi, there is your donkey.
He always follows me.
This place will turn
into a menagerie.
Broken the flask...
for drink don 't ask...
Stop the motor and come up here.
Two mares are foaling.
Two fine foals.
He/yh-ho, no mother it was
who raised this lift/e lass/e,
He/yh-ho, hatched she was
by a pigeon in the greenwood.
N0 mothers e/derdown 0f
silk does she need to c0 ver her,
He/yh-ho, her shepherd /0 verS
cloak will keep her cosy.
- You can stay at home.
- Now'? Having got myself ready'?
- The old man wants Jancsi to come.
- He has been gone a long while.
- To the market'?
- I don't know.
- Perhaps he will come now.
- I don't think so.
- Juliska!
- Mihly!
- What are you doing here'?
- I brought something for you
and now I must go to the market.
L'll help you to unload.
It's a long time
since we saw each other.
A very long time.
But there is something else,
- What'?
- Father is at the market.
- And...'?
- He is preparing the betrothal.
- What betrothal'?
- Pista's and mine.
Pista's and yours?
Don't be afraid.
They won't tear us apart.
Iam going there, too.
For 150 Pengs!
- What are you doing here'?
- I have come to you.
- To me'? And your husband'?
- He died a year ago.
What do you want'?
I want to see you again,
for I won't live long either.
I will take you to the Puszta
ranch. You will live longerthere
than alone in the village.
/n Nag yi vain y I whoop
about without pardon,
S0 the maid shall hear it
in her back-garden.
I can't find Jancsi.
He'll come by,
have a drink.
Why won't you dance too,
like my father'?
I stood highest in my fatherk fa vor,
Yet a rascal I turned for /0 ve S labor.
My cloak has a round border,
with red silk it is embroidered,
When resting along my ways
My cloak under my head lp/ace.
/n the growing grass I hide,
My /0 ve is v/o/et-b/ue-e yea',
My heanj my hea/T must kill me,
Who might be there to heal me ?
Hello, Pista.
He/yh-ho, no mother it was
who raised this lift/e lass/e,
He/yh-ho, hatched she was by a
pigeon in the greenwood.
N0 mothers e/derdown 0f
silk does she need to c0 ver her,
He/yh-ho, her shepherd /0 verS
cloak will keep her cosy.
- A pretty couple.
- Yes.
- You stand there and look on'?
- He took her...
- Why didn't you take her'?
- You are right!
Now the gypsy must play
something for Juliska and me.
Stop! Now you play for me.
Don't stop, play on!
- Now he plays for me.
- Play on.
- Now he plays for me...
- For you'?
- He will play for me!
- No!!
That's enough. You shall not
dance anymore with my Juliska.
My Britannica cigar,
it fei/ out 0f m y pocket
And me I fe/l out too,
0f m y sweethea/TS fa vor,
But fallen out 0r no,
/'// not be long bereft; though,
For down in the new cofiee house,
gay music sets the tone there.
We must cover the machine.
A storm is brooding.
Is Jancsi with the horses?
He left this morning
with his bicycle.
He'll get it! Nowl must
go to the herd.
Give me my fur,
the storm is coming.
- Fetch the pincers out of the pit.
- I am bringing them.
Stand clear! The beams are
shifting! Free the horse!
Give me a rope.
Stay with the herd, I am going to
the gas, the drill has collapsed.
The drill has collapsed!
Help here!
I must put out the fire!
He is alive.
Thank God!
The drill has collapsed,
Jancsi is sure to be there.
My boy Jancsi is dead.
No, he's alive, but we must
carry him to the tent.
Now Jancsi, have you had
enough machines'?
No, father,
I want to be a mechanic.
Can you understand that'?
Let him be. If our sons
don't take over the machines,
they will lose the
Puszta altogether.
- Where is Crane, my horse'?
- Struck dead by the beam.
- Crane'?
- Yes.
Come on, Uncle lmre,
let's bury him.
- Father, you and Mihly bury him.
- All right, Jancsi.
- I am off to put him on the cart.
- I shall come in a moment.
- Can you see something'?
- No.
Iam sure something
has happened.
Look afterthe kid; I am off
to bury Crane.
Do so.
The motor is working again,
Mr. Mechanic.
It needs some oil.
It would make no sense
to give oats to Daru -
he will not stir anymore.
Now you too
belong to the machine.
- I will do my best, Mr. Mechanic. And our
machine must live always. - Okay, Jancsi.
Iam sorry for the fine horse.
As for you, you'll get
- What'?
- Juliska!
Wow, I can't believe it!
For twenty years I have
cooked my soup alone,
but it has never been
so good as today.
- May I marry Mihly'?
- You may not you must.
N0 mothers e/derdown 0f
silk does she need to c0 ver her,
He/yh-ho, her shepherd /0 verS
cloak will keep her cosy.
He/yh-ho, no mother it was
who raised this lift/e lass/e
N0 mothers e/derdown 0f
silk does she need to c0 ver her
He/yh-ho, her shepherd /0 verS
cloak will keep her cosy.
Lsz/o' Fe//r stole a steed
From ofi' the black hillside
From ofi' the black mountain -
Caught he was in fetters chained.
A bowl 0f gold, judge, /'// give thee,
Pr/thee /et my brother free!
A bowl of go/dS no good to me
Let me share the night with thee.
Lsz/o' Fe//r, dearest brother,
Hear what said Judge H0rva't.' rather,
I should spend the night with he -
Then brother dear will you be free.
Anna Fe//r, sister bra vest;
D0 not thank him with your fa voura
Your maidenhead he '// ha ve from thee,
Yet send me t0 the gallows tree.
Coachman, six steeds straight away,
7'0 the prison gates, I sa y!
Lsz/o' Fe//r, /ump in fast
Sleep at home 0r breathe your last!
Coachman, straight away six steeds!
Ofi' t0 Judge Horvats we must speed!
He took from me my maidenhead,
Yet my brother hanged t/// he was dead/
Your washing water to blood be turned,
Your towel to fire, your skin be burned,
/'d see your bread to stone turned hard,
Your knife dart up and stab your heart!
The End