Zoltán Korda Edit Profile
Zoltán fought throughout the First World War for Austria-Hungary. He entered films in Germany in the 1920s as an editor and cameraman. After making his first feature in Germany, he went to America and wrote the script for Women Everywhere (30, A. Korda). For the next ten years he worked in Britain as one of his brother’s cohort of Magyars.
Zoltán played an enthusiastic part in that incongruous sympathy of one lost empire for another fast dying. Sanders of the River WAS SO smugly jingoistic that Paul Robeson, who played (he African chief, preferred to disown it. In retrospect, however, the imperial offensiveness seems peripheral to an engaging taste for adventurous nonsense. It wjas the feeling for romance that inspired the Korda empire, and it was only proper that they should need to establish themselves as refugees. Robeson may have been angered, but Sabu was exactly the Little Black Sambo they needed. He was featured in Elephant Boy, with an impact on Flaherty (used to indigenous peoples) that can only be imagined, in The Drum and The Jungle Book.
By then, Zoltán had gone back to Hollywood. Sahara is a foolish League of Nations war movie set in the Libyan desert. But in his next films, Zoltán unwrapped ambitions not encouraged by his brother. The Macomber Affair from Hemingway’s short story, is respectable and benefits from Joan Bennett; while A Woman’s Vengeance is a version of Aldous Huxley’s The Gioconda Smile. As if to make amends for Sanders of the River Zoltán filmed Alan Patou’s Cry. the Beloved Country, an early, if conventional, cinematic rehabilitation of the black experience. He came back to England to lend his experience to Storm Over the Nile, a remake of The Four Feathers.
- Sir Alexander Korda