By Michael Korda

ISBN-10: 0060085568

ISBN-13: 9780060085568

ISBN-10: 0061462438

ISBN-13: 9780061462436

A Rolls Royce Silver Cloud drove him to airports; the British movie kowtowed to his strength; the good Hollywood studios fawned at his feet.Sir Alexander Korda, one of many world's so much flamboyant motion picture tycoons, rose from obscurity in rural Hungary to turn into a mythical filmmaker. With him have been his brothers, Zoltan and Vincent, all residing charmed lives in circles that incorporated H. G. Wells, Sir Lawrence Olivier, Marlena Dietrich, Vivien Leigh, and Merle Oberon, who used to be quickly to be Alex's spouse. yet in addition to Alex's aptitude for achievement used to be an both strong impulse for destruction. Now, Vincent's son, Michael Korda, within the first e-book of his memoirs, recollects the enchanted figures of his childhood...the glory days of the Korda brothers' nice films...and then their heartbreaking, tragic finish.

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The level of emotional intensity was equally high in either case. Korda quarrels also had a tendency to grow rapidly in time and space—starting with a simple matter, like Vincent’s elevator, the brothers could move on to a whole range of more important subjects, and if Zoli were present, backward in time to resurrect every childhood complaint and injury, including the fact that Alex got first pick of the goulash after the adults had been served, leaving soup without meat for Zoli and Vincent. This was not a complaint my father ever made himself.

Budapest was to some degree protected from Hapsburg obscurantism. The Hungarians were patriots for Hungary, not for the Em- 44 / Charmed Lives peror, * and looked forward to a “greater” (that is to say, larger) Hungary, under the Crown of St. Stephen, perhaps with an Austrian archduke wearing it as a formality. In the meantime, Hungary’s fields provided grain for the Empire, the one indispensable blessing that kept the senile and ramshackle collection of races and states together under one crown (or rather two).

A famous Central European play, in fact, is based on a poor man’s efforts to raise enough money to buy a decent name for his family—a dilemma which must have faced a good many Hungarian Jews in the early nineteenth century. , German-speaking nationals), and since the Austrians hated and feared the Magyars almost as much as they hated Jews, the Hungarian Jews were given German names. If there was anything the Emperor Franz Josef disliked it was nationalism, and he saw no reason to “create” more Hungarians in changing the names of the Jews.

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Charmed Lives: A Family Romance by Michael Korda


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