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Zsigmond Gordon

Created by Vilmos Kondor
(1954 --)

Zsigmond to his ex: "What happened. Did you give another guy a hard time in Berlin?"
Krisztina: "Yeah. His name was Adolph and he had a little mustache under his nose."

Scruffy, unkempt former boxer turned newshawk ZSIGMOND GORDON is working the crime beat in 1936 Hungary, when a chance meeting with an enigmatic young hooker he met recently is murdered, in Budapest Noir, a 2017 film from director Éva Gárdos, based on the Hungarian bestseller by Vilmos Kondor.

This is the stuff noir dreams are made of: Hitler's on the move, anti-Semitism is on the rise and Hungary, already in political turmoil, is preparing to step into line, so nobody seems to care all that much about the death of some whore, except Gordon. And possibly his ex-girlfriend Krisztina (played with Nora Charles pluck by Réka Tenki), a top-notch photo journalist who's recently re-inserted herself into his life.

But to find out the truth, they'll have to make his way through a cesspool of corruption and treachery of both the criminal and political kind, rubbing up against pornographers, prostitues, female boxers, and assorted mobsters, politicos and businessmen, all looking for a way to suck up to the Nazis.

No, Gordon's not a P.I. per se but he's got the obligatory trenchcoat, fedora and crushing world-weariness, and it's not too difficult to connect the dots.

* * * * *

The film is based on one of five best-selling and well-received novels by Hungarian author Vilmos Kondor, collectively known as the Budapest Noir series, which follows Gordon from the 1930s through to the 1950s. Sounds like the perfect thing for fans of Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther or Volker Kutscher's Babylon Berlon series.

UNDER OATH

  • "The search (for a Hungarian crime thriller) is at an end: Vilmos Kondor's novel is a Hungarian crime thriller and then some, one of the harder variety, in the spirit of Chandler and Hammett, but with Hungarian characters and set in the Hungarian capital in the period before World War II. ... Kondor's literary experiment has been a great success: the Hungarian hard-boiled crime thriller has been born, and, far predating its own period, it leads its readers... with an effect that 'carries into the present'... to the literary realm of the 1930s."

-- Péter I. Rácz on the novel Budapest Noir

NOVELS

  • Budapest Noir (2008)...Buy this book...Kindle it!
  • Bünös Budapest (2009; aka "Sinful Budapest")
  • A budapesti kém (2010; The Budapest Spy)
  • Budapest romokban (2011; Budapest in Ruins)
  • Budapest novemberben (2012; Budapest in November)

FILMS

  • BUDAPEST NOIR
    (2017, Piioneer Pictures) 
    Based on the novel by Vilmos Kondor
    Screenplay by Éva Gárdos and András Szekér
    Directed by Éva Gárdos
    Starring Krisztiàn Kolovratnik as SIGMOND GORDON
    Also starring Franciska Töröcsik, Kata Dobó, Zsolt Anger, Zoltán Mucsi, Szabolcs Thuróczy, Réka Tenki, Ágnes Bánfalvy, Zoltán Schneider, János Kulka, Attila Beko, Roland Tzafetás, Adél Kováts, István Hunyadkürthy

Report submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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