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Knighthood For Film Man From Hungary
A LEXANDER KORDA, one of the first producers to win a ;
world reputation for British talkies, has been honored with a knighthood-ai\ unusual distinction for the film in-v dustry, and particularly for a Hungarian.
Korda, who was born at Turkeve, in Hungary, on September 16, 1893, and educated at the Reformist Col- lege and the Royal University in Budapest, was a journalist befoi*e he became interested in film production.
His first efforts as a producer were in Hungary in 1915. Thence he went to Vienna, Berlin, Paris and Holly- wood. He had already acquired some considerable reputation in Europe as a director for the once great, German film company Uta, when he arrived in Hollywood to work with First. National. .
. _ AMERICAN SUCCESS
After making a number of films with this company, he joined Fox and then returned to First National for three-.years, in the course of which his best known film 'was "The Private Life of Helen of Troy." .
In 1931 he made a film in England "Reserved For Ladies," andj; in 1932 he formed his own company there, London Film Productions Ltd.
The following year Kordà 'estab- lished his own reputation once and for all as a producer, and helped to add considerably to that, of Charles Laughton as an actor with "The Private Life of Henry VIII." In this well-remembered and remarkably suc- cessful film there' appeared also Merle Oberon, one of the leading players associated with his company.
It was quite a family affair, for its sets were designed by Vincent Korcla, and yet another Korda, Zoltan, subse- quently became associated with the Korda productions.
Korda followed "Henry VIII." with, a number of other films, some of con- siderable artistic as well as financial success-"Catherine the Great," "The Scarlet Pimpernel," "Sanders of the River" (with Paul Robeson), "The Ghost Goes West," and "Rembrandt."
With "The Lion Has Wings" he i made one of the first: notable films dealing with the Royal Air Forëe. He followed this up with a hew version of the celebrated "Thief of Bagdad," and a film, seen in Melbourne not so long ago, based on the life of Lady Hamilton and Nelson.
Korda is not only a producer of considerable artistic ability, but an astute^ business man.
_ Originally a film critic, he wrote
his own stories and made his -rst pictures in a barn, sold them, and made more elaborate d ones! on the proceeds. ", » ,
Then, arriving m London' unknown to the general public, although not to the inner circles of filmdon, he built up a large and successful enter- prise and introduced to a wider world such players as Laughton, Merle Oberon and Robert Donat.
. Tall, fair, thin, Korda by his friends is esteemed as an intellectual.
His knighthood is presumably a re- cognition both of the propaganda value of his firms and of 'his work in rescuing the British film industry
from the chaos of collapsing com- panies which had previously marked it and established it on a basis from which it could compete with Holly- wood and the world.
MERLE OBERON IS NOW LADY. KORD A
LONDON. June 16.-Merle Oberon, Tasmanian-born film actress, becomes Lady Korda, with the raisi""- of her husband. Alexander Korda. to knight- hood.
Korda. famous film producer, was born in Hungary, bv.t is a naturalised British subject. He is 49. Merle Oberon is 31.
The London "Evening Standard's" diarist says that Korda is consider- ing filming Tolstoy's great work. "War and Peace."