If we look at Hollywood blockbusters with open eyes, but especially with open ears, we’ll hear Hungarian words sooner than we think.
Maybe it’s unbelievable, but actors and actresses speak Hungarian in a lot of films. If Hollywood is looking for a language that has its hardness and only a few million people know, it usually goes to Hungarian. Hungarian has been the language of aliens, terrorists, and even curses. But what are these films?
- “Iron Man”
“Come here right now! What’s going on in there? Hands up!” – say the Hungarian mercenaries working for terrorists in the Middle East, while Tony Stark‘s scientist sidekick works feverishly on the big escape plan with our hero, trying to stall the bad guys with a “One minute, one minute” against the very unintelligible accented Hungarian bad guys.
- “Blade Runner”
The most famous foreign-language Hungarian line of all time is undoubtedly from the “Blade Runner”: “Monsieur, come after me at once, bitte”. “Bullshit, don’t you say that you are the Blade Runner”. It was part of the concept of the film that the inhabitants of the metropolis of the future would speak a mixed language, and since Edward James Olmos is partly of Hungarian descent, that’s how the Hungarian words got into this wonderful classic film.
Our renowned director Antal Nimród jumped into this badass action film as a bad-humored bodyguard. “And how would you like to be killed, you little monkey?” – he threats Danny Trejo in Hungarian, then makes the mistake of translating it into English. Don’t have to say, he would soon regret it.
- James Bond
At the beginning of the 1973 Bond film “Live and Let Die”, an assassination attempt is made at a UN conference while a representative of Hungary is speaking in Hungarian. The role was played by a Hungarian actor, Vernon Gábor, and he spoke with great passion about various decrees and paragraphs, about nothingness.
- “The Mummy”
Imhotep‘s enthusiastic assistant is played by an American actor, Kevin J. O’Connor, but the character is still of Hungarian origin and goes by the name of Beni Gábor. Unfortunately, this doesn’t have much significance in the story, but when Rick catches him interrogating him, he unexpectedly utters a “Dirty animal” curse, in a not very Hungarian accent of course.
- “Drag Me to Hell”
The young bank officer is no help to the needy old lady, and Mrs. Ganush, who has underworld cronies, attacks her viciously in the parking garage. However, the purpose of the scuffle is not to deal out a few educational slaps, but to curse the girl. “The devil take you,” Mrs. Ganush says in English, and we shiver in fear.
- “The whole ten yards”
We knew the mafioso Gogolak family were of Hungarian origin after the first episode, but we had to wait until the sequel for them to speak Hungarian. The 108-year-old farting granny who offers Natasha Henstridge a bejgli speaks Hungarian in the Hungarian dub and the original version.
- “The Expendables”
In Stallone‘s action movie, there’s a relatively quieter, shotless scene in which Stallone and Jason Statham are waiting for someone in a bar and a Latin beauty appears. Introductions are made, with Statham introducing themselves as Buda and Pest. Nice for a guy who taught Lake Balaton is a sea in another film a few years later.
The six women convicted of murder tell their stories in a song called Cella Tango, and one of them pleads innocent: the Hungarian Hunyak accused of cutting off her husband’s head. Since the role was given to a Russian dancer, Ekaterine Chtchelkanova, the cruelly strong Slavic accent makes the lyrics almost unintelligible, but the line “It’s not true. I’m innocent” is still clearly audible.
- “The Usual Suspects”
We have no idea if Morgan Hunter could be in Hungarians in Hollywood compilation, but he certainly does have lines in Hungarian in two films, “The Usual Suspects” and 1998’s “Grim Fandango”. In the former, he plays a rather badly burned smuggler who uses Hungarian to tell the police about the mysterious crime lord Keyser Söze.
The interesting thing about the film is that the interpreter translates his sentences into English for the police in a completely different way than Arkosh Kovash (probably meant to be Ákos Kovács, but for some reason, it was spelled like that) originally says, and the Hungarian dubbing only made things worse.