A Varázsló - (Hungary, 1969)

Figure 1.--Boys in this Hungarian film wear blue school smocks. This boy wears black short pants, white kneesocks, and sandals with his smock. Most of the other boys wear long pants.

The title of this film is A Varázsló, meaning "Magician" in English. The film itself is a confusing tale, involving an eclectic mixture of robots, horses in high rise appartments, and android doubles of the main character. In between all of this are scences at school. The boys wear blue smocks. I am unsure how common this was in Hungarian scgools. The many boys involved in the film provide glimpses of Hungarian boys clothes in 1969.


HBC has no information on the filmography of this film. The only thing HBC know about this film as that it was made in Hungary which in 1969 had a Communist Government. Often films made in Communist countries had ideologiacal messages. HBC does not know if this film had any ideoloical message. Unfortunately, HBC lnow little about Hungarian film making.

The Title

A Varázsló means "The magician". In German it's called Onkel Tschilli-Tschalla, der Zauberer. In East Germany (the old GDR) it was called Der Zauberer. On TV it is called Die Wunder des Tschilli-Tschalla.

The Plot

The precise story line in the film is a bit difficult to figure out. There are a lot od scenes at school, both inside and outside the classroom. There are scence in the highrise apartment where they live. For some strange reason a horse, yes a HORSE appears in one of the bed rooms. Now at that age I wouldn't have minded a horse in my bed room, but I think mom might have had a word or two o sday about it. If the horse wan't enough, a robot also makes an appearance. Oh yes, did I mention an android double of the main character. HBC has no idea what story line links these disperate elements together, but given these scenes a magician is understandable. A HBC reader has provided some information on the plot. The film is about a lively Budapest scholboy, who likes to play tricks, really magical ones. They often backfire, but he is able to escape from the situations his tricks create with the help of a magican. But it doesn't end, instead of getting better, the situations just grow worse and worese for the boy each time.


HBC believes that films made in Hungary and other Eastern European countries often were low-buget affairs. Films with contemporay settings often did not have elaborate costumes, but rather had the boys, espdecially if they were not main characters wear their own clothes--thus providing a useful glimpse of contemorary styles. HBC does not know to what extent the smocks pictured in this film are costumes or in fact actual smocks worn at Hunagrian schools. Likewise we do not know to what extent the clothes the boys wear are costumes or their own clothes. Nor do we know if the clothes have any comection to the story line.

Figure 2.--This boy looks younger than some of the ither boys. He wears short pants, kneesocks, and sandals. The man is presumably the magician from the title.


The film provides glimpses of both regular boys' clohing and schoolwear.

Regular clothes

This film shows a wide variety of clothes worn by Hungarian boys in the late 1960s. While boys wore school smocks, I do not think that they were commonly worn except for school. The boys are pictured in a wide range of shirtsm bith collared shirts and coloful "T"-shirts. Some boys wore short pants. One younger boy wore suspender shorts. Most of the boys, however, wear long pants. oys wearing short pants commonly wore kneesocks, both white and coloted kneesocks. Some of the boys wore English-style closed-toe sandals, butvmostvboys wearvlace-up shoes.


The boys in this film did not wear school uniforms, but some uniform-type garments can be seen. The most obvous is the front buttoning school smock. HBC is not sure if this is a nationally mandated style. Some of the boys wear short pants and kneesocks to school with their smocks, but most boys wore black long pants.


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Created: January 23, 2001
Last updated: November 9, 2001