Molnár, Ferenc fĕ´rĕnts môl´när [key], 1878–1952, Hungarian dramatist and novelist. He studied law in Budapest and Geneva and was for some time a journalist in Budapest. He was a prolific author of plays, novels, stories, sketches, dialogues, and war reports. His best-known works are the plays Liliom (1909, tr. 1921), which was made into the musical comedy Carousel; The Guardsman (1910, tr. 1924); and The Swan (1920, tr. 1922). His plays exhibit masterful technique, sophisticated dialogue, and a satirical edge that is tempered by genuine sentiment. Although technically of high caliber, his plays rely upon superficial theatrical special effects. Molnár emigrated to the United States during the Nazi regime; he wrote film scripts and was famed as a wit.
See his autobiography (1950).
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