Milán Schruff – a remarkable young actor from Hungary

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I saw the Hungarian film entitled Fever at Dawn (Hajnali Láz). This feature film was directed by Péter Gárdos based on his bestseller about his father’s quest to find healing and love after World War II in the short time the doctors said he had left. I was interested in the movie because I read that the main character is from Debrecen, my hometown, and Debrecen landmarks like the Gambrinus are mentioned in the film. To our surprise, the Roda Theater in Berkeley was packed, there was quite an interest in the film.

Milán Schruff (left) in a scene from the Hungarian film Fever at Dawn (Hajnali Láz)

Milán Schruff (left) in a scene from the Hungarian film Fever at Dawn (Hajnali Láz)

Gárdos’s father, Miklós, had tuberculosis after surviving a Nazi concentration camp. Recovering in a Swedish hospital in 1945 he started to write letters to Hungarian women in other hospitals searching for love. The film is about finding his mate and getting married in Stockholm. The complex role of the lead character was played by a talented young actor Milán Schruff.

After the film we had a surprise. Schruff was present and available for questions. He talked about losing weight for the role; his own personal struggles after losing his father at a young age and about the kissing scene with his love interest in the story played by the excellent Emőke Piti. They met first on the set! Only ten thousand people saw this beautifully shot film in Hungary, I have a feeling that more viewers will be interested in North America.

Milán Schruff, Emőke Piti and film director Péter Gárdos.

Milán Schruff, Emőke Piti and film director Péter Gárdos.

Schruff was relaxed, clever and funny and the audience loved the Q&A which lasted late in the evening. George Csicsery, the well-known Hungarian-American documentary filmmaker did a great job with the translation.

Director Gárdos spent three years searching for the right actor to play his own father and undoubtedly he found the right actor; Milán Schruff did an amazing job. I hope to see him in other films in the future.

György Lázár


  1. Avatar Dr. Habil Fodor András says:

    I am glad to re-discover that György Lázár is still able to publish such a remarkable post whenever he has not been dedicating himself to his hardly understandable visceral anti-Hungarian emotions. Congratulations György, for this invaluable article. I would be glad to read from you publications like that instead of those disquieting papers what you got published about Katinka Hosszú. This is YOUR REAL FACE, György, believe me. Not the other one.

  2. Dear Mr. Lázár,

    Just to let you know that this sublime film, together with the launching of the Portuguese translation of the book, in the presence of Mr. Gardós, made up the moving closing session of the fourth edition of my Judaica-Mostra de Cinema e Cultura in Lisbon! I am ever so proud to have been able to present to my enthusiastic public the beautiful film and to hear the larger than fiction story of the author-director. I do not understand how come not ALL Jewish film festivals in the world feature this opus magna…
    Best regards,
    Elena Piatok

  3. Avatar Sandor Kerekes says:

    ” A virágnak megtiltani nem lehet,
    Hogy ne nyíljék ha jő a szép kikelet.”

    Can it be that painful to face the real world? Do face it anyway!

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