American Dreamer: My Story of Survival, Adventure, and by Robert Halmi Sr., Dan Gabbay

By Robert Halmi Sr., Dan Gabbay

On July 30, 2014, presently after finishing this autobiography, Robert Halmi, the prolific manufacturer of tv videos and miniseries, died on the age of ninety. Hailed through style as "A Gulliver between television motion picture Producers," he had a hand in additional than two hundred long-form narrative tv tasks from 1989's Lonesome Dove, starring Robert Duvall, to 2000's "Don Quixote" starring John Lithgow. full of loads of the marquee expertise of the previous century, his existence story—from struggling with opposed to the Nazis to turning into a photographer for all times and activities Illustrated to his tv work—is actually amazing.

Robert Halmi used to be born in Hungary to a father who served as respectable photographer to the Vatican and the final Habsburg court docket. whilst the Nazis invaded, he fought within the resistance, and prefer lots of his countrymen he was once captured and condemned to demise. however the advancing pink military freed him ahead of the Germans may perhaps perform the execution. Seeing the hazards of the increasing Soviet empire, which additionally took carry of his fatherland in an army dictatorship, he grew to become heel and joined the OSS to struggle the autumn of the Iron Curtain. In 1951, with $5 in his pocket and a Leica round his neck, he made his approach to the USA. As a photographer for all times and activities Illustrated, he back showcased his Bond-like abilities for chasing experience and dishonest demise by means of dangling from helicopters, looking tremendous video game in Africa with dictators, blowing himself up, marooning himself on a glacier for 3 weeks, or even portray Marilyn Monroe's bare physique for a photograph shoot. within the 3rd act of his rollicking lifestyles, as a television rich person, he bought an mind-blowing 448 Emmy nods whereas befriending a Who's Who of Hollywood and dealing with the good boldface actors of our time: Jimmy Cagney gave him his final functionality. He chased George C. Scott (on a bender) via a inn. Omar Sharif did the Twist for him. He watched Patrick Stewart approximately drown at the again of an animatronic whale, and Isabella Rossellini braved a herd of rampaging elephants for him. He has lived the yank dream to the hilt. A fast paced glance again at a lifestyles regularly in development, his amazing tale finds approximately a century of bold and boundless optimism even within the face of poor odds. It's a narrative of warfare, love, and ambition, the essential American story of a lifestyles lived huge.

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A small argument. She wanted to go to the movie theater, but I thought going to the movies on a date was a waste of time. I preferred to be alone with her, not sitting in a crowd staring up at a screen. A walk in the park, I suggested. But we never did resolve the issue, our conversation—and our lives—interrupted by a marching band. We heard them before we saw them. The big bass drums, the bold brass instruments, the sound of soldiers singing. The Germans were marching into Budapest, occupying Hungary, barely a shot fired.

We had a pistol. We had eight bullets. And now we had a dozen donkeys. This was our chance. Another half hour of rounding up and wrangling and we headed for the camp. The idea was to see how well it was guarded, and if we could figure out a way of doing it, free at least some of its laborers. Our Trojan horses—the donkeys—would be our ticket in. As we began our ascent into the foothills, Karoly handed me the pistol. As mastermind of this plan, I’d been elected ringleader of the band as well. Just before dusk we spotted the camp, over a hill, in a clearing alongside some railroad tracks that cut through a long valley.

The Independent Smallholders. The Social Democrats. The National Peasant Party. The Catholic Social People’s Movement. Royalists, Communists, and every other kind of ist imaginable. Suddenly Budapest was filled to capacity with revolutionaries, revisionists, and fire-breathing anarchists. But the five of us had no interest in revolution. We simply wanted Hungary back. 27 American Dreamer Fueled by discontent and expanding in all directions, the Hungarian resistance was in chaos. We didn’t trust a soul, the city lousy with spies, traitors, and informers.

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