Film Library

The Last Captain


For fifty years, the Hungarian National Sabre team had two constants: they took home gold in every tournament they entered and they had George Piller.

This is the story of Jekelfalussy (Piller) Gyorgy, the 1932 Olympic Sabre champion who defected to the United States during the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne.

George Piller was the top rated saber fencer of his time. He won world championships and gold medals at the Olympics. After he retired, he became one of the best fencing coaches in the world. His Hungarian saber teams were unbeaten for decades.

Eventually, Piller came up against an opponent even too strong for him to defeat. In 1956, the USSR invaded Hungary to crush the Hungarian Uprising. Rather than submit, Piller escaped to the United States. He resumed his coaching career in San Francisco and started a revolution of his own in the United States fencing community.



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