Mayerling (1936)




Director:     Anatole Litvak.

Starring:     Charles Boyer (L'archiduc Rodolphe), Danielle Darrieux (Marie Vetsera), Marthe Régnier (La baronne Vetsera), Yolande Laffon (L'archiduchesse Stéphanie), Suzy Prim (La comtesse Larisch), Gina Manès (Marinka), Odette Talazac (La nourrice de Marie), Nane Germon (Anna Vetsera), Nine Assia (La cousine de Marie), Christiane Ribes (Une fille), Gabrielle Dorziat (L'impératrice Élisabeth), Jean Dax (L'empereur François-Joseph), Jean Debucourt (Le comte Taafe), André Dubosc (Loscheck, le valet de Rodophe), René Bergeron (Szeps).

French made film.

Story of Austrian Crown Prince Rudolph falling in love with a commoner.  Much better than the 1969 remake.



Spoiler Warning:




Historical Background:


1858  --  birth of Crown Prince of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria. His father was Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria and his mother was Elisabeth of Bavaria. 

1881  --  the Crown Prince married Princess Stéphanie of Belgium, a daughter of King Léopold III.  His mother did not care for her new daughter-in-law, referring to her as a "clumsy oaf."

1883  --  their only child, the Archduchess Elisabeth, born. 

By this time the Crown Prince had taken great pleasure in wine, women and song. 

1887  --  Rudolf bought Mayerling and turned it into a hunting lodge.

1888  --  the 30-year-old Rudolf met  17-year-old Baroness Marie Vetsera (a.k.a. Mary).  The Baroness was almost obsessively in love with the Crown Prince.

Framz Josef demanded that his son break off the relationship with Marie.  In response, at Mayerling, the Crown Prince in a suicide pact, shot his mistress in the head, then himself in the same place. 

A sort of "cover-up" followed..  In order to bury Rudolf in the Imperial Crypt of the Capuchin Church in Vienna, the Crown Prince was officially declared to have been mentally unbalanced. Mary's body was smuggled out of Mayerling in the middle of the night.  She was secretly buried in the cemetery of Holy Cross Abbey in Heligenkreuz.  Emperor Franz had Mayerling converted into a penitential convent of Carmelite nuns.



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