Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria, is fettered on all sides. He's bored; his father, the emperor, is domineering; his politics are more liberal than his father's, but he knows his views carry... See full summary »
I first saw this movie about 20 years ago in SBS Channel in Sydney, Australia. The movie was in the French language so I had to read the subtitles. It is a very old movie in B&W but it was a very enchanting movie. Danielle Darrieux was perfect for the role of the beautiful Anna Vetsera. Her acting was also perfect (for an innocent girl madly in-love with her prince). Whether the real Anna Vetsera was as innocent is beside the point. The movie was based on the true story of the love affair between the Archduke Rudolf (heir to the throne of Austria- Hungary) and his young mistress Baroness Anna Vetsera. They committed a suicide (or murder-suicide?) in 1889 in the Archduke's hunting lodge in Mayerling. Afterwards the title of Archduke passed on to the emperor's nephew, Franz Ferdinand (who became heir). Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in July 1914 in Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina which sparked the First World War. This movie has a very sad ending, with both lovers dying in the end. But the implications for the real world in that era was most terrible. It is a great wonder today whether there would have been war in 1914 had Rudolf lived and remained heir.
Recently, I was able to obtain a copy of the this movie and saw it again after 20 years. The movie did not disappoint and I can say that it is one of the best movies ever. It must have been such a sensation when first released in 1936.