2 March 2020 | ma-cortes
Spectacular and colorful adaptacion based on the sad romance between Crown Prince Rudolf of Hapsburg and Baroness Maria Vetsera
Set in 1888 , the royal Rudolf , Crown Prince of Austria/Hungary (Omar Shariff) , is fettered on all sides . He's a doomer and dissolute romancer who was never up to ruling anyways , being extremely bored and tired . His father , the emperor Francisco -Franz- Joseph (James Mason) , is a domineering and tyrannical ruler . Rudolph's politics are more liberal than his father's, but he knows his views carry no weight . Rudolph agreed to marry a princess to sire an heir , then spends his nights as a playboy . Meantime , Rudolf has almost an unhealthy infatuation with his mother, the Empress Elizabeth , Sissi (Ava Gardner) , she has largely been an absent figure from Vienna and thus his unfortunate life is almost invisible at the royal court . In 1888, Rudolf , heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire, falls for by Marie Vetsera . He meets Marie Vetsera (Catherine Deneuve) and sees her at a theatre , she , 17 , a baroness's attractive teenaged daughter . She is resolute, smitten, and wants nothing in return for her love . He's already a problem to the Crown because of his political ideas ; and a love affair with someone not of royal blood breeches protocol . As the Crown doesn't allow and the emperor further neutralizes Rudolph by making him inspector general of the army , sending him afield for months at a time . As Rudolph falls deeply for the commom-born Mary Vetsera , despite his political marriage . The Prime Minister is alarmed; he contrives to have her sent away. Rudolf sinks into dissipation, then he takes part in a student revolt for the liberation of Hungary , but things go wrong . When she returns , the lovers will handle the opposition of society and their families . Rudolf and Marie Vetsera fight to find a way for them to be together . Both of whom are tragically smitten by a difficult and complicated romance that causes a moral opprobrium in high aristocracy and Hapsburg kingdom . No one woman could satisfy him...until he fell in love.
Based on the tragic and voluptuous romance between Rudolf and Baroness Maria Vetsera . No doubt meant to be a sweeping combo of a deep love story and politics about the separation of Austria and Hungary , forming the Austrian-Hungarian Empire , ala ¨Doctor Zhivago¨style . Main cast is pretty good , Omar Shariff plays the philander and seducer Prince with no crown and Catherine Deneuve is ideal as the tragic heroine , she is not only exquisitely gorgeous , she is alive as well . They are well accompanied by a very good support cast , such as : James Mason as Emperor Franz-Jose , Ava Gardner as Empress Elizabeth , Sissi , James Robertson Justice as Edward , Prince of Wales , Geneviève Page as Countess Larish , Andréa Parisy as Princess StephanieI , Ivan Desny as Count Hoyos , Maurice Teynac , Moustache , Fabienne Dali , Jacques Berthier , Charles Millot , Véronique Vendell , among others . The film provides lavish settings , brilliant cinematography and spectacular scenarios with bustling balls and lots of extras . Terence Young is equally acceptable at conveying the tidal wave which consumes the Hapsburg court , as well as love, passion and distresses that drowned the heir to the throne . Of course , it is extremely romantic and novelettish , sometimes in Barbara Cartland rubbish style , resulting to be really tedious and overlong , at times ; watching the 1936 retelling by Anatole Litvak , being much better shot and played . However , the picture turns out to be passable , though at the time it was a real flop at boxoffice.
It packs glimmer cinematography by cameraman Henry Alekan , Terence Young's regular , shot on location in Venice, Veneto, Italy , Mayerling, Lower Austria, Vienna, Austria , Paris Studios Cinema, Billancourt, France . As well as atmospheric musical score by Francis Lai , including classical music , such as : P. Morgenblaetter (Morning Paper) Composed by Johann Strauss , Radetzky-Marsch Composed by Johann Strauss Sr. , Giselle Composed by Adolphe Adam , The Waves of the Danube Composed by Iosif Ivanovici and Spartacus Suite Written by Aram Khachaturyan . The picture was professionally directed by Terence Young , being made with skill and commitment enough , displaying quite a few visual opulence and estimable production design .
There are several renditions about these deeds : ¨Tragedy in the House of Hapsburg¨ 1924 by Alexander Korda with Emil Fenyvessy , Kálmán Zátony , María Corda . The classic and best ¨Mayerling¨ 1935 by Anatole Litvak with Charles Boyer , Danielle Darrieux , Vladimir Skoloff , Jean Louis Barrault . ¨From Mayerling to Sarajevo¨ 1940 by Max Ophüls with Edwige Feuillère , John Lodge , Jean Worms , Jean Debucourt . ¨The secret of Mayerling 1949¨ with Jean Marais as L'archiduc Rodolphe d'Autriche-Hongrie , Dominique Blanchar as Marie Vetsera , Claude Farell as La comtesse Marie Larisch , Jean Debucourt as L'empereur François-Joseph . ¨Maria Vetsera¨1956 with Rudolf Prack as Rudolf , Christiane Hörbiger as Baroneß Mary Vetsera , Winnie Markus, Lil Dagover. Mayerling 2013 with Mara Galeazzi as Mary Vetsera and Edward Watson . And remade in 1967 for TV , among others .