Mayerling

1968

Drama / History / Romance

0
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 39%
IMDb Rating 6.1 10 1500

Plot summary


Uploaded by: FREEMAN
June 10, 2022 at 04:01 AM

Director

Top cast

Ava Gardner as Empress Elizabeth
Catherine Deneuve as Maria Vetsera
Omar Sharif as Archduke Rudolf
James Mason as Emperor Franz-Josef
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.26 GB
1280*544
English 2.0
PG-13
24 fps
2 hr 19 min
P/S ...
2.33 GB
1920*816
English 2.0
PG-13
24 fps
2 hr 19 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jojofla 7 / 10

Flawed, yet still impressive romance

Although not up to the excellence of the classic 1936 film starring Charles Boyer and Danielle Darrieux, this remake of the tragic romance between Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria and commoner Maria Vetsera is still quite compelling. Omar Sharif is burdened with the worst haircut imaginable, yet when he looks longingly at lovely Catherine Deneuve, it should send your heart fluttering. And while Maria isn't as strongly written as the character should be, Deneuve projects innocent maturity beautifully. Ava Gardner and James Mason don't have much to do, but James Robertson Justice is a joy as Prince Edward of England. Extraordinary production values make it a visual delight. Finally, while the script fails to properly explain the political situation that would drive Rudolph to his drastic decision, director Terence Young builds the tension to heartbreaking pathos, with the final moments fully worthy of a great tearjerker.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 6 / 10

Speculative Tragedy

When the heir to the Hapsburg throne was found shot to death in that hunting lodge named Mayerling in 1889 a lot of the hopes and dreams of a future generation were blasted for all time. But the bigger tragedy was that Crown Prince Rudolf was such a weak vessel to support those hopes and dreams. In point of fact he was quite unstable, some like young psychiatrist Sigmund Freud practicing in Vienna might have called him mad.

It's the mad quality that Omar Sharif does capture in his portrayal of Crown Prince Rudolf. His companion in death was young Catherine Deneuve playing the minor league baroness who accompanied him in death. She's good, but she's a bit old for the part. Maria Vetsera was 24 in real life, possibly Mia Farrow might have been a better choice.

The sets and costumes and certainly the locations are as authentic as you can get. But Mayerling moves ponderously slow and sluggish. A better pace could have improved it.

James Mason and Ava Gardner play emperor Franz Josef and the Empress Elizabeth who was known as Sissi all her life. Her childhood name never left her because in many ways she was also as big a child as her son. The Emperor and Empress live apart for most of the year with Elizabeth jaunting about all over the continental hot spots. If Sharif wants to have his fling, he only has to look at mother who never settled down. In many ways Ava Gardner is the best one in the film, she's cast perfectly because she too never really settled down in life.

Also memorable is James Robertson Justice whose girth and and booming mirth made him be perfectly cast as Edward the Prince Of Wales who is also waiting to ascend to the throne of Great Britain and about whom many hopes are kindled even in the constitutional monarchy that the United Kingdom is. He's not exactly in the confidence of Queen Victoria, but he's learned to very cheerfully accept his fate and be patient. He was about 40 year patient and that's what Rudolf would have had to be as Franz Josef reigned until 1917. I'm surprised James Robertson Justice never played Bertie in a film about him, he was so right for the part.

Speculation has abounded for years about what drove the Archduke to do what he did. This impressive, but slow version of the story will feed the speculation of the movie going public and historians.

Reviewed by JamesHitchcock 5 / 10

Beautiful but Dull

The supposed suicide in 1889 of Crown Prince Rudolf, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, has long fascinated both historians and conspiracy theorists. The official version was that Rudolf died in a suicide pact with his teenage mistress Maria Vetsera, although numerous alternative theories have been put forward. Conspiracy theories normally make for more intriguing cinema that the official versions of suspicious deaths- I doubt, for example, if we will ever see a feature film putting forward the theory that John F Kennedy really was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone- so it is rather surprising that the makers of "Mayerling" (the title is taken from the name of the hunting lodge where the tragedy occurred) have accepted that these deaths really were suicide rather than murder.

That does not, however, necessarily mean that the film is entirely historically accurate. As played by Omar Sharif, Rudolf is a contradictory character, a strange mixture of liberal and libertine. In his public life he is the symbol of opposition to his more conservative father, the Emperor Franz Josef, and the advocate of enlightened, progressive policies. In his private life, however, he is a dissolute, alcoholic morphine-addicted womaniser with numerous mistresses; his marriage to the Belgian princess Stephanie is miserably unhappy. There is, in fact, some historical evidence to support this view of Rudolf's character, but the political background to his suicide seems to be an invention of the film-makers. Rudolf allows himself to become drawn into a treasonable attempt to dethrone his father as King of Hungary; his motivation is partly the chance to put his liberal ideals into practice, but mostly the thought that as monarch of an independent country he will be able to divorce Stephanie and marry Maria, something that his father has always refused to countenance. (After the Ausgleich of 1867, which granted Hungary self-government within the Empire, most Hungarians were in fact satisfied with the Dual Monarchy and would not have wished to replace Franz Josef as their king, especially if the rival candidate for the throne were a divorcée, something which would not have been acceptable in a predominantly Catholic nation).

None of the leading actors seem altogether believable, the worst offender being, surprisingly, Catherine Deneuve; one would not believe from her withdrawn, passionless interpretation of the role that Maria is a woman so desperately in love that she is willing to die for, and together with, her beloved. Omar Sharif tries harder to make something of Rudolf but without much success. James Mason as Franz Josef often looks as though he wishes he were somewhere else altogether, playing the King (in the words of the old joke) as though someone else had just played the Ace. Ava Gardner's performances during the sixties and seventies were rarely impressive; there were occasional exceptions, but "Mayerling", in which she plays the Empress Elisabeth, was not one of them. Only James Robertson Justice, who plays the Prince of Wales with gusto, makes any impression or shows much enthusiasm.

The film is attractive to look at, with lovingly re-created late Victorian interiors and costumes, but it is overlong and lacking in movement; it would have been improved by editing to make it at least half an hour shorter. 5/10

Some goofs. The Prince of Wales states that his mother is eighty-five years old. At the time of Rudolf's death in January 1889, Queen Victoria was actually sixty-nine years old. She never lived to be eighty-five, dying in 1901 at the age of eighty-one. Franz Josef refers to Marie Antoinette as his great-aunt; she was actually his great-great-aunt, being the sister of his great-grandfather the Emperor Leopold. Elisabeth says that she never says "goodbye" because it "sounds too final". The characters in this film would have spoken German, and the German expression "auf Wiedersehen" sounds much less final than the English equivalent. Like the French "au revoir" it translates roughly as "until we meet again", so I doubt if Elisabeth would have made this remark in real life.

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