- Rated: Unrated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 33 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: September 15, 2009
- Originally Released: 1936
- Label: Criterion
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Subtitles - English
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Based on real events, MAYERLING chronicles the remarkable love affair between the married heir to the Austrian throne, the Archduke Rudolph (Charles Boyer), and his young mistress, Marie Vetsera (Danielle Darrieux). When Rudolph, disenchanted with the crown, is arrested with a group of demonstrating students, his father, the Emperor Franz Josef (Jean Dax), prompts him to renounce his radicalism and forces him into a loveless arranged marriage. With court spies tailing him everywhere, Rudolph is eventually able to free himself for a brief moment at a fair, where he meets and falls in love with the innocent and compassionate Marie who, at first, has no idea of his royal status. The emperor tries to break up the young couple's relationship, but Rudolph is so in love with Marie that he will not be swayed. It soon becomes clear that Rudolph and Marie's relationship is bound for history--and tragedy--when the couple meet their fate at the family hunting lodge, Mayerling. Poignant, poetic, and gripping from beginning to end, MAYERLING is regarded as one of director Anatole Litvak's masterpieces.
The gorgeous duo of Charles Boyer and Danielle Darrieux first appeared on-screen together almost twenty years before The Earrings of Madame de . . . , in this sumptuous tragic romance from Anatole Litvak (The Snake Pit, Anastasia). MAYERLING is the profoundly emotional true story of the doomed adulterous affair between Archduke Rudolph, heir to the Austrian throne, and the young and innocent baron's daughter Marie Vetsera.
MAYERLING tells the story of one of the greatest romances the world has ever seen. When the reluctant heir to the crown of the Austria-Hungary empire (Charles Boyer), unfulfilled by his political fate, falls in love with a young, innocent woman (Danielle Darrieux) in late 19th-century Vienna, their stolen romance sets off a series of fantastic and tragic events. Exquisitely filmed and acted, MAYERLING exudes a fascinating historic air while remaining a love story that is gripping to the end.
Doomed Lovers |
Essential Cinema |
True Story |
- Theatrical release: September 13, 1937 (New York City).
- MAYERLING was the film that brought director Anatole Litvak to Hollywood--it was such a success that it earned him a huge contract and also made Charles Boyer a star.
- The story behind MAYERLING is rooted in history: the discovery of the bodies of Rudolph and Marie at the hunting lodge Mayerling originally set off a series of rumors of what happened, many made up by the royal family to avoid scandal or radical overthrow. It has come to be believed that the story in MAYERLING is pretty close to the truth, but official records of the deaths were long hidden, then destroyed.
- Mayerling is now the site of a Carmelite convent where nuns pray in a chapel on the spot where the lovers met their sad end.
- The inscription on the real Marie Vetsera's tomb reads: "He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down."
- MAYERLING was voted the Best Foreign Film of 1937 by the National Board of Review.
- A French film, MAYERLING TO SARAJEVO, was made in 1940. A full remake of MAYERLING was filmed in 1968 with Omar Sharif and Catherine Deneuve.