Mayerling

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Based on real life events that led to tragic deaths of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria and his lover Baroness Mary Vetsera. No one woman could satisfy him…until he fell in love.

ACTORS :  Omar Sharif, Catherine Deneuve, James Mason

YEAR OF RELEASE :  1968

SHIPPING COST : Postage in Australia Free

 

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Description

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Mayerling  It’s the late nineteenth century Austria. The Emperor Franz-Joseph and his son, the Crown Prince, Archduke Rudolf, have never seen eye to eye. While the Emperor retains the traditions of the empire in the rapidly changing world keeping it a police state, Rudolf is liberal, wanting to see the people have a say in what happens in their lives. Rudolf even rejected the Emperor’s choice of a Spanish wife for him, he instead choosing Belgian Stephanie as his wife, that marriage which he himself never saw and will never see as anything more than a political alliance, Stephanie who he considers a shrew. While Rudolf has almost an unhealthy infatuation with his mother, the Empress Elizabeth, she has largely been an absent figure from Vienna and thus his life. As Franz-Joseph has had his steady mistress in Elizabeth’s frequent absences, he has allowed Rudolf to have the same in the form of actress Mitzi Kaspar as the Emperor knows she could never be more than a dalliance and as she retains a …

Flawed, yet still impressive romance

Mayerling  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.

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