Synopsis by Craig Butler
A filmed version of the Verdi opera, Ernani is set in 1519 and concerns Ernani, an outlawed nobleman who is heading a resistance effort against the villainous kin, Don Carlo, who killed Ernani's father. The rebel also is planning to elope with his beloved, Elvira, who is about to be forced to marry her uncle Silva. Unfortunately, Don Carlo also has designs on Elvira and takes her away himself. A confrontation between the three suitors ensues, with Ernani finding himself indebted to Silva when the latter refuses to hand him over to the king. Silva and Ernani form an uneasy alliance against Don Carlo, with Silva demanding that Ernani pledge to kill himself after they vanquish their foe. Ernani agrees to this, noting that when Silva blows a particular hunting horn, he will commit the deed. Silva and Ernani meet with their conspirators to determine who will assassinate the king, and Ernani is chosen. At Don Carlo's coronation, Elvira convinces Don Carlo to grant amnesty to the rebels, which he does, going so far as to return Ernani's title and property to him and to give him Elvira in marriage. The happily reunited lovers return to Ernani's palace and wedding preparations proceed apace. Unfortunately, a strange figure in black appears, and in the midst of their joy, Ernani hears the hunting horn being blown. Though he and Elvira try to convince Silva to excuse him from his obligation, the old man refuses, and Ernani plunges a dagger into his heart and dies.
assassination, elopement, fugitive, nobility, resistance-fighters, wedding-plans