Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The tragic 19th-century romance between Austria's Crown Prince Rudolph and his teenaged mistress Marie Varetska served as the basis for the classic 1937 film melodrama Mayerling. This 1951 remake was held in high regard by critics when first released, but has since been strangely forgotten. Jean Marais stars as Prince Rudolph, who after an abortive attempt to topple his father from the Hapsburg throne is exiled to his summer home in Mayerling. Here he continues his romance with the "socially unacceptable" Marie Varetska, played by Dominique Blunchar. The lovers enter into a suicide pact, but Rudolph's political foes beat him to the punch. This denouement is a controversial one; historians still argue over who was responsible for the deaths of Rudolph and Marie. Mayerling would be given a third cinematic treatment in 1968.
exile, family-disapproval, homosexual, love, mistress, romance, star-crossed-lovers, suicide, tragic-love