Historical - Development 2015

Married Rudolf, The Austrian-Hungarian Crown Prince met 16-year old Mary from Vetsera, a girl from a good family. A fateful liaison which won’t stay without consequences.They know that their love would never have a chance in this life and that the tragedy just begins ...

    • Year of production
    • 2015
    • Genres
    • Historical, Drama
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 3 - 5 M$
    • Duration
    • 100 mn
    • Writer(s)
    • Britta SUMMER
    • Producer(s)
    • Britta SUMMER (summerized-media)
    • Synopsis
    • Sensitive Crown Prince Rudolf – on the one hand great hopes have been placed in him for a liberal monarchy Austria-Hungary, on the other hand he is the only son of the Emperor Franz Joseph I. The burden of succession to the throne and his fathers shadow weigh heavily on the young Prince – being a revolutionist at heart who sympathizes with liberal Germans and Hungarians in secret but being forced to live the traditional monarchy for his class’ sake. Furthermore, he is bothered by the constant conflict with his father and the sorrow of being forced to live in strict covertness. The only child, archduchess Elisabeth arose from the political marriage with Princess Stephanie from Belgium. Even the birth of this child wasn’t able to awaken the love between them – a marriage of reason and without passion. Princess Stephanie withdraws - the cold of her marriage and the sadness about never being able to give birth to children again because of her syphilis disease – infected by her husband.
      The Crown Prince frequents – hidden by his footmen – several brothels in the city in search for pleasure. Nevertheless, he is only able to act out his life as a man by using Laudanum and other helpful items of support – a distraction of his inner emptiness and loneliness.
      The castle of Mayerling is his only place of pullback from his duties as Crown Prince. There, the Prince who has always suffered from mood swings is able to escape from the Wiener court and ponder on his political ideals.
      At a spring race, 16-years old Mary von Vetsera meets the back then heart-throb, the 30-years old, good looking Crown Prince and future Emperor Rudolf von Habsburg and falls eternally and irrevocably in love with him. She writes letters without sending them, dreams of “her Prince” and tells her diary about how it would be to have him close.
      One day, Mary, a girl from a good family is willing to let dreams and calf love become reality. A good friend of her mother and the cousin of the Crown Prince, Countess Marie von Larisch arranges - at Mary’s urging - an encounter with the Prince.
      The Crown Prince who has never been reluctant to any kind of liaison is fascinated by Mary’s youthful lightness, chastity and beauty. Countess Marie von Larisch is getting their both confidant arranging the encounters between the two loving people and the right alibis for Mary’s mother.
      A fateful liaison which won’t stay without consequences: Mary is expecting a child of the successor to the throne.
      Mary is invited to the Court and a trustful lady starts to abort her. However, something is running out of control and the tragedy takes its course.
      Mary is supposed take a rest until the bleeding starts as the lady told her. Rudolph secretly takes her to Mayerling to shield her from home and the Court.
      In the evening Rudolph has a discussion about politics with his confidants – he knows well that he also has enemies within the monarchy. Who is Rudolph allowed to trust?
      A servant informs him about the fact that Mary’s fiancé is on his way to Mayerling. Rudolph gives instructions to prevent him from coming.
      After dinner, Mary’s condition is rapidly getting worse. Mary is assailed by strong bleeding and fever. Vienna is too far away for a doctor from Court to come and what if truth will come to light about the illegal abortion? They trust in known household remedies and wait. Who could they trust in this situation and that far away from Vienna? Who is able to make advices and help?
      Rudolph and Mary betake themselves to the bedchamber. She is scared; he swears on his love and tries to back her. They dream of a life together which they could have if they hadn’t been born into their roles. They know that their love would never have a chance in this life and also a child would be a tragedy – for both of them and the monarchy.
      In the cold night of January 30, 1889 Rudolph and Baroness Mary Vetsera are found shot down in their bedchamber:
      Has it been suicide of love? Death because of an illegal abortion, which is supposed to be punished by death penalty - and for this reason an act of desperation by the Crown Prince? Has it been a duel of honour between Mary’s fiancé and the Crown Prince? Has it been a political complot to strengthen monarchy? Suicide, but how is a one who commits suicide supposed to receive an ecclesiastical grave – befitting his social status? Behind the doors the very tragedy is happening.
      The doctor who has come all the long way from Court isn’t able do anything but to testify the death. Mary’s corpse is hidden in a room next door and taken away by her uncles in the frozen, merciless night in January. They receive the order to put on clothes on the already stiff corpse, to place her as a “living” in the coach and get her to nearby Heiligenkreuz. To do so, they put a broomstick in Mary von Vetsera’s back and do a moonlight flit.
      By now, the doctors from Court in Vienna perform an autopsy on the Crown Prince and attest mental disorder – by means of this they are able to bury him with all the class according church ceremonies.
      Countess Mary von Larisch is appointed as “persona non grata” and exiled from Court.
    • Partners & financing
    • Film-lawyer Patrick Jacobshagen (
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Sep 01, 2015