From Mayerling to Sarajevo | Chicago Reader
From Mayerling to Sarajevo

From Mayerling to Sarajevo

From Mayerling to Sarajevo

The tragic romance of the Austrian archduke Franz Ferdinand and the Bohemian countess Sophie Chotek proves to be ideal material for director Max Ophuls, who invests this French historical drama (1940) with his usual elegance, emotionality, and slinky camera movements. The couple's assassination in 1914 may have touched off World War I, but Ophuls is chiefly concerned with the tangled international diplomacy that constricted their love affair and later their marriage. They register here not as world figures but as simple lovers swept up in—and ultimately swept under by—the currents of history. In French with subtitles.

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