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The Crown Prince (TV Movie 2006) - Plot Summary Poster

(2006 TV Movie)

Plot Summary

  • The film recounts the last years of the life of the Austrian Crown Prince Rudolf of Hapsburg until his tragic death in Mayerling. They are highlighted the difficult relationship with his father, the Emperor Franz Joseph, and the affectionate bond with his mother, the Empress Sissi; the failed marriage to Stephanie of Belgium; and his romantic relationships with the prostitute Mizzi Kaspar and the young Baroness Mary Vetsera, together with whom he will die in Mayerling. The film endorses the reconstruction according to which the Archduke apparently committed suicide, overwhelmed not only by a role that weighed and imprisoned, but also from the disappointment due to the low esteem that his father would usually express.

  • A great Empire, once famous for its enlightened traditions, is taken over by a ruthless political establishment. Religious fundamentalists and national separatists are tearing at the fabric of its liberal society. Under the influence of his conservative advisors, the Emperor fails to initiate the reforms that could save the Empire from annihilation. One man alone can avert the cataclysm to come. The year is 1888 and the 600 year-old Empire of Austria-Hungary is at a cross-road of history. Crown-Prince Rudolf, son of fabled Empress Sisi, the most beautiful woman of her time, is the man with the vision and the ability to lead his Empire into the 20th century. Yet his enemies, the all powerful Prime Minister first and foremost, scheme to isolate Rudolf from his father and from access to power. Against the backdrop of one of the most dangerous, exciting and colorful periods in history, at the dawn of the modern age, unfolds one of the greatest love-stories ever told, the story of "The Crown Prince and the Baroness". Rudolf, who was forced into an unhappy political marriage at a young age, falls hopelessly in love with 19-year old Baroness Mary Vetsera. Far from the deadly intrigues of the Imperial palace in Vienna, far from Rudolf's increasingly ferocious political battles, they find a place of romance and impenetrable happiness at Rudolf's retreat of Mayerling in the Vienna woods. But theirs is a union that can never be. The Emperor commands Rudolf to never see Mary again. Mary's family is determined to force her into a marriage with an old aristocrat willing to bolster the Vetseras overextended financial resources in exchange for Mary's hand. In a world where love is but another means to an end, where everything is for sale and the few have the power to control the many, Rudolf and his beloved Mary face the ultimate challenge. In an epic story of hope and upheaval, the passion of Rudolf and Mary triumphs when a gilded age comes to an end as they take their lives at Mayerling.

    - Written by Anonymous
  • A retelling of the tragic love affair between Austrian Archduke Rudolf and Baroness Mary Vetsera.

    - Written by Anonymous

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