Producers' Showcase (1954–1957)
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Mayerling is the name of a notorious Austrian village linked to a romantic tragedy. At a royal hunting lodge there, in 1889, Crown Prince Rudolf--desperate over his father's command to put ... See full summary »


Claude Anet (based on the novel by: "Idyll's End"), Irma von Cube (adapted by) | 1 more credit »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Audrey Hepburn ... Marie Vetsera
Mel Ferrer ... Crown Prince Rudolph
Lorne Greene ... Himself
Diana Wynyard ... The Empress
Basil Sydney ... Emperor Franz Joseph
Raymond Massey ... The Prime Minister
Judith Evelyn ... Countess Larische
Isobel Elsom
Nehemiah Persoff
David Opatoshu
Nancy Marchand ... Crown Princess Stéphanie
Michael Evans
Ian Wolfe ... Loschek (as Ian Wolf)
Pippa Scott ... Hanna Vetsera
Monique van Vooren ... Marinka


Mayerling is the name of a notorious Austrian village linked to a romantic tragedy. At a royal hunting lodge there, in 1889, Crown Prince Rudolf--desperate over his father's command to put away his teenage mistress, the Baroness Marie Vetsera--shot her to death and killed himself. The misfortune may indeed have been a murder-suicide, but perhaps it was a political assassination, or even the result of a lunatic family vendetta: scholarship is still catching up with the facts. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]





Release Date:

4 February 1957 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Showcase Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Television debut was on the CBS show "We the People" on December 21, 1951 in which she re-enacted her experiences in Arnheim, The Netherlands during WWII; she then appeared in the drama CBS Television Workshop: Rainy Day in Paradise Junction (CBS April 13, 1954) See more »


The Vienna giant Ferris wheel is depicted; however, it was not erected until 1897, in celebration of Emperor Franz Joseph's Golden Jubilee, eight years after Crown Prince Rudolph's death. See more »

Alternate Versions

A re-edited version of this episode was released theatrically in Europe and thus is often listed among Audrey Hepburn's films. See more »

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User Reviews

Mayerling is finally available- but beware!
23 April 2015 | by schappe1See all my reviews

For years, Audrey Hepburn fans have wanted to the 1957 television production of Mayerling with Audrey playing Baroness Maria Vetsera and her then husband Mel Ferrer playing Crown Prince Rudolph, It seems a natural: a famous romantic tragedy with the sort of lavish costumes we'd just seen in War & Peace. Now it's finally available and Audrey fans can add it to their collection. But be forewarned: this is not "Romeo and Juliet". It certainly isn't "Love in the Afternoon", either. This is a rather sordid story with the mentally unbalanced Prince talking a 17 year old mistress and then murdering her and himself.

Audrey is introduced with the Prince saying that there is no innocence left in the world. He meets her and his aide asks him if he still thinks that. But Maria is no innocent. She is invited to his lodgings and clearly knows what the purpose of her visit is. She's not dismayed in the least when invited to his bedroom and says "I don't know if I can please you: I'm just a wisp". No- there's no real sex. In fact, in a badly written scene, he impulsively orders her to leave, thinking she's after something, like everybody else is. But all she's after is him. Later she attends a ball hosted by the Prince and his wife and boldly dances with him.His wife stares icily at her and we are made to realize that sweet, innocent Audrey is breaking up a marriage - and doesn't seem to care.

Later, for the only time in her career, Audrey's character dies, (she's already dead when she plays the Angel in "Always"). In fact, she gets shot to death. it's done about as tastefully as it could be: We see the servant cleaning up around the fireplace and he hears a shot. Then we see Audrey looking as if she's asleep except there's a small trickle of blood on her forehead, (it must have been a tiny little bullet). But still, if you were expecting a frothy romance, you're going to be surprised.

The production values are strong, (although it was originally in color, which is lost on this kinoscope). The performances are strong. It's directed by Anatole Litvak, who directed the 1936 movie version, generally considered the best, (this is a boiled down version of that film). It's always fun to see the many recognizable actors who went on to TV fame, including Raymond Massey, Lorne Greene, Nehemiah Persoff, David Opatoushu, Pippa Scott and Nancy Marchand as Ferrer's wife. She's better known as Marty's girl in the 1953 teleplay, Lou Grant's Mrs.Pynchon and Tony Soprano's Mom.

By the way, current evidence suggests that Maria was never shot. The thinking is she died after a botched abortion.Then the despondent Prince, feeling guilty, offed himself.

But you'd never have seen that on 1957 television.

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