Koenigsmark (1935 film)

Koenigsmark is a 1935 British-French drama film directed by Maurice Tourneur and starring Elissa Landi, John Lodge and Pierre Fresnay.

Koenigsmark (1935 film).png
Directed byMaurice Tourneur
Written byAndré-Paul Antoine
René Champigny
Léonce Perret
Based onKoenigsmark
by Pierre Benoît
Produced byEmile Natan
Roger Richebé
Max Schach
StarringPierre Fresnay
Elissa Landi
John Lodge
Antonin Artaud
CinematographyVictor Arménise
Edited byMarguerite Renoir
Music byJacques Ibert
Distributed byParis Cinéma Location (France)
General Film Distributors (UK)
Release dates
October 1935
5 December 1935 (France)
Running time
96 minutes
United Kingdom

The film is based on the novel Koenigsmark by Pierre Benoît and produced in separate French and English-language versions. It was shot at the Joinville Studios in Paris, with sets designed by the art director Lucien Aguettand. The film was known in the United States as Crimson Dynasty.[1]


Aurore, a Russian-born Princess living in Paris has an arranged marriage to Grand Duke Rodolphe of a small German principality, part of the wider German Empire. Although she doesn't love her husband, she is very fond of him. When he departs to take part on an intelligence operation in Africa on the orders of the Kaiser, his wife gives him a locket as a memento of her. In his absence, the Princess battles for control of the state with her brother-in-law Frederick, particularly when news arrives from Africa that Grand Duke Rodolphe has died of disease.

A young Frenchman Raoul Vignerte is hired to act as the tutor for Frederick's young son. He gradually strikes up a friendship with the widowed Princess. Vignerte is working on research into the tragic historical romance between Sophia Dorothea and Philip Christoph von Königsmarck. While investigating he discovers a secret passage in the castle and finds a skeleton hidden there, holding the locket. It becomes clear that Frederick had his brother Rodolphe murdered before he even left the castle and the story of his dying in Africa has been faked. Discovering that his plan has been uncovered, Frederick starts a fire that destroys much of the evidence.

As the outbreak of the First World War approaches, the Princess drives Raoul to safety from arrests across the border, and then returns to confront Frederick. Faced with exposure he shoots himself, at which point the Princess abdicates, not wishing to take part in the war against Russia or France.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "BFI Database entry". Archived from the original on 16 October 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2014.


  • Low, Rachael. Filmmaking in 1930s Britain. George Allen & Unwin, 1985.
  • Wood, Linda. British Films, 1927-1939. British Film Institute, 1986.

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