Mayerling (1936 film)

Mayerling is a 1936 French historical drama film directed by Anatole Litvak and produced by Seymour Nebenzal from a screenplay by Marcel Achard, Joseph Kessel, and Irma von Cube, based on the 1930 novel Idyll's End by Claude Anet.

Theatrical release poster
Directed byAnatole Litvak
Written byClaude Anet (book)
Joseph Kessel
Irma von Cube
Produced bySeymour Nebenzal
StarringCharles Boyer
Jean Dax
Jean Debucourt
Marthe Regnier
Danielle Darrieux
Suzy Prim
CinematographyArmand Thirard
Edited byHenri Rust
Music byArthur Honegger
Mercury Films
Distributed byPax Films (US)
Release date
29 February 1936 (France)
13 September 1937 (US)
Running time
95 minutes

The film stars Charles Boyer and Danielle Darrieux with René Bergeron, Jean Davy, Jean Dax, Jean Debucourt and Gabrielle Dorziat, and Jean-Louis Barrault in a bit part. The film is based on the real-life story of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, his affair with the 17-year-old Baroness Maria Vetsera and their tragic end at Mayerling.

The film was remade twice. Once as the 1957 film Mayerling directed by Anatole Litvak himself and starring Mel Ferrer and Audrey Hepburn. It was also remade as the 1968 film Mayerling in color by MGM, starring Omar Sharif, Catherine Deneuve, James Mason, and Ava Gardner.


Vienna is disturbed by protestors agitating for political change. Crown Prince Rudolph is arrested at a meeting. His father Emperor Franz Joseph insists he get married and settle down. Rudolph reluctantly agrees.

Five years later, Rudolph has become an unhappy playboy. On the night of his wedding anniversary he meets Baroness Marie Vetsera and they fall in love.



Writing for The Spectator in 1936, Graham Greene gave the film a poor review, describing it as "purposeless" and "a too romantic manner for [his] taste". Greene particularly criticizes the conclusion of the film which he characterized as "a Vienna 'musical' without the music: a pathetic ending". Greene did, however, praise the film's production and acting.[1]


A restored DVD was issued in the U.S. by The Criterion Collection (Essential Art House) on September 15, 2009.[2]


  1. ^ Greene, Graham (6 November 1936). "Dodsworth/Mayerling/Fox Hunt". The Spectator. (reprinted in: Taylor, John Russell, ed. (1980). The Pleasure Dome. Oxford University Press. pp. 113, 115. ISBN 0192812866.)
  2. ^

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