Le Secret de Mayerling


Period and swashbuckler films

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Time Out says

Time was, circles were, you were liable to be treated like the scum of the earth for even seeing a Jean Delannoy movie, let alone finding things to admire in it. Yet this seizes the attention from the start: midnight, the Archduke in his carriage, his body propped up by boards, the head rolling back and forth, Marie Vetsera marched away between two strong shoulders, feet dragging in the snow, her shattered forehead glimpsed through reflected light. This is narrative cinema at its most vigorous, and the whole piece manifests an intelligence unfazed by a subject apparently squeezed dry already by Litvak and Ophuls. Marais' regal authority is to the fore, even as another Marais quality - he is sometimes referred to by the euphemism 'feline' - undermines his suitability for the role of a Habsburg stud.


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Release details

UK release:



96 mins

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