Coinciding with the Habsburg Splendor exhibition (on view through September 13), this lavish, historically inspired period drama was directed by the great Max Ophüls (Lola Montès; The Earrings of Madame de . . .). The film investigates the circumstances around the infamous incident that set off World War I: How did Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Habsburg throne, end up in Sarajevo on the fateful day in 1914?
“In Max Ophüls’s telling, Franz Ferdinand’s liberal plans to transform the (Austro-Hungarian) Empire into the United States of Austria put him in conflict with the aged and authoritarian Emperor Franz Joseph, and so did his passionate marriage to a minor Czech aristocrat, Sophie Chotek—and that struggle between personal and political, was the fault line of history.” —The New Yorker (Read the article here.)