Radetzkymarsch (1965) - full transcript


The radiant Habsburg sun
reached eastwards,

to the border with the Russian Tsar.

It was the same sun
under which the Trotta dynasty

had risen to nobility
and distinction.

The gratitude of Franz Joseph
had a long memory,

and his favour had a long arm.

When one of his favourite children
was about to do some folly,

the ministers and imperial administrators
intervened in a timely way,

brought the foolish child
to their senses.

As thus, Carl Joseph,
Baron Trotta and Sipolje,

could not cross the southern border
and only had the choice

between a interior posting
or one on the eastern border,

and chose the Jäger Battalion,

which was stationed no more than
two miles from the Russian border.

What a region...

- Seventeen hours by train.
- This is my home, sir.

In Burdlaki, just over there.

Well, then at least
it’s not far for you.

- Are you Trotta?
- Yes.

- Schnabel. Hello.
- Hello.

- I’m to bring you to your quarters.
- It’s quite a long journey to arrive here.

You can still change your mind,
while you still can leave.

You have no idea
how dull it is, out here.

But you get used to it,
however difficult.

- Do you want to go for a drink?
- No-no, thanks. I don’t drink much.

That’ll change.
We drink “ninety-grade” here.

If you get used to that,
then slivovitz tastes like water.

- And what else happens here?
- Nothing.

Local peasants come here
to trade of sorts with the Polish.

It’s so dull, here.

But Count Chojnicki holds
these parties, when he’s here.

- Who’s that?
- A landowner. Lots of money.

He’s in Vienna in the Reichsrat
and travels a lot.

And when he’s here,
he weekly holds a party.

It livens up the place.

We all stay in Hotel Brodnitzer,
decent lodgings don’t exist here.

The borderland is swampy,
the poppies are in bloom;

- nothing else blooms over here.
- Must make beautiful views.

We have a District Judge,
a District Commissioner...

My father is also
a District Commissioner.

Yes, I know. And your grandfather
saved the Emperor’s life.

We all know that.

So rarely someone new joins us,
so we want to know everything about him.

So, we have a church, a cemetery,
and all around us swamp and liquor.

It’s so dull, here.

The more the soldiers drink.

The more boring it is,
the more they drink.

Poor show! I come back
from my morning walk –

no post, the breakfast looks all
different; where is Jacques?

Jacques is indisposed today.


- He’s sick?
- He has a fever.

But Jacques has always
been healthy.

Like the post.

Let someone else
bring me the post.

What’s wrong with Jacques?

He has a fever.
He must have caught a cold.

In May?

He’s not young anymore.

Send for the doctor.

- Your breakfast, milord.
- Thank you, I’ll be in my office.

And yesterday there has been
another meeting of Czech workers –

a so-called Sokol celebration
has been announced.

And the social democrats
are acting up, as well.

In the yarn factory, a worker
was beaten up by his fellows,

according to our spy
for refusing to join the Reds.

All these organisations
need to be dissolved, immediately.

Especially when they start thinking
about writing “resolutions”.

Of all the words that became modern, lately,
that one I find the most disgraceful.

Perhaps because it’s only one letter away
to change “resolution” into “revolution”.

All these elements threaten
the existence of the monarchy!

- Can’t you see?
- Yes, Lord Commissioner.

Shall we arrest those
revolutionary agitators?

“Suspicious individuals,”
they should be called!

Write it down!
Remember it, Mr Leschetizky!

So, suspicious individuals
will be arrested.

There are parts of our population
that don’t feel Austrian.

Something “nationalistic”
went into their heads.

The peace is disturbed,
decency is blemished;

now they even want to set up
Czech schools in their “resolutions”.

They want to introduce Czech
as a classroom language.

Perhaps there are revolutionaries
somewhere in the Empire;

in my district – remember that,
Mr Leschetizky – they do not exist!

Have the gendarmerie reinforced
against these Sokolists,

write a short report
to the District Council,

perhaps we need to liaise
with the military authorities.

The gendarmerie will be
on high alert, from tomorrow.

- Get me Slama.
- Yes, Lord Commissioner.

Has the doctor been in yet?

I saw him after he had
checked on Jacques.

What did he say?

He doesn’t have high hopes.

He asked how old Jacques was.

I didn’t know.

He must be around
seventy-eight or eighty.

I haven’t noticed that before.

As long as one walks around,
one expects to live forever.

Ah, Your Lordship!


You’re doing not too bad,
the doctor just told me.

- Probably a catarrh.
- Yes, milord.

Now I’m waiting for a priest.

He’ll be here.

There’ll be plenty of time for that.

When the late Baron died,
none of us suspected anything.

In the morning he got up and said,
“Jacques, where are my boots?”

Or was that a day before?

No, no! It really was on that day.

But the next morning
he didn’t need them anymore.

And then winter came –
it was a cold winter.

Until next winter I think
I can manage to hang on.


Around Christmas
all can come to a halt.

March off.



Do you know that one, milord?

That’s a canary bird.

Cute bird.

Please, milord, the window.

So he can smell the spring!

Beautiful day, today.

There he comes...

There... there he comes!

On a white horse...

All dressed in white...

He rides so slowly...

That’s because he comes from yonder.

Do you know
how he used to look like?

I’d like to see the painting.

I want to know
if he really changed.

Bring it to me, please.

The painting of Papa?


Yes, that’s what he looked like.

Say, just look how old I am.

I forgot all about it.

Well, where shall I put it?

There. Down there.

That is my army service book.

Please read me a bit.

“Franz Xaver Joseph Kromichl”...

Is this your book?

Yes, of course.

Then why do you
call yourself “Jacques”?

Well, those were his orders.


Well, then you’ll be
eighty-two in August.

What day is it today?

May 19.

And how long before August?

Three months.

I won’t live to see that.

Say, in that box lies the book
of St. Anthony and St. George.

You can get that for me.

And a piece of snapdragon root,
against fever,

you will send it
to your son, Carl Joseph.

Give him my best.

He’ll need it.
It’s so swampy, over there.

And... close the window, now.

I want to sleep.

Did you send a nurse to Jacques
and gave him all he needs?

- Of course, milord.
- Did you receive instructions

to root out these so-called

Yes, sir. The instructions
are very clear, sir.

Your Lordship, it seems that
Jacques is now fully conscious

and without fever.

He came out of bed
and could even dressed himself.

But that’s impossible.

Please don’t get up, Jacques.
Don’t get up.

I just realised I spoke
so familiar to Your Lordship.

Never mind that, Jacques.
It was the fever.

I babbled like a dead man.

And you must arrest me
for identity fraud, sergeant,

for my real name
is Franz Xaver Joseph!

And under my army service book
is my savings book,

and in it is enough to pay
for the funeral and Mass.

And there I’m called “Jacques” again!

Time trieth truth.
We can wait.

Look how they shine.

It’s hot, for May.

I don’t know,
I feel a bit chilly, now.

I’ll go in and put the
canary bird in the sun.



Very strange.

Your Lordship...
Your Lordship, please come quickly.

That’s how I’d like to die, one day,
dear Slama.

To die...

My wife also died.

Everyone dies.

Lord Commissioner, Miss Hirschwitz says
you haven’t had breakfast again.

Mind your own business,
Mr Leschetizky.

I’ve decided to pay my son a visit.

Make sure that Jacques’
canary bird is fed regularly.

Don’t forget the water, and give it
a lump of sugar once in a while.

Yes, sir. But you cannot leave now.

The Sokolists!

I can.

I want to see my son.

Jacques was the last one
to have known him –

my father.

The hero of Solferino.

The Emperor knew him, too.

The Emperor and I,
we’re the only living persons

who knew him.

I want to go to my son.

Well, Papa, here’s your room.

All my mates live here
and they make a lot of noise,

but there is no other hotel.

No problem. No problem.


It’s not so wild out here.

- Is there some entertainment?
- Yes, at Count Chojnicki’s.

You’ll meet him.
I like him a lot.

So he’s the first friend
you ever had.

The regimental surgeon Max Demant
was also a friend.

- Do you like it in the infantry?
- Yes, very much, Papa.

- And your horse?
- It brought it with me, Papa.

- Do you ride often?
- Rarely, Papa.

- Don’t you like it?
- No, I never liked it, Papa.

Stop calling me “Papa”.
You’re old enough.

And I’m on holiday.

Something wrong?

You don’t look at all
like a young lieutenant should.

Is it rough?

Thank you, Papa.

Ah, this is a root.

It’s supposed to help
against malaria.

- Jacques sent you that.
- How is he doing?

He already passed on.

He passed on...

You say that like an old man.

I’m sure you have a lot
of secrets I don’t know.

We are father and son,

but between us lie the years
like great mountains.

I know no more about you
than about any other lieutenant,

perhaps anyone in this army.

You enlisted in the cavalry
and were transferred to the infantry.

One doesn’t know any more
about the other.

Ah, well...

Perhaps I’m getting old.

Look at the root.

I am inquisitive, gentlemen.

No other passion than this
sends me out into the world –

to the tables of the great gaming halls,
on the parliamentarians’ benches,

but every spring I return to here
and throw my parties.

I’m so incorrigibly inquisitive.

And additionally a friend of your son.

I took the liberty of preparing
a little snack for you.

To your health.

That’s some strong stuff.

It’s what we drink at the frontier.

Right, Carl Joseph?

People here drink it a lot.

Strange things you eat here,
at the frontier.

Strange but good.

Even to someone like me,
with a spartan nature,

these finer things in life
are nothing to be scorned.


Since the farewell dinner
of Prince Metterlich,

who then was sent
on a secret mission in Herzegovina,

I never had such a feast.

The Austrian is a man of senses after all,
just like the writers of operettas suggest.

- A carefree heart.
- Cheers!

I’ve invited you here, so we wouldn’t
be disturbed in the New Castle.

There my door is,
so to speak, always open,

and all my friends
can come when they please.

This is usually the place where I work.

- You work?
- Yes, just for fun, so to speak.

I continue the tradition
of my forefathers,

I mean, not as seriously
as my grandfather was about it,

because the peasants of this region
thought him to be a magician.

Well, perhaps he was one.

They think I’m one, as well.
I’m not.

Well, so far, I haven’t been able
to make one single speck.

A speck? Of what?

Well, of gold, of course.
I know a bit about chemistry.

As you can see, I have here
the oldest and newest equipment.

Curious. Very curious.

Oh, no more curious
than whatever else I might try.

Should I become Minister of Culture and
Education? It’s been suggested to me.

Should I be Head of Section
at the Interior Ministry?

That’s been suggested to me, too.

Or should I go to court, become
Comptroller of the Royal Household?

I could do that, too.
Franz Joseph knows me.

“Franz Joseph”?

Oh, beg your pardon.
I meant, his Majesty knows me.

By the way, you remind me of him.


You remind me of Franz Joseph.

And why – forgive me –
would it be just as futile

to serve the Fatherland
as it would be to make gold?

Because the Fatherland
no longer exists.

I don’t understand.

I expected you wouldn’t understand.

We all are no longer alive.

I don’t understand.

How could the monarchy
no longer exist?

Well, of course
it technically still exists.

We still have an army
and officials,

but it’s falling apart.

It’s falling apart while still alive;
it’s already fallen apart.

An old man – with one foot
in the grave,

every sneeze could finish him –
remains on the old throne,

merely by the miracle
that he still can sit.

But for how long, gentlemen?
I ask you, for how long?

This age doesn’t want us anymore.

This age wants to establish
autonomous nation states.

People no longer believe in God.

The new religion is nationalism.

People no longer go to church,
they go to national associations.

Our Emperor, his Apostolic Majesty,
is like a secular brother of the Pope.

Purely apostolic.

No other monarch in Europe is
as dependent on the grace of God as he is.

The German Emperor still rules
even if God would desert him;

perhaps by the grace of the nation.

The Emperor of Austria
must not be abandoned by God.

But now God has indeed abandoned him.

Do you hear the rain?

I’d never have believed there could
exist such a person in this world

who could claim that God
had abandoned the Emperor.

So you believe...

So you believe that we’re...

We’re doomed.

You, your son, and I.

We are the last ones of a time

when God still extends
His Grace to monarchs,

and madmen like me create gold.

You see, this is the age
of electricity and chemistry.

Not of alchemy, you understand?

Do you know what that stuff is called?


No more gold.

In the palace of Franz Joseph
they still use candles.

Nitro-glycerine and electricity
will be our downfall.

It won’t be long.

Not long at all.

Come, we’re going out,
there’s a little party.

Only those who live the whole year
here at the frontier, think it is a big one.


One gets used to the “ninety-grade”.

You know, it doesn’t go to the head
but only to the feet.

Then nothing is painful anymore –
in office and out of office

everything then goes so smoothly
and fast, and you don’t think.

The brain has a way out.

- You should...
- Yes?

You should be careful with liquor.

Well, you know, there comes a time
in every man’s life when one has to drink.

I’ve never drunk too much.

What did you say, Papa?

You should be careful with liquor.


Drinking will ruin you.

The painter who painted
grandpapa’s portrait also drank.

Do you remember that painting?

Have you forgotten about it?

I haven’t forgotten anything.

I also think about that portrait.

I’m not strong enough
for that portrait.

I cannot forget the dead.

I cannot forget anything.


If only I could help you...

I myself came here to seek help.

Jacques is dead...

The world becomes
more and more difficult.

Before, everything seemed
so much simpler.

For every situation
there was a certain approach, right?

When your boy came home for vacation,
you would put him to the test.

When he became a lieutenant,
you would congratulate him.

I don’t know what I should do
when you call me “Father”.

There’s a telegram for you.

The bellboy brought it over.

I’m called back, I’m afraid.

Yes, something to do
with the Sokolists, I assume.

- There will be disturbances.
- Right.

Yes, it isn’t easy to do anything about
disturbances in this cursed monarchy.

If you arrest a few ringleaders, the deputies
and the newspapers will pounce on you,

and they’re all set free again.

Break up the Sokol Association,
and you’ll be rebuked by the governor.

Autonomy? Sure, just wait.

Here, in my district, every
disturbance ends with bullets.

Yes, so long as I live, I’m the
government candidate and I get elected.

Fortunately this area is sufficiently remote
from all the modern ideas

that they spawn in their
filthy editors’ offices.



Your father has to leave.

I’m sorry, Father...

I’m a bit concerned about him.

Well, rightfully so.
He has to get away from here.

When I’m on holiday, I’ll try
to show him a bit of the world.

And then he won’t feel
any desire to come back.

Who knows, perhaps
he’ll even fall in love.

I won’t fall in love.

Come now.
We have to go.

I have to pack.


if only we could talk to each other...

- Anything to eat?
- No, the old man isn’t there.

- Did your father leave?
- Yes.

Pity. If he’d have stayed a moment,
he could’ve witnessed the opening

our proper little casino,
just like the ones in Monte Carlo.

Really? Do you believe it’s true?

Yes, finally. It’ll be a splendid
gaming hall. A proper one.

By God, how long has it been
since I’ve played roulette?

You know, the way the ball rolls,
I love it so much!

Brodnitzer won’t open a casino.

Not him! I told you,
Kapturak from the Ukraine

he will lift the ban on gaming halls.

He already creeps around
in our hotel.

- A shady figure.
- Well, you see?

Who cares, boys?
As long as it gets us some fun.

And maybe we’ll even win something.

Just our luck!

There’s one single factory here,
and of all, that one had to go on strike.

- Is this the first strike in the area?
- Yes, the authorities were in panic.


For decades they’ve done nothing
but organize a few censuses,

celebrate the Emperor’s birthday,
assist in the annual military recruitment,

So this is quite another thing.

We have officials who do nothing.

They do something. They arrest
a Ukrainian or an Orthodox priest,

and certain people they catch
smuggling tobacco.

And don’t forget the spies, of course.

The factory has been here for decades.
I believe it produces brooms.

My orderly says the workers get sick –
tuberculosis, and die in hospital.

But they never went on strike, right?

Suddenly all the gendarmerie posts
in the area had to be assembled.

Guess what the gendarmerie do
instead of assembling?

They dispatch a report
to the governor’s office.

What does the governor’s office do?
They send the report on the Army High Command.

What does the Army High Command do?
They come to me.

So there we are.

Of course, war is much more pleasant
than such a thing.

After all, we’re no constabularies
or police officers.

But there’s no war for now, unfortunately.

And orders are orders.

And what are the orders?

Well, in certain circumstances we’ll have
to advance with lowered bayonets and...

well, command to open fire.
Well, what to do?

Nothing can be done.

But in the meantime nothing will
stop us from going the casino,

- and win a lot of money.
- A lot of money?

On the first evening
Kapturak opened the baccarat,

I won five hundred crowns
from a Silesian landowner,

but now, now I have
more debts with him.

Well, be glad that at least
something’s going on.

Finally something’s happening
in this stinkhole.

Faites vos jeux, messieurs.

Rien ne va plus.

- Trente-cinq, noir.
- Passe.

Officer, come here,
we’re thirsty.

Is everything gone again?
How much, then?

Two thousand crowns until now.

No small sum for me, Captain.

Just go to Chojnicki.

I already owe him three hundred.

Captain, you can use
my name at will.

Who’d loan me that much
on your name?

Mr Kapturak.

So this is about two thousand crowns?
Can you pay me back?

No idea.

- A lot of money, Captain.
- I’ll... pay you back.

In what instalments?

You know that only a third
of your wages can be garnisheed,

and that all your mates’ salaries
are already committed.

So I don’t see any possibility.

Mr Brodnitzer has been so kind...


Mr Brodnitzer over there
also owes me a lot of money.

I could lend you
the desired sum,

provided one of your comrades,
whose wages aren’t garnisheed yet,

would step in.

For instance lieutenant von Trotta.

He used to be in the cavalry,
he owns a horse;

and a horse is a value-fixed object.

Sign, quickly.

He’s waiting over there.
He sees that you’re reluctant.

You haven’t yet been
down in the gaming hall?

- No.
- Well, come on down.

I’ll be expecting you.

One sixty.

Well, how is it going?

Lost two hundred.

That red is cursed.

I have no luck with roulette anymore.

It has to be done differently.


I want to try it over here.

Did you win?

Lost, lost.

Too bad, too bad.

Take me, for instance.

I often win, I often lose,

I’ve lost everything,
won everything back.

One mustn’t stick to the same game.

Just don’t stick to the same game.

That’s the main thing.

You’ve never touched a card?


And to think I first won so nicely.

I only lost, the whole time.

But Kapturak won
five hundred crowns!

Five hundred, yes.

I have signed another IOU.

When you mix cognac
with “ninety-grade”,

- that is a great recipe.
- That recipe...

needs to be tested.

Those bloody military wages!

It’s a bloody shame! It doesn’t even
allow me to play as a human being!

- Sell me your horse.
- Oh, no.

- You have to sell it to me.
- Oh, just take it.

I’ll pay. I’ll absolutely pay!

- No, I don’t want you to!
- I order you to sell it to me!

Sir, yes, sir!

But I don’t have any money.

That doesn’t matter.

- I’ll give it to you.
- No, definitely not!

I don’t wanna buy it anymore.

Well, I could sell it to someone else.
Isn’t that a good idea?

Excellent. But to whom?

Well, for instance to Chojnicki.

Brilliant. I owe him
five hundred crowns.

I’ll take it over.

You look like hell!

I didn’t shave.

You look like an alcoholic.

- Do you want my horse?
- I know, you don’t like riding. Right?

No, that’s not it.

I need money.

I covered for a friend –
a great sum.

I cannot lend him that much.

And the officer in question
already owes you.

But he’s no concern of yours.
This whole matter is none of your business.

You’ll pay me back, soon.
It’s a trifle.

You see, I’m rich. Yes, people call it rich.
Money means nothing to me.

If you’d ask me for a drink,
it would be the same to me.

My God, what a fuss.

Look at this.

All these forest belong to me.

It’s quite unimportant –
simply to spare you pangs of conscience.

I’m grateful to anyone
who takes a bit off my hands.

Good morning.

- Good morning.
- Good morning.

It’s settled, this afternoon.

Thank you.

Thank you.

- Listen...
- Good morning.

I got it now...

My luck will hold, now.
You just proved it to me.

Just now!

This afternoon there will be
2,500 crowns.

1,500 I’ll immediately give back,
and I’ll sit down at the baccarat table –

perfectly calm, perfectly carefree,
I’ll break the bank.

He’ll shuffle the cards himself.
And with his left hand.

Well, perhaps I’ll pay back
only a thousand for now,

and play with 1,500 –
five hundred for the roulette,

and a thousand for bacc...

Well, I’ll have to think about that.

I’ll have to think about it.

Where did you leave Trotta?

Haven’t seen him.

- Everything?
- I gave you my word.

Excellent, Captain.

It’s about time.

It is high time poor Trotta is relieved
from his friendship with that crazy Wagner.

We’ll send him a few days on furlough,
and with you, in fact.

With me?
What does he look like?

You’ll accompany him to Vienna.
You’ll like him.

I know your taste.

Well, you know,
my husband is not normal.

Many would consider him insane.

But he’s sweet, and easier
to handle than a child.

“Till a joyful reunion,” he always says
when I visit him in the psychiatric ward.

And I say, “until we see
each other swiftly, dear Alfonse.”

You’re a young man, but you look
worn out and sad.

Have you experienced sad things?

And have you learned from them?

Were you ever on leave?

No, I rarely go on holiday.

“Due to important family affairs,”
I told them.

Well, whatever Chojnicki
sets his mind to, will happen.

I’d like to smoke a cigarette.

Oh, please, do you have
to smoke discretely?

On my account
you can smoke in here.

We’re on a bridge, now.

I’m always afraid on a bridge
that it will collapse.

It won’t collapse.

You say that as if you wanted
to add “unfortunately”.

Why are you so sad?

I’m not sad.

But I thought of kissing you.

Then I put it off again.

You shouldn’t put it off.

My name is Valli.


I have something unpleasant for you.

Well, it’s about quite
an everyday matter,

namely that a Jäger platoon
goes out tomorrow morning,

and position themselves
opposite the broom factory.

No, thank you, sir.

I don’t understand.

You’ll command the platoon
which will take action

against possible
“seditious disturbances”.

You just need to keep a cool head
and not intervene prematurely.

And in the end
the district officials will decide

whether your Jäger will
have to proceed or not.

Oh, this certainly isn’t pleasant
for any officer;

how can you take your orders
from a district commissioner, after all?

But on the other hand,
this delicate task

is a sort of distinction for you,
as the battalion’s junior lieutenant.

And besides, the others haven’t
had any furlough yet. You see?



Let them fall out.

Right turn!

Rifle down!


Right turn!

Fall out!

You’re a bit too early. The demonstration
is expected in the afternoon.

I’m going for a drink, in that pub.

But that’s not possible,
there are workers in there.

So what?

A “ninety-grade”.

A double.


My instructions are to have
the rally broken up immediately.

Are you ready, lieutenant?

I’m going now.


Left turn!

By the right, march!

In the name of the law,

I order this rally to be disbanded!

Push back!

Why don’t they shout, lieutenant?

For God’s sake, let them shoot!

First row, ready!

First shot in the air!


Shoot! Let them shoot, lieutenant!

Shoot! For God’s sake, shoot!


I have to learn from the papers
that my son is wounded.

You can imagine what the opposition
makes out of this matter.

So what?
Do you think they’ll succeed?

Carl Joseph might come
under investigation,

but it will be performed
by Army officials.

Well, you see?

On the contrary, he might receive
a medal for his exemplary behaviour.

But there will be an investigation.

If I hadn’t visited him recently,
I would go there, right now.

To him.

Leave the army,
Max Demant said.

But instead of leaving,
I was transferred to the frontier.

I want to leave!

Out of this army!


It isn’t my profession!

If only I knew
where I am at home.

You have to write me
another sponsion – 1,500 crowns.

Kapturak explicitly demanded
your guarantee.

But you mustn’t worry;
I’m going to buy a race horse.

I’ll run it in Baden, and make it win
everything – a magnificent creature.

You’ll see.


Roulette, roulette...

Captain Wagner is dead.

He shot himself in the border forest.

He left a farewell letter
for all his comrades;

and a special greeting to you,
Baron Trotta.

He’s dead.

Jacques is also dead,
Max Demant as well,

Wagner too,

and the workers I had shot, too...

They call for me.

They call for me.

We have to play roulette!


Roulette, roulette...

What kind of story is this?

Who put this on my desk?

Where is Montenuovo?

He’ll be here any moment.
It’s almost eight o’clock, Your Majesty.


Why do I suddenly have to think of the Battle
of Solferino, while reading this deed?

When will Montenuovo be here?

At eight o’clock, Your Majesty.

Yes, you already told me that.


What’s about Solferino?

Tell me, do you know
the name Trotta?



Yes, I know! Trotta!

He saved Your Majesty’s life.

Oh, right...

Oh, right! Yes!

Is he still alive?

- Well, I don’t know...
- Well, we’ll have to write it down.

To settle this favourably.

People think I know less than they,
because I’m so much older.

But that’s not true.

I might even know more
than many would think.

Trotta, Solferino...

I remember it clearly.

What’s planned for today?

Prince Montenuovo
comes for an audience.

And then it’s off to the manoeuvres
at the Russian frontier.

That’s right!
The manoeuvres!

I have a cold.

But don’t tell anyone,
for God’s sake,

otherwise I cannot
join the manoeuvres.

And I love to go
to the manoeuvres.

War is something terrible.

But I love the military.

I wished I could sleep
in the barracks with the officers.

But no, at manoeuvres I always
have to sleep in a castle.

Once, during that ill-fated Italian
campaign, there was a flea in my bed –

a real, genuine flea.

But I never told anyone about it.

An Emperor doesn’t talk of insects.

I already knew that
as a young man.

How nice the air is.

It’s wonderful.

The land is flat and wide.

The General said the windows
are facing the north-east.

That means I can look towards Russia.

But I cannot make out the border.

I would have liked to see
the frontier of my empire.

My country, in which the sun goes down.

The beautiful stars –

they are already fading,
all of them.

The throne and God Almighty.

How nice the crickets chirp.

Or are those the stars?

Do they also chirp?

I’ve been here before
at manoeuvres.

I think I also slept
in this room before.

But was that ten
or thirty years ago?

Or when was it?

I’ve lost my sense of time.

But now the day is about to start.


I’ve outwitted them all, now.

All day I haven’t
a moment to myself.

But I made up for that
with fifteen minutes.

Well, come on! Shave me!

Bäumer always whistles this song.

I’d like to know what it is.

Do you know what it is?

Well, don’t look so foolish.

Oh, right! It’s...

I forgot it again.

Hand me the agenda.

This will be a daunting day –

three masses after another,
with the Greek one.

I’ll have to pull myself together
before God as if facing a superior.

And I’m already so old.

He could have made many things
a bit easier for me.

But God is even older than I am,

and His decisions seem
as unfathomable to me

as mine seem
to the soldiers in the army.

And where would we be, if every
subordinate could criticize his superior?

Don’t worry, colonel Lugatti,
I found the parade already tiresome.

I want to inspect the regiment,
and see the army walk passed me.

Aha, those are the new
knapsacks and bread pouches.

Let me take a look.

What do you have in there?

Canned goods, aha.
Yes, yes.

What’s your name?
Well, tell the colonel.

What’s your name?
Where do you come from?

Milutin Doroslovac.

What kind of battalion is this?

Your Majesty, I present to you
the 16th Jäger Battalion with 387 men.

Aha, very nice. Very nice.

Let’s see.

Is he ill?

Lieutenant Baron Trotta has just regained
his service for a few days, Majesty.

He was wounded by revolutionary elements,
while quashing an anti-state rally.

Trotta? Trotta?

I know that, right?

There was something
in the deeds, recently.

It’s the grandson
of the Hero of Solferino.

Aha! Yes, yes.

I have a great memory.

I clearly remember your father.

He was very modest –
the Hero of Solferino.

Your Majesty, that was my grandfather.

Ah, so it was your grandfather?

And your father is an officer, right?

Chief District Commissioner
in Weißenkirchen.


I’ll make a note of it.

Well, let’s continue.

I think I caught a cold.

But I know that already.

We’ve been playing chess for years
with each other, dear doctor.

I notice the whole time that you
have something on your mind.

My son wrote to me,
quite some time ago.

He wants to leave the army.

I don’t know how to respond.

First I thought it obvious
to simply forbid the boy leaving the army.

But now I believe I don’t have
the right to forbid anything.

Your son doesn’t want to stay in the
army, and I can understand that.

You can understand that?

Absolutely, Lord Commissioner.

A young officer in our army cannot, in his
right mind, be content with his profession.

His yearning must be war.

But he also knows that war
means the ending of our monarchy.

The ending of our monarchy?

The ending, Lord Commissioner.

Let your son do as he pleases.

Perhaps he will be better
at some other profession.

Ah, I don’t know. I think everything
loses its meaning, somehow.

Anyway, I’ll write to my son
that he can do what he wants.


No person can take over
the responsibility for another.

My father did that for me.

And my grandfather for my father.

When your late father said you wouldn’t
be a farmer but a public official,

then he was right, for you’ve
become an exemplary official.

But when you told your son
that he had to be a soldier,

then you were wrong.

For he is not
an exemplary soldier.


He’s not.

And therefore we should let
each go on their own path.

Each on their own path.

You often need money, Baron Trotta.

Every fortnight you come,

when you’re on furlough
and go to Vienna.

The baron often goes to Vienna.
Yeah, the ladies...

- Will you give it to me or not?
- Of course I will.

Of course.

My accounting is in order.

Truly in order.

I believe it makes
about 6,000 crowns, right?

You believe?
Don’t you make a note of it all?

I’m not so good with numbers.

Save journey, lieutenant Trotta.

And come back in good health.


A telegram, sir.

Damnit, Valli has to see her husband.

I’m not going, Onufrij.

This time you won’t
be going to Burdlaki.

- I’m not leaving.
- Very well, sir.

- You’ll stay here!
- Sir.

- Well, don’t you mind?
- No.

I play harmonica on Sunday.

God knows I don’t find it
that easy, in this dump.

Every fortnight I live only
for the two days in Vienna.

In this godforsaken dump!

This idiot in the loony bin...

I should’ve stayed in Vienna
and not return in this army.


How did you get in here?

Good evening.

What do you want?

I see you haven’t left for Vienna.

I’m not going.

I just wanted to check.

I’ve just been to see Captain Jedlicek.

- He is not there.
- So?

Well, he is not there.

What has happened to him?

He’s been arrested
and put on transport,

on suspicion of...


I don’t wish to hear
anything about it from you.

Go now.

Unfortunately not possible.

Not possible.

I must insist on a
partial repayment.


- Tomorrow.
- Tomorrow...

Tomorrow might be impossible.

You can see what surprises
each day may bring.

Captain Wagner was your friend.

Captain Jedlicek is his successor.

I’ve lost a fortune to Jedlicek.

Who knows if we ever
seen him again?

You’re also his friend.

What did you say?


Repeat what you just said.


Sit down.

I have to sit down.


I’m just staying for a moment.

I need to recover.

Next week,
at the same time,

at this exact hour,

I’ll ask you for the entire sum.

I don’t want to do
any more business with you.

It is 7,250 crowns in total.

I must also inform you that Mr Brodnitzer
is standing outside the door

and has heard everything.

Count Chojnicky is returning, as you know,
maybe later than normal, this year,

or perhaps not at all.

I’d like to go now...


- Did you hear everything?
- Everything.

- Was Brodnitzer here?
- Yes, sir.

A spy...

Jedlicek is a spy.

What will I do now?

Very unpleasant.

How much did you drink
before attacking him?

- Half a bottle.
- But that’s...

It’s a very awkward issue.

In any case, I have to report it
to a higher authority.

Well, perhaps that can wait.

Do you have the money?

- No.
- Then I don’t know, either.

Why did you need
all that money anyway?

Well, never mind that.



Write to your father, today.

My savings amount to the sum
of two thousand crowns.

I shall put it at your disposal,
Lord Commissioner, if you please.

I thank you, doctor.

I’ll accept it.

I’ll have to.

I’ll write you a promissory note.

But where will I find the rest?

The rest?
It’s still 5,250 crowns.

The boy awaits my reply.

This age is to blame.

Perhaps also the frontier garrison.

Perhaps also I.

Carl Joseph is sincere and decent,
but unfortunately also weak.

I cannot just throw him over.

Not to speak of our name.
Our name has been dishonoured.

Please excuse that silly word.

But what if the boy
is kicked out of the army?

In your position, I would go
straight to him –

straight to the old man,
to the Emperor!

Or perhaps that’s just
a childish idea.

But no!

That is an excellent idea, doctor!

The simplest thing in the world!

No-no, it’s not that simple.
You don’t have a lot of time.

It’s not possible to request
a private audience within two days.

Whatever will be, will be.

You will go to the mail office
and telegraph my son.

The content of the telegram,
listen carefully:


- Have you understood?
- Yes, sir.

Send Miss Hirschwitz up.

I know people in Vienna!

My schoolmates, who are all
in influential offices, like me.

Madam, I want my suitcase packed
within half an hour.

Uniform with top hat
and medals. Half an hour.

Of course, milord.

This evening I’ll travel to Vienna.

Well, I really would like
to help you, dear Trotta,

but you know, even the influence

of a simple, senior state official
has its limits.

But I know who could do
something for you –

In the Comptroller’s office
is that lucky devil, that Gustl,

you know, that fool
who made his career.

That is, his career will
soon be finished,

namely with the death of the old man,
even though he married a countess.

You have to visit
Gustl Hasselbrunner.

Mr von Hasselbrunner is away,
but councillor Putwinitz replaces him.

Perhaps Lord Commissioner
could go to him in the meantime?

Yes, dear friend, I mean...

You know how gladly
I would like to help you.

If it were something else,
with pleasure.

But this, dear Baron Trotta?

Well, I cannot help you
in the least in this matter,

but Chief Municipal Councillor Busch?

By the way, at this time
he’s always at Demel’s and eats.

Well, that’s out of the question.

It’s absolutely impossible
what you ask of me.

It all takes time.
Two or three weeks, at least.

Besides, the Emperor
is still in Bad Ischl.

Come, have some petit fours
and relax.

But naturally you have
the right to see the Emperor.

Of course it is possible,
but the timing, dear friend...

The timing!

I have to fix this matter!
Do you understand?

I have to fix it!

I’m trying to find some way
to break protocol.

It’s just impossible.

My father also broke protocol!

With his hands, he grabbed his Majesty
by the shoulder and pulled him down!

- Understand? Like so!
- I know! I know!

I’m doing all I can, dear Trotta.
You know that.

We need to go back to Hasselbrunner.

Can’t you call on him, tomorrow?

I only have three days left,
all in all.

Three days.

I cannot recall a similar case.

It’s quite beyond all imagination.

It’s impossible.

Believe me, dear friend,
it is really utterly impossible.

Again another Trotta?

Didn’t I recently speak
to some pale lieutenant?

It must be his father.

And was it his grandfather
who saved my life?

But he couldn’t be
a District Commissioner.

He may enter.

Well, dear Trotta?

Your Majesty,
I beg for the clemency for my son.

What kind of son do you have?

My son is lieutenant
with the Jäger, Your Majesty.


That has to be the young man
I saw at the last manoeuvres.

Hasn’t it?

But he’s a wonderful fellow.

He almost saved my life.

Or was that you?

Your Majesty, that was my father –
the Hero of Solferino.

What? How old is he now?

But at the Battle of Solferino...

there was this lieutenant, wasn’t there?

Yes, Your Majesty.

Yes, he was recently with me.

He then became a captain,
when I gave him the Franz Joseph’s Order.

Or was it some other?

Please come closer.

Your Majesty, I beg
clemency for my son.

Yes, it’s all right.

It’s all right.

Please stand up.

Nice weather, today.
Isn’t it?

Wonderful weather, Your Majesty.

Strange. These whiskers
are completely out of fashion.

Yes, it’s true! The officers nowadays,
I saw a few with perfectly smooth faces!

And in grey uniforms.

They look like lumps of clay!

Oh, yes, I have to go to Bad Ischl.

I still have so much to do.

Your issue will be solved.
It will be done. It will...

What has he...

What has he done, anyway?

Yes, Your Majesty.

It will be settled.

My regards to your father.

My father is dead, Your Majesty.

What? Dead?

A pity.

But back then, at Solferino,
he was there...

I remember very clearly.

Well then, dear Trotta.

These Trotta’s...

I must write it down.

“The Trotta...


Yes, Franz Joseph’s arm
has a long reach.

The whole thing has been settled
by the highest authorities.

And Kapturak has been deported?
Simply gone?

And did you know that the gaming hall
also has been prohibited?

Yes, the grandson of the Hero of Solferino
can rely on His Majesty.

And again it will be dull.

Just drinking. Nothing else.

You all know what the dragoons
have been up to.

- Yeah.
- What then?

Well, next year will be
their centennial celebration,

and so they came
with the brilliant idea –

because they are
just as bored as you are –

to organize a dress rehearsal today.

- That’s really great!
- Great idea!

- Who’s coming?
- Oh, the reserve officers of the regiment,

all the pensioners,

all the officers’
friends and relatives,

of course the regiment’s senior staff,
the honorary colonel,

in short, the guests will come
from everywhere.

Well, and of course they’ll
have to invite us as well.

- Hopefully Chojnicki will be there, too.
- Well, he has to.

If it rains, the whole thing
will take place in his castle.

Colonel Festetics expects
at least a hundred guests.

- How many?
- At least 54 hussars.

I was so much looking forward
to such a garden party.

Everyone thinks a thunderstorm
will come, with this sultriness.

We haven’t had rain for four weeks,
this is the hottest June ever,

and today, of all days, there’s
supposed to be a thunderstorm?

Well, bye. I’m going in.


Give me some light.

- Did you read that?
- Yes, sir.

- Keep it shut.
- Yes, sir.

Well, what is it?

Are you scared of the thunderstorm?

It’s not the thunderstorm.

Well, what then?

I shouldn’t tell you,
but I cannot keep quiet.

Colonel Festetics just
received a terrible message.

Well, what then?


- Those were the exact words?
- Those were the exact words.

Have all the windows
closed and draped.

And have my carriage ready.
I want to go to town.

Yes, sir.

Well, what’s wrong?

It has just started to rain.

Just now.

Supposedly the heir to the throne
has been murdered.

What do you mean, supposedly?

Guests, that arrived
three hours ago, said so.

They found a broken telegram
in code in the governor’s office.

The telegraphic traffic has probably
been jammed due to the thunderstorm.

We haven’t received
any reply to our inquiry.

Moreover, today is Sunday, and there is
almost nobody in the offices.

The agitation in town and
in villages is rising steadily –

despite the storm,
people were out in the streets.

What can we do?

You’ll understand, gentlemen,
that, in spite of all festivities,

I needed to announce
this news to you.

It’s hot in here.

I’ll open a window.

We must break up the party.

- That’s not possible.
- Why not?

The whole preparation, and I...

We all...

It will not do.

The news isn’t true.

It’s not true!

We need prove that it’s true!

“Rumoured” is just a fat lie.

A mere rumour will suffice.

When the heir to the throne really
is killed, there still are other heirs.

When the heir to the
throne is killed –

firstly, we know nothing
for sure about it;

secondly, it’s none of our business.

It is our business,
but he simply wasn’t killed.

- It is a rumour.
- But, gentlemen...

Bosnia is far away from here.

We don’t give a damn about rumours.
I spit on rumours.

We ask the gentlemen to continue
the conversation in German.

I’ll tell it in German.

We are in agreement –
my compatriots and I –

that we can be glad
when that pig is gone!


I know...

that His Imperial Highness
has really been assassinated.

My grandfather...
saved the Emperor’s life.

I am his grandson,

and I will not allow anyone to insult
the House of our Supreme Commander in Chief!

The gentlemen are
behaving scandalously!

It is a scandal!

A scandal!

A scandal!

If anyone says another word
against the dead man, I’ll shoot him!

Quiet! Be quiet!

Order him to step down.


Leave us.

The heir to the throne
has been assassinated!

The funeral march, please!

The funeral march!

The pig is gone!

Sir, Major, sir.

Tomorrow I’ll hand over
my resignation.

Perhaps you’re right.

You’re young.

What else should I’ve said to him?

I’m scared.

Scared, that’s what I feel.

Father, I’m leaving the army.

After the tragedy that hit us
the day before yesterday,

this decision looks like...

- desertion.
- The whole army has deserted.

The monarchy is dead.


Tell Miss Hirschwitz that dinner
will be twenty minutes later.

Come, let’s get some fresh air.

Greetings, Lord Commissioner.

Fresh air does wonders.

Yes, papa.

- Would you like a soda?
- No, thank you, papa.

I’m tired. Let’s sit down.

It’s the first time
I sit here on a bench.

Since my transfer to this town,
I walked here daily...

but never sat here.

I saw the Emperor.

I didn’t want to tell you, but the
Emperor himself settled your matter.

We won’t talk about it anymore.

It’s hard to say it...

But I love you very much, papa.

I’m sure Hirschwitz
will be wearing her grey silk.

Tafelspitz, cherry dumplings
will also be there.

Everything is like before.


Everything is like before.

Well? How does it feel
to be my administrator, lieutenant?

I’m free.
I’ve never been free.

Don’t you regret
the life you left?

I’ve always been a soldier.

But I now I start to understand
a bit about life.

That wasn’t really planned.

At least, not by the imperial lieutenant.

It finally happened –
war has started.

We’ve been long expecting it,
and yet it took us by surprise.


Clearly a Trotta isn’t allowed
to live in freedom for too long.

My uniform lies ready.

I think in a week or two,
we’ll be sent to the front.

Nature has never been so peaceful.

You can look at the sun
with your naked eyes.

Do you know what that is, over there?

Wild geese.

They’re leaving us early,
in midsummer.

They already hear the shooting.

They know what they’re doing.

They’re leaving us.


At ease!

Right shoulder arms!

Left turn!

Forward march!

War in the Austrian army
begins with courts martials,

to deter the living.

Yes, but the living are fleeing.

A war that begins with retreat,

but not with an organized retreat.

There is no such thing
as an organized retreat.

You think they’re all traitors?


Hasty court martial
makes for hasty sentences.

Some brass sends unverifiable messages
about peasants, priests, teachers, officials.

We have no time.

We have to retreat.

But also to punish
the traitors hastily.

Ah, well...

- Water!
- We’re so thirsty, lieutenant.

There is no water.
All wells are contaminated by corpses.

We’ll have some water.

On the last day they hanged
the corpses over the wells.

Bloody pigs!

I think the Russians
have caught up with us.

The road is wider, over there.

There are rails, over there.

There’s the station, maybe
we can be transported from there.

The station is blown up.
There are no trains there.

Then we’ll fall back
along the rain embankment.

There must be trains, somewhere.


We’re safe, here.

For a few kilometres we’re
covered by the rail embankment.

The Cossacks!

The Cossacks, on that slope!

Take cover!

- Water!
- Water!

- Water!
- Water!


Stay here!

Stay here!

We already have twelve casualties.
They soldiers want to go to the well.

Platoon halt!

I’ll get you some water!

Nobody moves!

Get me some buckets!

I got them from the
machine-gun section.

Praised be Jesus Christ.

Praised be Jesus Christ.

Praised be Jesus Christ.

Madam, my son is dead.

Mr Leschetizky, my son is dead.

Mrs Rossmantel, my son is dead.

My son is dead,
Mr Witranik.

My son is dead.

My son is dead, waiter.

Another one.

I just received the message.

The announcement must have been
left on the carpet of my office.

I have to...

That night and many
nights thereafter,

old Mr von Trotta did not sleep.

His head trembled
and waggled on the pillows.

Often the District Commissioner
dreamt about his son.

Lieutenant Trotta stood
in front of his father,

his officer’s cap filled
with water, and he said,

“Drink, Papa. You’re thirsty.”

This dream kept recurring,
more and more often.

And gradually the District Commissioner
managed to call his son every night,

and on many nights Carl Joseph
appeared several times.

Mr von Trotta began to long
for night and bed –

daytime made him restless.

When spring came
and the days grew longer,

the District Commissioner
darkened the rooms,

in the morning and the evening,
prolonging his nights artificially.

The war didn’t seem to trouble
Mr von Trotta that much.

He only picked up a newspaper
to conceal his trembling skull.

A long time had passed
since the news of his son’s death.

Seasons had replaced one another

according to the ancient,
steadfast laws of nature.

barely perceptible
under the red veil of war –

least of all to the District Commissioner.

His son was dead.

His office was terminated.

His world had gone down.

I received a letter today from a certain
Mrs von Taussig, unknown to me,

currently a voluntary nurse
at the Steinhof asylum in Vienna.

She tells me that Count Chojnicki
has returned from the front,

insane, for a few months,
and that he often speaks of me.

“He keeps saying in his
confused utterances

“that he had something
important to tell you.”

And if I happen to be planning
a trip to Vienna,

my visit to the patient might
unexpectedly restore his sanity,

as had occurred in similar cases,
now and then.

Is that possible?

Well, anything is possible.

If you can bare it –
I mean, bare it easily.

I can bare anything.

I knew your son.

Since when have you
known my son?

Before the war.

We were in love,
Carl Joseph and I.

Forgive me, but was that foolish
history because of you?

Also because of me.

I see, also because of you.

I wish Carl Joseph could still
get into foolish histories...

because of you.

Let’s go to the patient.

Leave us, Valli.
We have something important to discuss.

Welcome to my house.

Please have a seat.

I’ve called for you
to tell you something important.

Don’t tell anyone.

Except for you and me,
no one knows this.

The old man is dying.

How do you know?

From higher up.

Nurse Valli!

The audience is over.

- They say the old man is dying.
- I know.

I’d like to go to Schönbrunn.

The Emperor is dying.

The Emperor cannot
survive the Trotta’s.

He cannot survive them.

They saved him,

and he won’t survive
the Trotta’s.

And how is he doing, now?

- I don’t know.
- No news.

He’s dying.

I’ll pray for his soul.

Are you the old postman
of post office Schönbrunn?


Have you known the old man?

Yes, he spoke to me, once.

Now he’s dying.

So this is death.

I wonder what that
whispering is, around me.

But they don’t hear me.

I just cannot ask them.

Strange, that they won’t answer me.

But I forget the questions,
and the answers, too.

The priest will arrive soon.

In contrition and humility
I confess my sins.

Why doesn’t anyone listen?

There he is, the Capuchin!

I have to confess my sins.

So proud...

So proud I’ve been.

I’ve been Emperor for too long.

Did I say that out loud?

Everyone has to die.
The Emperor also dies.

War is also a sin.

He doesn’t hear me.

I have to wonder.

Every day brings casualty lists.

There’s war since 1914.

Make it end.

If only I fell at Solferino.

They don’t hear me.

Perhaps I’m already dead,
and I speak as a dead man.

That’s why they don’t hear me.

I will sleep now.

I’m going to bed, madam.

I’m tired.

Yes, but...

You’ve never gone to bed
during the day. Are you...

Are you ill?

I’m tired.

Dear Dr Skovronnek!

I’ve had Jacques’ canary bird
brought in here.

Give him a piece of sugar, please.

A sweet bird.


A sweet bird.

He’ll survive us all.

Yes, he can survive Austria.
He can.

Give me your hand,
dear friend.

Could you bring me the painting?


Was it a beautiful death?

Yes, beautiful.

Very beautiful.

Leave it.
I’ll play a game with myself.

It’s raining.

So much rain, this autumn.





Subtitles by Vahlto, 2018.