MovieChat Forums > The Illusionist (2006) Discussion > 'Crown Prince Leopold' - no such person!

'Crown Prince Leopold' - no such person!

This was a beautifully photographed period film, complete with authentic settings and costumes / uniforms of the period (late 19th century).

But, the Emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Franz Josef (whose image DID appear in the film), had no son by the name of Leopold. One of the most glaring disappointments of this film, or of any other historic period piece, that I have seen, ever.

Yes, the plot was fascinating. The illusions / special effects superb. And the esoteric environment of Vienna portrayed during the sunset of the Hapsburg dynasty, was so beautifully done.

But the interaction with a major non-existent 'historic' person, as important as the Crown Prince of Austria was, was a total disappointment to me.

In actual history, Franz Josef's only son and heir was Rudolf. Yes, the Crown Prince character, did indeed shoot himself (as Rudolf had done in 1888 in an apparent suicide pact with his mistress), at the end of the film. But in the movie, it did not take place at the hunting lodge at Mayerling, as it really happened. The way the Prince 'offed' himself in the film ruined the movie for me.

It would have been easy to spin a tale like this, composed around the properly-named Crown Prince, with Mayerling added into the film for more authenticity (which did end in a small country cottage in the country).

Did anyone else happen to notice this, or was aware of this gross inaccuracy, or was disappointed in the same things I was? After all, the Mayerling incident has never really been fully explained, and ultimately led to the First World War.



Ummm...It's a movie. No where was it expressed that it was a "true story", or even "based on a true story." Don't have to be so literal. Lighten up, man. The Dude abides.

And yes, I had heard of The Incident at Mayerling. Pre-WWI

I can eat 50 eggs - Cool Hand Luke


Crown Prince Rudolf was a rather stupid, self-indulgent lack-wit who got depressed, shot his unfortunate mistress and committed suicide. There- Mayerling explained.
p.s. This film doesn't depict the Mayerling incident, so it's fictionalised characters don't represent real, historical people, and the situations, while SUGGESTED by the true events, do not portray the real , historical events. Seems rather simple, to me, and about 98% of the audience either didn't know the difference, or they were smart enough to figure out what I said above. I HOPE this can be the last word on the subject.

"It ain't dying I'm talking about, it's LIVING!"
Captain Augustus McCrae


That's very harsh!


the best known Leopolds were actually Belgians..

He surrendered Belgium in 1940, cutting off the BEF and French forces trying to defend Belgium..


Of course he was a fictional character, but as far as I have understood, based on Franz Ferdinand.
The similarities between them are: deep unpopularity among the masses, long waiting for the passing away of Franz Josef, stern personal character, marrying a commoner, passion for hunting, talks of possible military takeover. Besides, the period depicted in the movie seems to be the beginning of the twentieth century (which fits Franz Ferdinand allusion), not the 80-is of nineteenth century (which would have fit Rudolf allusion).