Around 1889 takes place the so-called Mayerling Incident: it is the crown prince of the Austrian empire and his dead lover. Suicide or murder?
In the late 1800's, Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire, falls for Sophie Chotek, a Czech countess. He's already a problem to the Crown because of his political ideas; this love affair with someone not of royal blood breeches protocol. The Crown allows the union only after the couple agrees to a morganatic marriage. The emperor further neutralizes Franz by making him inspector general of the army, sending him afield for months at a time. In June of 1914, fearing for his safety, Sophie seeks permission to accompany Franz to Sarajevo; protocol dictates that no army troops attend Franz while she is present. An assassin strikes. Their deaths spark World War I.
Prior to the United States entry into World War II, Nazi spies try to steal American military secrets. Among those whose passions are roused is Kurt Schneider who was court-martialed and dishonorably discharged from the US Army. Schneider is not very bright and is easily swayed by the oratory of Dr. Karl Kassel, a prominent physician who is eventually made the head of the Nazi spy ring. When Schneider's contact is arrested in Scotland, the US military asks the FBI to root out the spies. Agent Edward Renard is put in charge of the case and they methodically arrest all who have been spying.
The story, set in '50s Hollywood, focuses on Norma Desmond, a silent-screen goddess whose pathetic belief in her own indestructibility has turned her into a demented recluse. The crumbling Sunset Boulevard mansion where she lives with only her butler, Max who was once her director and husband has become her self-contained world. Norma dreams of a comeback to pictures and she begins a relationship with Joe Gillis, a small-time writer who becomes her lover, that will soon end with murder and total madness.
Rodolphe d\'Autriche était le prince héritier de l\'Empire austro-hongrois. Il est mort en janvier 1889 dans de mystérieuses circonstances au pavillon de chasse de Mayerling. Sa dépouille a en effet été retrouvée criblée de balles. S\'agissait-il d\'un suicide organisé par Rodolphe et sa maîtresse ou doit-on penser à un attentat politique ? Rodolphe était très intelligent, peu conventionnel, impulsif et réputé libéral. Menaçait-il de hauts intérêts ?