Critic’s Choice: ‘From Mayerling to Sarajevo’ screens at Aero Theatre

"From Mayerling to Sarajevo," Max Ophuls' final European film before moving to Hollywood, is about a romance while war brews. Edwige Feuillere and John Lodge star.
(American Cinematheque)

The American Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre in Santa Monica is offering a rare chance to see a rarely screened film by exceptional director Max Ophuls on the big screen. That would be 1940’s “From Mayerling to Sarajevo,” the last film that Ophuls made before leaving Europe for Hollywood. A visual master responsible for classics like “The Earrings of Madame de ...” Ophuls here takes on an especially potent subject matter, the passionate and personal events leading up to the assassination of the heir to the Habsburg throne, one of the sparks to World War I a century ago. Also on the bill is Ophuls’ best Hollywood film, the Joan Fontaine-starring “Letter From an Unknown Woman.” As a bonus, the program will be introduced by Andreas-Benjamin Seyfert, Ophuls’ great-grandson. It’s at 7:30 p.m. Friday at 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica.