Fridericus (1937) Movie Script

From the novel by
Script by
Assistant Director and Editor
Executive Producer
Directed by
Surrounded by
the great powers of Europe...
Ascending Prussia has been fighting
for its rights for decades.
To the surprise of the entire world...
the Prussian king, first laughed at,
but now feared...
has stood his ground against
much greater powers.
But it seems overwhelming now.
Prussia's hour of reckoning is near.
Thank God.
We're coming to the end of the forest.
- We're at the end.
- Finally, out in the open.
- Do you think we'll stop?
- No.
It's not enough we're in the saddle all night.
People have to sleep some time.
The King of Prussia and I
have given up sleep.
Captain Bonin!
- You're in charge of the rear guard.
- I thought I was the vanguard.
No, you'll be the rear guard.
Yes, Sir!
I'll bring up the rear.
- Why?
- The army's turning back.
Well Schraeble, back to the forest.
- The king can kiss-
- I'm afraid he won't do that.
- Captain Droste!
- Yes, sir.
Battalion, halt!
The army is turning back.
This battalion is the vanguard
until the cavalry shows up.
Yes, sir. Back again.
Good God!
His Majesty's orders.
About face! March!
Get up!
Get up!
- Get up, you!
- I'm tired.
About face, march. Insane!
First, he has us march all night,
then turn around.
- His Majesty must have reasons.
- He's out of his mind.
The troops are exhausted.
They need to rest for once.
Sorry, but no.
We have to go back.
My scouts have spotted the Austrians
in three favorable positions.
If we don't hurry,
we'll be trapped.
There you go. Now he's stuck.
Serves him right.
- What?
- That.
We cannot go on.
The troops want to sleep.
Sleep? In light of marching orders?
I'll teach them.
You lazy pigs!
You only eat and sleep!
You don't give a damn
what happens to the army!
Are you just going to drop here?
Do you want to desert your king?
His Majesty orders you
to take your positions.
From General Laudon.
I'm very pleased, gentlemen.
Here, we have the Prussians.
And we're positioned here to there.
- They're trapped.
- Not quite. There's a gap here, right?
Yes, by that hill.
But Friedrich doesn't know that yet.
Laudon is on his way there...
and in two hours,
our troops are complete.
He won't escape us.
If I'm ever born again,
I'll come back with four legs.
You're an animal anyway.
Right. People couldn't take that.
That's great.
You're a hero.
I won't be insulted.
Not by anyone.
- A hero with blisters on his feet.
- Don't remind me.
Five blisters I had to lance.
It was like a waterfall.
Enough water for a horse.
- Be happy you're not a hussar.
- Why?
Well, better blisters on the foot,
than on other parts.
You're really in a good mood.
I am. I feel so safe here,
you know?
Austrians on every side.
No one can take that away.
- I want out.
- What was that?
Repeat that.
No, don't repeat it.
I'm still a reasonable man.
I don't want to be killed for a madman.
A madman?
A normal man would've made peace by now.
But he wages his wars
to the end of the world.
He doesn't need water or food.
He only needs to smell blood.
You smell.
You, come with me.
- Your name is Mampe?
- Yes, Your Majesty.
Musketeer Mampe, sir. Weddingdorf Regiment.
You're that windbag of a Berliner
who escaped the Russian POW camp.
Yes, Your Majesty.
And there was that issue
with the Russian army treasury.
I took it with me
as a souvenir, so to speak.
Yes, but it was empty.
I'd forgotten about that, Majesty.
Commands for the generals.
- I have a job for you.
- Yes, Your Majesty.
You will defect to the Austrians.
Me? Defect? No.
I'm serious, Mampe.
You have to defect.
I swore allegiance to you.
The Austrians have left a gap.
General Laudon
is on his way to close the gap.
I have to head him off.
Now I understand.
You will sneak off in the direction
from which I've come...
walk up to their guards
and surrender.
Yes, Your Majesty.
And what do I tell them?
That I've already discovered
the gap and passed through it...
to attack Laudon from the flanks.
What do I say about
why I ran away from you?
Well, you were scared of the battle,
or that I bullied you.
Bullying, yes, that wouldn't be
too far from the truth.
Bullying, yes, that wouldn't be
too far from the truth.
Pull yourself together.
This is a tough assignment.
Rest assured. I know how
to handle such matters.
If you come back,
I'll make you a sergeant major.
Sergeant major?
Yes, sir.
Don't tell anyone out there.
I will not jeopardize the privilege
of sharing a secret with Your Majesty.
General Princes von Dessau and von Zieten.
- Have you alerted everyone?
- Yes, Your Majesty.
The army will be ready
to march in an hour.
What about your hussars?
They should have found the gap.
My hussars see very well.
It's not their fault that
your Majesty's eyes are better.
We'll leave secretly in an hour.
Like cats, without a sound.
We'll leave the tents.
You'll be the vanguard.
What about me?
You will bring up the rear.
You'll have a better chance
of getting caught that way.
You may bring your best officer.
- Captain von Bonin.
- I want to see him.
Captain von Bonin.
At your service, Your Majesty.
I'll leave camp secretly...
and you will pose as the army
so the Austrians won't know.
- Understood?
- Yes, Your Majesty.
You have little chance of escaping.
- Are you brave?
- I hope so, Your Majesty.
Me too.
- You're a dead man, Bonin.
- People often think that.
There's no other way.
I'll make you King of Prussia
for tonight only.
I wouldn't want to trade any longer.
You're right.
- There is a gap, indeed.
- I hope it's not a trap.
What? He's already passed
through the gap? Impossible.
Yes, General. I wouldn't believe it either
if I hadn't seen it myself.
Just between us, Excellency,
there's something wrong with Fritz.
He must have made
a deal with the devil.
- Excellency?
- Tell them to wait.
- What do you think?
- He seems credible.
- If you're lying-
- Me? Lie?
How could I be here if Fritz
hadn't already passed through.
- He's right.
- I can't believe it.
- I'll have you hanged.
- Fine by me, General.
Fritz will be here in half an hour.
If he finds me here,
I'll hang anyway.
Take him away, the bum.
Get wood.
His Majesty wants fire.
You, our fire should be seen
even without glasses.
And they should hear us too.
The King of Prussia and I like music.
You! Take your trumpets.
One here, one there.
Now we're right in the middle
of imperial territory.
Who's talking? I'll cut you!
- Who goes there?
- Oh, glory.
You're going to play here,
but make it sound really melodious.
- Do you hear that?
- The Prussians are still here.
That sounds too nice.
I'll be damned if it's not a ruse.
Then, the Prussians have
already passed through here...
and we're about to fall into a trap.
Tell the men to stop
and get me one of the maneuver leaders.
What are you thinking about?
- Guess.
- A woman?
Are you very much in love?
- Quite.
- Me too.
You, a baby?
Are you in love
with your nanny or your cousin?
You're right.
With my cousin.
And you?
With my wife.
- Your wife?
- Yes.
- You're married?
- Of course.
- How long?
- Half a year.
- Now, during the war?
- I was on leave after my injury.
- And that's when it happened.
- Where is she now?
That's just it. She's followed me.
I got a letter from her a few days ago.
She's with my cousin Barbel Castle,
not too far from here.
- Sounds like a courageous woman.
- You'd have to see her, Schraeble.
Did you say something?
- Are you jealous?
- No.
That's right. I totally forgot.
Poor chap.
""Don't fret,'' said the bird
to the worm before eating it.
We'll stay here until morning,
then we'll try to pass through.
If we fail, at least we'll
have seen another sunrise.
The Prussians must really be tired.
Nothing's stirring over there.
I don't know.
I don't trust the peace.
The quiet is uncanny.
Send in the cavalry.
I don't understand Laudon.
Still no message he's arrived?
I'm afraid not.
You, go find Laudon.
we've laid siege to empty tents.
You there.
- Are you listening to me?
- Yes dear?
Talk to the delegates.
They only talk among themselves.
You want to get rid of me, eh?
I don't understand your politics.
I drink to victory and the Marquise's arrest.
I raise my glass to
the order of Maria Theresia.
Save your thirst for later.
Her Majesty will serve champagne later.
- Later?
- Yes.
As soon as Daun has sent final word,
As victory drink.
- Final?
- Isn't it decided yet?
Not quite, but there's no doubt.
The Prussians have been
completely surrounded.
Then this is quite a charming party.
But in Paris, we celebrate only
when there's something to celebrate.
A good idea.
A wedding without a bride
makes for a bad marriage.
- Count Wallis.
-Just back from Paris.
Help me out here. You don't doubt
there will be victory, right?
Not for a second.
The question is whether it will be
a Prussian or an Austrian victory.
You still think the Prussians could win?
The gentleman from Potsdam
is at his wits' end.
You said that six years ago too.
But the gentleman from Potsdam has taught
the war council in Vienna a few lessons.
How can you talk like that
about a scoundrel?
He's a rebel, a robber subject of the Kaiser,
if you ask me.
A robber with a brilliant mind.
Here in Austria, he'd have a noose
Round his neck for his brilliance.
Or a Marshall staff in his hand.
Enough, Count.
Did you learn that in Paris?
Imagine, Chancellor. Wallis has
become a Prussian while in Paris.
I was pulling the war minister's leg.
I enjoy defending the Prussian king,
then you learn how to attack him.
Don't get involved with Wallis.
He's tricked the best.
-Just as Daun has Friedrich.
- Daun?
The Prussians have broken out
and destroyed Laudon's regiment.
The Prussians have broken out
and destroyed Laudon's regiment.
I just received the message.
Count Wallis.
Accompany me to see Her Majesty.
Kaunitz is smiling.
That's never a good thing.
You bring bad news for me,
right, Chancellor?
Come, Franzl.
We must talk to them, gentlemen.
I think it's best if I leave you alone, dear.
And you tell me later.
You think so?
It looks very bad, Majesty.
Make them stop the music.
That evil man.
I don't understand.
Whenever we think he's finished...
and we feel a bit sorry for him...
he goes and does this.
He's the most deceitful
character of all time.
- And he's lucky.
- Why him?
Why not me?
How does he do it?
His soldiers are dwindling, his troops are gone...
his country is poor...
he's running out of guns
and cannons...
yet he succeeds...
again and again.
How he must hate me, Kaunitz.
Somebody speak.
So many men, but no one
helps me against that man.
Let me present Count Wallis,
one of my most trusted men.
I've heard about you.
You've been to France?
Yes, it was a private trip to Paris,
visiting some old friends.
It is my pleasure to bring
you some very good news.
Good news?
His Majesty, the King of France,
and the Marquise of Pompadour...
have decided to send an army
to Selesia against the Prussians.
- Is that true?
- 50,000 men strong.
50,000 men?
But when will they arrive?
In about eight days, Majesty.
I traveled with the French
and told them to hurry.
But will they go up
against the Prussians?
Their orders are to follow
the orders of Your Majesty's generals.
Count, you will travel today
as my special emissary...
to the headquarters
to see Field General Daun.
You will be liaison between Daun's
army and the French troops.
Kaunitz, make sure the count
has all necessary powers.
He has my full confidence.
Let's hope the evil man will
kiss my hand four weeks from now.
In short, we march on.
People don't understand
why anyone would run after winning.
Believe me, we need to.
And we must be like the wind.
Keep up in the back.
Report on the poor harvest
in Pomerania:
Lack of seeds,
famine in Stettin...
factories being shut down
due to lack of hard currency.
Take this down.
Transfer silo contents to Pomerania with no fee.
80,000 bushels of corn...
40,000 bushels of flour...
20,000 bushels of seeds.
My silverware is to be melted down...
turned into money
and sent to Pomerania.
Come over here.
- How are you faring?
- It's bad, Majesty.
- The war-
- I know.
- No cattle?
- No, Majesty.
Whatever was left from the war
has been decimated by disease.
We've lost all our cows.
- You didn't use rock salt, right?
- Oh, no, we did.
But you crushed it.
It must be big enough
for the cattle to lick it.
- Are these your trees?
- Yes.
I can tell. Miserable.
But the fruit is very good, Majesty.
It is?
Let me try.
That's good.
You got that one right.
Thank you for the fruit.
What are you waiting for, Dessau?
Your Majesty's final decision.
Dear Prince. If women can pull plows,
then soldiers can march.
Your Majesty, Dessau is right.
Our soldiers won't last much longer.
- Is that so?
- Really. Why must they keep going?
Pay attention.
I had the Austrian spies spread the word
that my arms supplies were in Schweidnitz.
- I thought so too.
- But it's not true.
Schweidnitz only has enough for a few weeks.
Why are we going there, then?
I need Berlin, and a big transport
from there is underway.
If Daun cuts me off there,
I'll be lost.
- But then we must go to Berlin.
- Wrong.
Daun is a dependable man.
If I go towards Berlin,
he'll cut off my route to Berlin.
If I go towards Schweidnitz,
he'll cut me off there.
So Berlin is open.
- It's that easy?
- People only fall for simple things.
Daun isn't stupid.
But he's dependable.
That's why I respect the man.
I've got a feeling
the Prussian is setting a trap.
Feelings are quite fine,
but do you have proof?
No. But I feel he purposely let you pass...
like you were doing him a favor.
I'm better informed, my dear Count.
Friedrich wants to go to Schweidnitz.
He had all his supplies sent there.
But he can't get there.
Because his soldiers are exhausted.
- Austrians know how to march too.
- Yes, Your Excellency.
I hope I'm not intruding,
but it's time, Your Excellency.
I'm coming, Cobenzl.
Aren't you coming too?
No, I'm staying here for now.
What? You want to stay here?
But why?
I want to obtain important
information from our host.
The baron has good relations
with the Prussians...
he's even friends with the king.
But the Prussians are right behind us.
What if Friedrich came to the castle?
That'd be more than I could hope for.
Could you keep one squadron
ready for me, Your Excellency?
- What for?
- I'm not at liberty to say.
You can discuss that with Cobenzl.
When do you need
the squadron, Count?
I'll send a message to headquarters.
Your Excellency.
I've come to wish you good luck
in your future endeavors.
Good luck, Baron?
Remember, you're Prussian.
Not quite.
I may be Prussian...
but this castle
belongs to the Empress.
This is too complicated for me, Baron.
Let's go, gentlemen.
Long live the king.
Thank you for your
enthusiastic welcome.
What do you want from me?
We're starving.
With a belly like that?
We need help desperately.
I know. Your cattle died.
- Did you use rock salt?
- No, King.
Well, there you go.
You have to place it there
so that the cattle can lick it.
We don't have any cattle left.
- What?
- The enemy drove them all away.
- The administrator is to report to me.
- He isn't here.
- Didn't you send for him?
- Yes, yesterday.
But he said we could wait.
I promise you,
you'll get everything back.
With your permission,
I have lost 1 00 talers...
1 0 geese,
all the silverware, my wife-
You should direct
your demands to the heavens.
The apostles went barefoot,
and Jesus died a poor man.
The administrator.
Begging pardon.
I only just learned
Your Majesty had arrived.
I only just learned
Your Majesty had arrived.
What a magnificent ride.
You must be doing well.
Unfortunately not.
These are hard times.
My civil servants should not ride
in expensive coaches...
when the people are suffering.
Why didn't you look after
your plundered farmers?
I was busy all day determining
the damage to the estates.
I want you to help the poor first.
The rich can help themselves.
Show me through the village.
It must have been a nice village.
Are people procreating?
Do they have a lot of children?
- Well, in so many words-
- How many births?
- Well?
- Eight this year. 1 5 last year.
- Do you have children?
- No, Majesty.
- And you?
- 1 4, my King.
Odd how the rich
are short on children.
- Why don't you have any?
- I don't know how it happened.
You should find out.
It's the misery, Majesty.
Constant wars, all the time.
I see.
Why do I fight wars?
For glory and honor, Majesty.
- What do you think?
- For peace, my King.
You can learn from him.
- Majesty-
- Shut your mouth.
It's for peace. Remember that.
You don't know the danger
you're in by staying here.
Yes, I do.
Is it necessary? You can serve
the Empress in other ways.
True, but here I have the chance
to turn the war around.
- You're ambitious.
- Of course.
- Or do you hate the Prussians so?
- Well-
- But you're a patriot, right.
- That's a fitting reason.
Magnificent fellow.
The Empress has many
good officers, but none-
and pardon my arrogance-
none with my creativity.
You don't understand?
- The King of Prussia is creative.
- What do you mean by that?
It's enough to meet him.
But why under such
dangerous circumstances?
That one up there
wasn't shot in the parlor either.
Guess what? I got a letter-
Pardon me.
You haven't met my cousin
from Potsdam yet.
- This is Count Wallis-
- The bravest woman I ever saw.
You venture right in the middle of the war.
It's not that bad.
The castle is almost neutral.
And my cousin
is well liked by both sides.
But my cousin is not neutral.
She's the wife of the Prussian
Captain von Bonin.
I hope you'll get to see
your husband soon.
Surely, that's why you're here.
Your keen mind scares me.
I'd better seek shelter right away.
- How could you mention my name?
- Sorry, I was surprised-
Good thing she hasn't heard of me.
- You have to leave now.
- I wouldn't think of it.
- But she knows your name.
- Women have no memory for names.
Count, I implore you.
I fear for your life.
Don't worry.
You'll be all right.
That'll cost me my head.
If you desert me,
I'll tell the Prussian king...
what sort of friends he has.
No need to threaten me.
I know I depend on Austria.
The king will come close today,
and you'll go to meet him.
You'll invite him to be your guest,
as many times before.
- They acted like pigs.
- When will you make peace?
The king.
- What is to become of us?
- Will you help us?
- We have nothing left.
- It's all because of the war.
I can't change it either.
I'd have myself quartered
if it could bring you peace.
Get me a dozen hussars,
the most desperate ones.
Take them to the Empress's castle
here and do your worst.
Leave no stone standing.
Plunder everything!
Set fire to it! Go!
Are you deaf?
What are you still doing here?
With respect, Majesty.
Please assign someone else.
Are you crazy?
I swore an oath as a Prussian soldier,
not as a murderer.
You're right, Lieutenant.
You know what's proper.
My respects...
Those poor souls
will get money and food.
Yes, sir.
My sister?
What a great pleasure.
How is my sister?
Very well.
Bonin, go with Mr. von Treskow
and meet my sister...
and escort her to Neubrck.
I'll set up camp in that village.
- Understood.
- Take good care of my sister.
I hope you appreciate
the privilege of your assignment.
Now, hurry.
- That's beautiful.
- Yes, I haven't lost my touch.
Thank you.
You're so kind to me.
- Don't, don't.
- Who from?
As if you didn't know.
That one's even prettier.
It's for my son, Hans.
Every day I make one for him.
Maybe one day the Prussians
will let him see his old mother.
But so many have withered.
Your son is with the Prussians too?
Yes, he wants to be a doctor,
and the baron is paying for his education.
You will see him again.
My husband has sent me a letter.
- They're coming to this area.
- Now? Is that true?
Then, I'll run to the camp,
no matter how far.
Well, cousin, I'd like to announce you,
but His Majesty won't have time.
- Important visitors are waiting for him.
- Who?
See for yourself.
Honor guard from Bayreuth.
Ah, his favorite.
Wilhelmine von Bayreuth.
- Have you thought about it, Mampe?
- What?
Have you thought about it,
Sergeant Major?
No need for formalities...
provided you're of sound mind again.
On leave for one day. What is that?
Nothing, if I know
that you'll be back.
I want to see my mother.
She's not far.
You've said that many times before.
- Why don't you ask the captain?
- Nah.
Because you know
what he would say.
""No leave for crazy fly-by-nights.''
I'll ask the captain, then.
My dear Baron.
- What are you bringing me?
- An invitation, Your Majesty.
I know you mean well.
It's quite a tempting offer.
Good food, a clean bed...
but not tonight.
Thank you very much.
Let no one enter,
even if the world comes to an end.
- Mine.
- Fritz.
You've come here
to see me in wartime?
Is it all right? Are you happy?
My little Mine.
How are you?
- You look good.
- I'm doing fine.
- What about your condition?
- Long forgotten.
I don't even remember its name.
The doctors say it's tuberculosis.
I think she's come here to see him
one last time before she dies.
I'm doing well too.
All is well, I sleep like a baby,
and the gout is not bothering me.
I think he's ill.
He can't sleep from the pain.
He can barely move his left hand.
See? Nimble fingers.
So there was no need to come.
I was looking forward to consoling you.
A little late for that, Mine.
My situation is excellent.
People in Bayreuth are gossiping.
- I can't say it.
- Let them talk.
I feel strong as an ox.
I'll show them.
I'm happy for it.
I have so many ideas, you know.
If we could turn each of
my ideas into soldiers...
we'd have an army
to conquer the entire world.
Well, I expect a peace offering
from your enemies in the coming weeks.
Poor Fritz.
You have to suffer so much.
Mine, I can't lie to you.
We're two bodies,
but of one soul.
One thing's for sure,
I'll cost them dearly.
Your enemies
won't laugh at my death.
I won't let you go alone.
Send word when the time comes.
I have to leave now.
Don't go yet.
I have to.
In such a hurry to see your husband?
Please don't ruin this moment.
My husband is very good to me.
I just don't want to share you.
Farewell, Fritz.
Thank you for coming.
Happy face, Mine.
Out there, we have to look happy.
Give my best to your husband.
I'll pay him a visit soon in Bayreuth.
I'm so happy I can report back
so much good news of you.
Good-bye, Mine.
Mr. Bonin, I feel like company.
Ride ahead to the baron
and announce my visit.
No need to apologize.
I should have known you would fail,
as you secretly hoped you would.
No matter.
We'll wait for another chance.
Cousin, it is my privilege
to inform you of His Majesty's visit.
- Captain von Bonin.
- Marquis DuVal.
Yes, the marquis is my friend.
He's just returned from Paris.
I was about to leave,
but when the King of Prussia comes-
I could tell him many
interesting things from Paris.
Certainly, Marquis.
Baron, may I avail myself
of your hospitality?
Of course.
- Where is she?
- She'll be in the park.
The king can't find out
that Louise is my wife.
He doesn't like his soldiers
meeting up with their wives.
Sure, go ahead.
Go to headquarters
and get the pandurs.
You can use my horse.
How much time do you need?
- Three hours.
- It's around 6:00.
You can be back by midnight.
The troops can stay at the outworks.
You'll only bring an officer...
and wait there in the pavilion,
in the park.
I could hardly believe it anymore.
- My son.
- Mother.
Where's my jacket?
Help me find it.
- What's wrong?
- Help me look.
- What's happened?
- They're after me.
I have to run.
I need different clothes.
Here it is.
- Have you done something?
- The coat. Hurry.
- Tell me.
- I need a bit of money.
They'll be here soon.
Farewell, Mother.
This is from happier times.
It doesn't really fit me anymore.
Do you know that General Daun
was at the castle this morning?
I know he'll be in Schweidnitz tonight.
Majesty was entirely right.
The passage to Berlin was clear.
Yes, Fredersdorf.
But if only the transport
would arrive.
It's useless, Mum.
Go home.
- Leave me be.
-Just go.
You brat. You want to stop me
from going after my son?
Gentlemen, I don't know
whom to appreciate more.
You, Baron,
for the exquisite dinner.
Or you, Marquis,
for your intelligent conversation.
The honor must go
to Viennese cooking, Majesty.
I'm afraid you're prejudiced
against anything from Vienna.
Marquis, one request.
Let's not talk politics tonight.
I need a holiday from the war.
- How about some peaches?
- With pleasure.
I grow them myself. Very good.
Don't give me those loving eyes.
You'll blow our cover.
Can I help it if you're
flirting with me like that.
How about some bitter orange, Miss?
- You like them so much.
- Thank you.
How do you know that, Captain?
You've known your charming
neighbor for only a few minutes.
We've been talking about
growing bitter oranges.
An interesting topic.
- I thought you were married, Bonin.
- Yes, you gave me your consent.
What? You have a wife?
Yes, and she's very pretty.
And you've kept this from me?
Prussian hussars don't like talking.
They'd rather fight,
like His Majesty.
You're quite amusing, Marquis.
I'd like to have you as my guest.
That would be a great honor.
I have to go to Schweidnitz.
Can I accompany you tomorrow?
Sorry, no, Marquis.
I'd love to, but Schweidnitz won't
be seeing me for a while.
But you're on your way to Schweidnitz.
Field Marshal Daun
has beaten me to it.
There isn't enough room for two
travelers with such a huge entourage.
I can't believe that Daun
could beat you, Majesty.
Really, Majesty.
Why are you so interested?
Majesty, I don't wish to pry.
Especially because I'll see Daun
in a few days.
You're a scoundrel, sir.
Don't worry. I like scoundrels.
Majesty, I have met
a political genius today.
Do you think I'd be interested
in teaching a duffer a lesson?
Besides, what information
could I reveal?
- I have set up the music room.
- No, I have to return to my troops.
Pity, I would've loved to improvise
a little trio with you.
The marquis is famous
for his lute playing.
The baron exaggerates.
I would have loved to boast in Paris
about accompanying His Majesty.
All right, gentlemen.
But not too long.
I'll get my instrument.
Thank God for concerts.
The Prussian king and I love music.
What do you think of the marquis?
- Forget him.
- He baffles me.
Why does he go by two names?
- Two names?
- Yes.
He was introduced to me
as a count, not a marquis.
Bellis or Ballis or something.
I don't know.
- There you are, Colonel.
- Good day, Count.
The French army
is at the Prussians back.
The message says
that they're ready to strike...
and then the generals will retreat
to join forces with us.
Don't let me keep you, Colonel...
but I think the generals won't
have to get excited about the war anymore.
Count Ballis?
- Do you mean me?
- So you're Count Ballis?
That's women for you.
They can't remember names.
You probably mean Wallis.
Ballis or Wallis, you're a fraud.
Don't be so crass.
I introduced myself to her
as Wallis out of vanity.
It's my stage name.
I write verses under this name.
- Why keep it from the king?
- Simple.
As far as I know, His Majesty
doesn't like my verses.
If I'd introduced myself
as Count Wallis...
the evening would've been
ruined for the both of us.
But feel free to tell him.
Good choice, Baron.
Very good after such
a charming evening.
I'm so happy.
I haven't played in five years.
One, two...
How could you give me
something this complicated?
What ass composed this?
What? Me?
Let's do it again.
I can't play the flute anymore.
I didn't think it was that bad yet.
Your Majesty plays very well.
I'm not so far gone
that I have to rely on flattery.
Farewell, gentlemen.
But, Majesty, is such a wonderful
evening to end like this?
I'm sorry. I forgot myself.
Let us chat a bit.
His Majesty is comfortable here,
I'll have to prepare a room for him.
Let's talk politics.
I'm not good
at anything else anymore.
What do people say about
the Prussians in the world?
Shouldn't we talk about
more pleasant things?
Talking about one's worries
is always pleasant.
- I propose a game.
- A game?
It's very amusing.
I used to play it with my friends at San Souci.
Imagine you are the Austrian
Chancellor Kaunitz.
What would you say to me?
- I'd say, I respect you-
- Be honest, don't gloss over.
- But you're a tremendous nuisance.
- No flattery. I want candor.
You are dishonest and deceitful.
You falsify your reports
about your troops and fortresses.
I've mastered this craft for years.
This is why I appreciate
honesty in others.
You always think you know
better than others.
It's the national disease of the Germans.
They want to regulate the world-
And create unrest.
The current war is proof of that.
The European states themselves are at fault.
I've gotten used to them wanting to decide
Germany's fate and mine.
They take offense when I oppose this.
I don't want to be a pawn
between East and West.
I won't tolerate such humiliating
drudgery any longer.
There are other means than war
to change that situation.
But I don't want war.
I'd make peace tomorrow if I could.
No one believes you.
All of Europe distrusts you, Majesty.
I'll clear Europe of the poison
spread by the diplomats.
I'll show the world
who the real troublemakers are.
I wish you good luck.
It's the misfortune of old states
in decline not to accept their fate.
- They fight it.
- Unless they're right.
But do you want to use poor,
small Prussia to rewrite history?
It's easy for wealthy nations.
They have a lot of ink.
I must write Prussia's history with blood.
And Brandenburg tosses sand over it.
That's how it goes.
You carry a lot of responsibility
on your shoulders.
I believe there's a calling
for Prussia in Europe.
My instinct tells me
that it will succeed.
- You may be mistaken, Majesty.
- Certainly.
Then Prussia would be destroyed.
But we don't beg either.
Your subjects can hardly share this view.
Being a father means
seeing farther than the child.
A thankless job.
Most of what we do
comes down to making people happy...
who don't want to be happy.
Years later, you realize
you've spent your life for others...
while forgetting about yourself.
I've suffered much.
I'm alone very much.
That's why I talk so much.
Majesty, I wish the actual Austrian
chancellor had listened to you.
Thank you, sir.
It's been a blissful hour.
I think I'll spend the night after all.
Tomorrow morning,
I'll be back in the saddle.
Majesty, you want to spend
the night at the castle?
But you only have a handful of
hussars to protect you.
Consider, the Austrians are close by.
Thank you, Marquis.
I see you are a friend.
Good night.
Beware of Count Wallis, Majesty.
Wallis? Why?
I know the Empress has sent him
to the troops on a secret mission.
He's said to be very ambitious
and capable of anything.
I'm not afraid for myself.
History is not about sleight-of-hand tricks.
One inside.
One outside.
Two men for patrols.
You stay here.
No one passes.
And don't sleep or chat.
No one passes.
And don't sleep or chat.
- We won't.
- Quietly.
Leave the door open.
Lock it only once I am back.
The time has come.
- How many?
- 50 horses.
- How long for back and forth?
- One hour.
- Too long.
- All right, half an hour.
Ride quietly. Surround the castle.
And don't shoot.
You're leaving tomorrow.
And I have so much to tell you.
In a few hours, it'll be too late.
Darling, don't make it so difficult.
I'm afraid for you,
terribly afraid.
Your hand.
Now, I can still hold it.
No, I won't let go.
Careful, you.
This doesn't belong to you. It's royal property.
I'll be reasonable again.
It has passed.
- Let's go inside.
-Just five minutes more.
- Promise me that you'll be careful.
- And prolong the war?
No, I'll try to finish it sooner,
so that I can come back to you.
- I'll wave to you tomorrow.
- From where?
Up there, from that window.
Quiet. Look.
I tell you.
He's a crazy poet.
He was probably looking at the moon.
- But why through the window?
- He didn't want to alert the guards.
Good night.
I have inspection now.
Good night.
Wake up.
Who is Wallis?
Wallis? I don't know. What about him?
You're going to tell me the truth right now.
- I'm not to blame.
- What's he up to?
- I wanted to warn the king.
- What's he up to?
- Pandurs.
- Where?
At the outworks.
He wants-
No sound. Your Majesty
has to leave immediately.
- The pandurs are here.
- What?
The marquis is Count Wallis.
He's called them.
Count Wallis? Where is he?
Next door, through this door.
Get ready to leave.
You've lost the game, Count Wallis.
It would seem so.
When are your pandurs
going to be here?
In half an hour.
Could they be here sooner?
But no sooner than 1 5 minutes.
My compliments.
What will you do with me?
I'll give you freedom...
and you can return
to the imperial troops.
You will then act on my behalf.
I will not do that.
- You'll have to condemn me.
- What good would that do me?
I'll buy my freedom, Majesty.
With what?
A message that is extremely
important for you.
Go ahead.
A French army has positioned itself
at the back of your troops.
It cuts off your contact with Berlin.
How many?
About 20,000.
I will let you go, sir.
I hope we'll have another chance
to continue our chat.
General Finck.
You will attack the French today.
Like lightning and thunder.
I'll give you my best troops...
1 5,000 men and 1 66 guns.
Your Majesty wants to split the army.
That's a desperate measure.
The times call for desperate measures.
I run the risk of being squeezed
between the Austrians and the French.
Meanwhile, I'll be on my way
to Schweidnitz to capture Daun.
Are you afraid of 20,000 French troops?
No, Majesty.
I am a sick man.
Please assign another general.
The hell I will!
You don't like challenges, do you?
You will march.
- Yes Sir, Majesty.
- Now move it.
What's that noise?
The mother of a musketeer.
He had deserted and was caught.
- Why is she singing?
- She's lost her mind.
I think she's praying.
She won't go away.
We didn't want to use force.
He's a scoundrel.
You can't say that, King.
- I am his mother.
- What's the idea!
Let her.
You can learn from women.
I know what she's trying to say.
She suffered the pain of bearing her child...
all those sleepless nights...
no child is as good as hers.
He is to live forever
and do whatever he wants.
- He's a traitor.
- My God, he isn't.
He's still so young.
She's only thinking
of his death, nothing else.
She doesn't care whether
he's right or wrong.
It's a mother's job to forgive.
My King...
what did your mother
have to go through...
when you were as young as my son?
Did she inquire about right or wrong?
Did she wish for your death
or your good fortune?
And she was right.
Wasn't she?
Mothers are always right.
Release him.
He's not worth it.
Let him continue his
miserable existence.
Aren't you ashamed?
I was forced to be a common soldier.
Well, sorry for not making you
a general right away.
Your running away shows
you don't deserve any rank at all.
- I wasn't born to be a soldier.
- Neither was I.
I'd rather knit socks
than wage wars.
But I have to.
Do you understand?
This world is ruled by obligation.
I am obliged to kill?
I can't.
- I want to live in peace.
- Then put on women's clothes.
Find yourself a man who will
have himself killed for you.
Majesty, I do have honor.
I don't need honor.
I have lots of stupid guys
who want to die for their country.
Majesty, let me join the army.
Go to hell.
I can't have a coward among my troops.
Majesty, I have to serve.
You're not fit to hold a gun.
You can stay as a lackey.
Yes, you mothers are who I fight for.
The Marquise of Pompadour.
My dear ambassador.
Please send to my sister,
Empress Marie Therese...
my most sincere thanks
for her charming letter.
I'm certain my profound
sentiments of friendship...
and our work for France
have had results.
Without a doubt, Marquise.
As for the rest,
you'll find it reported here.
Very interesting. Thank you.
Please, madame.
This is the baron...
the new Russian ambassador.
Delighted to have you as a guest.
Delighted to have you as a guest.
What do you think of Paris?
He wasn't in a French school.
Oh, yes.
Pardon me, monsieur.
Oh, you speak German.
I only speak a bit of German.
But I'll try to chat with you
a bit personally.
How is her Majesty, the czarina?
I hope she's better.
Unfortunately, no.
Not quite.
I'm so sorry to hear that.
I'm afraid Her Majesty's illness...
may prevent Russia
from being as energetic...
- during the negotiations.
- Negotiations?
With the King of Prussia's ruling laws.
We can share his lands.
And we don't want you
to be at a disadvantage.
Look at what belongs to Prussia.
We're not greedy.
We will leave you this region.
Who has a pencil?
Here's one.
We leave all of East Prussia for Russia.
And we will settle here...
and arch into Berlin.
I don't think the czarina
is interested in Berlin.
Marquise, it would be
impossible to disagree.
I'm very happy
with our little chat.
My very best wishes...
for the health
of the Empress of Russia.
The Empress is awake.
She's in good health. Praise the Lord!
Please take it, Your Majesty.
Leave it.
- Razumovsky!
- Take it, my little dove.
To your health.
It's good.
It will help.
Why are you standing there?
It was the influence
of this cocotte de Pompadour.
I'll send you back to your place.
Give it to me.
Scandalous, simply scandalous!
Millions of rubles spent.
That is all.
- My dear.
- Enough.
Give command to my soldiers...
to prepare...
to occupy...
and march on Berlin.
Hey, you. You're killing yourself.
Not fast enough.
It's useless anyway.
You'd better believe it.
Fritz is about to surrender.
He won't surrender.
Quite the camp.
Nothing like this has ever been
built before, in the whole world.
- Let's not get carried away.
- Are you trying to say-
- No, I'm not.
- Why not?
- You can say it too.
- So I get the gallows.
That's why I won't say it either.
- What was that?
- Someone must have collapsed again.
Yeah, some people are weaklings
and can't take anything.
Hey, isn't that our former friend?
You! What happened?
He got weak and fell on my ax.
That's what's expected of us.
Full of wounds, we'll slide
into a hole in the ground.
And then life is over.
Good job.
Majesty, the damp ground.
You'll catch the gout.
Why, I already have it.
The night was so cold.
You must've been freezing.
The others teeth were chattering too.
- I'll get blankets.
- For the others too.
- We don't have that many.
- Then I don't want one either.
Ah, Dessau. My friend.
May I speak to His Majesty?
I always have time for you.
Fritz is going.
What time could it be?
Around 5:00.
The sun's up already.
They won't show up today.
Wake the tents.
Don't sleep.
- The situation is grim.
- Good observation.
The army has lost hope
since Finck surrendered.
- He cost us 1 60 guns.
- 1 66.
- The supplies will be gone in 1 0 days.
- Sooner.
We're totally cut off. We can't be saved.
I don't believe in miracles.
Me neither.
But I still have Berlin,
and my powder mills are still working.
Majesty, you have to make peace.
You want me to make peace
with my enemies?
Yes, Majesty.
If we put down the guns,
they'll gladly do the same.
You're a fool.
If we extend a hand,
they'll cut off the hand...
then the arm and finally the head.
Then they'll laugh at us
and tell the world...
the Prussians are a stupid nation.
Majesty, I ask to be decommissioned.
I don't want to be responsible
for Prussia's downfall.
Believe me, Prince...
I'd like to send you to hell now.
But I can't.
I cannot rob my army
of its best general.
- Are you serious, Majesty?
- Absolutely.
Then permission to withdraw now.
Have you heard?
Your Majesty, should I establish order?
Leave it.
What's the matter?
Well, open your mouth.
Berlin has fallen.
- The Russians are in Berlin.
- No use fighting on.
Which regiment is this here?
- Bernburg Regiment, Majesty.
- Bernburg Regiment I strip you of your flags.
The braids will be
cut off your uniforms.
Hear that? Victory fire.
I will hang soon.
- An Austrian negotiator.
- Send him in.
- Count Wallis?
- Colonel Count Wallis.
Negotiator and special envoy
of the Austrian Chancellor.
You risk a lot, sir.
No risk as a negotiator...
with the most honorable of all kings.
What is your bad news?
- A peace offering.
- A peace offering?
- For me?
- No, Majesty, for Prussia.
- How do you mean?
- Let me be frank.
The fate of the Prussian army
is to starve...
or to be killed in battle.
Austria desires a peace
that allows Prussia to exist.
You'd have to give up Selesia
and a few other territories, of course.
The national honor-
No, Majesty, please hear me out.
Please see if there is still
some Rhineland wine.
Majesty, that's not necessary.
You talked about national honor.
My government is precluded from
making peace like that with your Majesty.
You are hated too much.
Of course, I don't count.
Of course, I don't count.
I knew I could count on your understanding.
So there are no more
obstacles to peace.
What are the formalities?
You would have to appoint successors
who can sign on your behalf.
That shouldn't be a problem.
Majesty, your greatness,
indeed, is immeasurable.
You give peace to Europe.
So I should abdicate?
It may look like an abdication.
But it is a big victory.
You save your country
from destruction.
- Your people will be eternally grateful.
- You think so?
Have a glass, sir.
To your future.
Majesty, you can devote the second
part of your life to yourself.
As hated as you were as a king...
so will be loved throughout Europe
as a private person.
You'll have all the money you need...
The European Rulers will give you
a rich principality in the West...
your court will be famous...
artists and scientists
will seek your help.
You must not withhold
your genius from the world.
As a young man, you knew that.
You're not born to be a soldier.
You are an artist and philosopher.
Your life is not over yet.
You will agree to this?
Thank you for your offer.
It was very educational.
I will give you my answer tomorrow.
What is it?
It's me, Chamberlain von Treskow.
What are you doing here,
now at the camp?
The enemies let me pass, Majesty.
Then your news must be extremely bad.
Is it the fall of Berlin?
I already know.
I am concerned about Berlin
because of my sister.
Women easily lose their nerves.
Is it a message from my sister?
She will send no more messages.
Put out the lights.
Adieu, Prussia.
You are all here, good.
I can tell you.
I will attack the enemy.
The battle is all that can help me.
I've decided to split the army again.
Going against all the rules of war...
I myself will attack
the Austrian position at the front.
The other half of the army
will attack the Austrians from behind.
Like this.
When you hear my cannons,
you will attack.
We either overthrow the enemy,
or let them bury us.
Gentlemen. To work.
I have special orders for you.
I will expose myself
in the battle today more than-
It will be your duty that
the enemies don't take me alive.
Yes Sir, Majesty.
If I die, place my body on
a cart and don't tell anyone.
The battle will continue,
and the enemy will be defeated.
Your Excellency!
- The Prussians.
- What?
The Prussians are forming
to attack right at our front.
That can't be true.
Message from General Laudon.
Enemy troops have been spotted
at the rear guard.
What troops?
A vanguard of hussars, moving
in a wide circle around our flank.
- Have they crossed the bridges?
- Not yet, and they won't succeed.
They've already started.
They were supposed to wait
for my command.
The old fool is ruining my plan.
We can't just leave him alone.
Respect. The Austrians
learned how to shoot.
That's murderous.
Have you ever seen gunfire like that?
Excellency, we can't move on.
They've blown up all the bridges.
We must let the king immediately know that
our attack can't happen as planned.
Too late. The king is in the
midst of the attack.
Tell the hussars to dismount.
They will build a dam.
The attack must be carried out
according to plan.
Majesty, we can't move on.
The attack has been thwarted.
Are you crazy?
They are to go back into battle.
I don't need you to speak.
The second unit is to attack.
Report from General Zieten.
- What happened?
- Zieten has been delayed.
What? He hasn't attacked yet?
He hopes to join the attack
as soon as possible.
Get yourself back to your general.
If Zieten doesn't come soon,
we'll go to the dogs.
- The second unit is stuck.
- The third unit is ready to attack.
Men, do not forget...
that you are the best
soldiers in the world.
Now you can show me
what you're made of.
- Droste, where is your youngest son?
- On the right flank, Majesty.
You've already lost three sons.
Don't you want to leave
the last with the reserves?
My son wouldn't accept that.
What is this group?
The Pfennigsdorf Battalion.
They have weathered
two blitz attacks, Majesty.
Come here.
Take a flag.
You'll guide them.
Three steps ahead.
Don't I get to do anything?
Am I at a wedding?
I saved you for last, Dessau.
- You will succeed, right?
- Of course, Majesty.
The Prussians have taken
the first positions.
They'll have to stop before the second.
There can't be many more.
That's right.
They've suffered great losses.
Prepare the reserves.
Pull in the cavalry.
Once they attack,
go and run them down.
Where's Zieten?
What's that?
They're not moving on!
Field Marshal Prince von Dessau.
Shot right in the heart.
Can't you keep your
ragtag army in order?
Stop sitting around,
and get them by the throat.
- Where is Fritz?
- In front of us.
Then let's go.
Come on.
Majesty, do you want
to fight them by yourself?
the Prussians are retreating.
We have won.
Gather behind me. In line.