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Trenck - Zwei Herzen gegen die Krone

Trenck - Zwei Herzen gegen die Krone
Ben Becker in "Trenck" (photo © Bavaria Film/Jiri Hanzl)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 03/2002

It has been thirty years since Bavaria Film's adventures of Friedrich Freiherr von der Trenck last thrilled and enthralled a German television audience. Now, this eighteenth-century tale of action and lost love is being remade; this time as a two-part TV event for public broadcaster, ZDF.

Ben Becker stars as von der Trenck, who falls in love with Amelie (as played by Alexandra-Maria Lara), the favorite sister of Prussia's King Frederick II (August Zirner), better known as Frederick the Great.

But Trenck's fate is in the hands of none other than one of the most powerful and absolute rulers history has known. He could become a powerful figure at court, but his feelings for Amelie prove to be his downfall. Frederick feels he has been treated with contempt and takes offense. Hard against himself and harder against those whom he believes have betrayed his loyalty, trust and friendship, he forbids the two lovers from meeting. Trenck is subsequently thrown into prison. Escape seems impossible.

One of the most interesting and controversial figures of his time, Trenck's story is part of Prussian-German history. The German "Count of Monte Cristo", he was a charismatic hero who fell victim to the greatest injustice. His courage and unbreakable will became legendary.

Producer Stephan Bechtle intends this updated version to be "an exciting mixture of adventure, love, gallantry and tragedy. Modern special effects mean we can make a lavish and authentic production of the highest standards. The story of Friedrich Freiherr von der Trenck forms the basis for an emotional and exciting television experience."

Among the supporting players are Hannes Jaenicke and Henriette Richter-Roehl as a Lady of the Court, Marie. She is perhaps best known for her appearance in the long-running television drama series, Marienhof. Also to be seen is Matthias Habich, who received a German Film Award for his supporting role in Caroline Link's Nowhere in Africa/Nirgendwo in Afrika, 2001). Habich played the title character in the 1973 original and this time round has been promoted to the rank of General von Habich.

To complete the historical circle, the director and director of photography, Gernot Roll (best known for his story of the great German literary dynasty, The Manns), was also a cameraman on the original version.
Genre Adventure
Category TV Movie
Year of Production 2002
Director Gernot Roll
Screenplay Walter Kaerger
Cinematography Gernot Roll
Norbert Herzner
Hans P. Stroer
Cast Ben Becker, August Zirner, Alexandra Maria Lara, Hannes Jaenicke, Henriette Richter-Roehl, Matthias Habich
Producer Stephan Bechtle
Production Company Bavaria Film
Length 2 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 German
Shooting Dates the Czech Republic, Moravia, Koenigstein, Heidecksburg, Naum
With backing from FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung

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