The lecherous, tyrannical prince of Guastalla falls in love with Emilia, the daughter of colonel Odoardo Galotti. He dispatches his chamberlain Marinelli to convey her to him and obstruct her upcoming marriage to Count Appiani. After his attempt to send Appiani away on a diplomatic mission fails, Marinelli approaches the situation with less subtlety by ambushing the wedding coach with bandits. Appiani is shot in the fray, and Emilia and her mother are brought to the prince's pleasure palace. The mother correctly guesses the intentions of the prince and their corresponding connotations for her daughter. The father, having just rushed up to the palace, learns of the same from Countess Orsina, the prince's jealous mistress. He is beside himself with anger and wants to immediately bring Emilia home, the one outcome that the prince will simply not allow to occur. When Emilia is allowed to speak with her father in private, she asks for him to kill her. This request stems not from her fear that some man is forcing himself upon her, but from her shame that she might eventually succumb to the prince's seductive advances. Odoardo then stabs his daughter to death.
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DEFA Film Library
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