A trio of stars — Christoph Waltz, Vanessa Redgrave and Annette Bening — brings the unbelievable story of Georgetowners Viola Drath and Albrecht Muth to fictionalized life in the movie “Georgetown.”
The real-life tale of Drath and wife-killer Muth has been made into a drama and thriller by actor Christoph Waltz, who plays the part of Muth (called Ulrich Mott in the film) and also directed the film. The role of Drath (called Elsa Brecht) is played by Vanessa Redgrave. The daughter of the murdered wife is played by Annette Bening.
The film “Georgetown,” based on a New York Times Magazine article, “The Worst Marriage in Georgetown,” makes its world premiere on April 27 at the Tribeca Film Festival, which runs April 24 through May 5.
Here’s how the movie production company — Romulus Entertainment — describes this typically Washington, D.C., insanity, where a virtual unknown could deceive people in power during the 1990s and the first decade of the 2000s.
“Ulrich Mott (Christoph Waltz) is an eccentric and versatile social climber with grandiose plans to affect United States foreign policy. He is encouraged and egged on in his attempts by his strategically chosen (and much older) wife, the well-connected journalist Elsa Brecht (Vanessa Redgrave). Mott has a knack for making himself indispensable and impossible to ignore whether it is as an intern, the perfect host, or a Brigadier General of the Iraqi Special Forces. He has an impeccable sense for when to flatter and how to deftly use political jargon to his advantage. The only one seemingly immune to his charms is Elsa’s daughter, Amanda (Annette Bening), who might simply disapprove of her mother marrying a much younger man or perhaps she senses something more sinister beneath the smooth-talking surface.”
The script was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and playwright David Auburn. Waltz — who appears to be perfectly cast for the film — won Academy Awards for “Inglourious Basterds” and “Django Unchained.” He makes his directorial debut in “Georgetown.” Redgrave and Bening have been nominated for Oscars several times.
Drath and Muth were known around Georgetown for their dinner parties and moved about in Washington society. Many boldface names were snared by the German-born pretender in his efforts to make them key players in Washington, D.C., especially with diplomats. He succeeded for a while.
In fact, Muth once visited the offices of the Georgetowner newspaper to purchase tickets for a benefit. A staffer recalled that he seemed “totally creepy.”
Albrecht Gero Muth was convicted of killing his 91-year-old wife Viola Herms Drath in 2011 in their home on the 3200 block of Q Street in Georgetown and sentenced in 2014 to 50 years for his crime.
Seen around Georgetown in faux military garb, the cigar-smoking Muth was perceived by neighbors and shopkeepers as an oddball. He said that he was a member of the Iraqi Army — which the Iraqi government denied. Muth went so far as to have arranged a 2010 ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery for Iraqi Liberation Day.
The amazing, you-cannot-make-this-stuff-up story was previously reported in the Georgetowner. (Click on the link.)