Military drama based on a true story involving espionage and homosexuality set in the dying days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Klaus Maria Brandauer stars as Alfred Redl, a Ukrainian born peasant whose tireless ambition takes him to the rank of Colonel in the Austrian Army. Recruited as a secret agent due to his linguistic prowess, he is sent by Emperor Franz Joseph to spy for his country in Russia. Seduced by the heady life he leads there, he is soon embroiled in the murky waters of double-agency, playing one country against the other. Everything is fine until word of his homosexuality leaks to the Russians who demand more espionage in return for public silence - the start of Redl's tragic decline.