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Elisabeth von Österreich (1931)

The life and times of famous empress Elisabeth of Austria aka "Sissi" ,from her quarrels with her aunt to the Mayerling tragedy to her death in Genève in 1898.




Cast overview, first billed only:
Elisabeth of Austria
Paul Otto ...
Franz Joseph
Maria Matray ...
Fanny Angerer (as Maria Solveg)
Mary Vetsera
Ekkehard Arendt ...
Crown Prince Rudolph
Gert Pilary
Ida Perry ...
Archduchess Sophie
Maria West
Sergius Sax ...
Crown Prince Ludwig
Jolanda Szoerek
Olga Limburg
Toni Tetzlaff
Eugen Burg


The life and times of Elizabeth of Austria ,also known as "Sisi".Her quarrels with her aunt ,the emperor Francis Joseph .Her children,who were taken from her by the ruthless dowager;her runaways from the court the etiquette of which she could not stand ;her friendship with her cousin Ludwig Der Zweite ,king of Bayern.His son Rudolph 's degenerate ways ,his affair with baroness Mary Vetsera ,and the Mayerling tragedy .Her assassination in Genève ,by anarchist Lucchini in 1898. Written by dbdumonteil

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Release Date:

21 July 1931 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Elisabeth of Austria  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Birth of a myth
16 May 2016 | by See all my reviews

Thirteen years after the fall of the Hapbsburg, one of the first Austrian talkies sums up Kaiser Francis- Josef 's wife's life (who died in 1898,long before WW1 broke out,anyway)in extremely succinct style.It was well before the Sissi craze in the second half of the fifties,when Romy Schneider made the historical figure very popular -as well as an extraordinary source of currency for the country tourism.

Skimming through her reign, the story begins -unlike the Marischka trilogy- when Elisabeth is already Eine Kaiserin.This first part depicts her disputes with Sophie,her mother-in-law ,who did not approve of her horse-riding ,of her meetings with the populace and of her disdain for the etiquette of the court.It ends with the birth of -at last ,after two girls!- Kronprinz Rudolph : a good scene shows the people listening to the cannon shots and rejoicing when they realize their emperor has a heir ;unfortunately mom-in-law intends to bring him up ,and as soon she's given birth,she 's deprived of her baby.

A short "interlude" shows the passage of time,with pages from a diary -strangely written in French-,and a meeting in a Bayern church with her cousin Ludwig Der Zweite ,suggesting either a hidden affair with him (implausible ,for he was gay,but they were very affectionate friends) or a desire to shun the court (historically accurate).

Time had passed ,and Rudolph was now a young man;he had to marry Stephanie from Belgium "die Einzige Katholische Prinzessin"; hardly had he married this not-very-attractive girl than he fell in love with baroness Maria Vetsera;Rudolph 's political opinions are passed over in silence but there's a short scene showing his degenerate ways and his penchant for orgies .A long quarrel with Der Kaiser (dad does not want his son to call him " Vater" )and it's "Mary,Es Bleibt Uns Nur Ein Weg" , and in two shakes of a lamb's tail ,it's suicide ;to write that unfortunate Rudolph's earthly ride is treated in succinct style is an euphemism .

An epilogue depicts the death of the empress,in Geneve ,Switzerland ,in 1898;it is shown as the historians depict it .

This digest of sorts is nevertheless quite entertaining and might possess great appeal for fans for the Sissi saga;portrayed by the great actress Lil Dagover whose career spans three quarters of the last century and includes such masterpieces as "Der Müde Tod" (Lang),this empress is not without elegance,dignity and greatness.

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