Sissi (1955)

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In the first of a trilogy of movies about Elisabeth "Sissi" of Austria, the young vibrant princess catches the eye of her sister's fiancé, Emperor Franz Josef.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Karlheinz Böhm ...
Magda Schneider ...
Uta Franz ...
Princess Helene in Bayern / Nene
Gustav Knuth ...
Vilma Degischer ...
Josef Meinrad ...
Erich Nikowitz ...
Karl Fochler ...
Franz Böheim ...
Johann Petzmacher
Peter Weck ...
Hilde Wagener ...
Baronin Wulffen
Egon von Jordan ...
Richard Eybner ...
Otto Treßler ...


The young Emperor Franz Joseph is on his way to his summer residence at Ischl, where his birthday will be celebrated with a big party. His mother, Archduchess Sophie, has decided that he shall marry her niece Princess Helene of Bayern, and that the engagement shall be proclaimed at the ball. Franz Joseph doesn't know Helene yet, but his mother has already prepared everything. To avoid suspicions of what is going on, her sister, Duchess Ludovika of Bavaria, brings not only Princess Helene, called Néné, to the ball, but also the somewhat younger Princess Elisabeth, called Sissi. Archduchess Sophie is particular about strict etiquette at the court, and dislikes her niece Sissi, who is a free spirit, just as her father, Duke Max of Bavaria. To keep Sissi inactive, her room in Ischl is locked from outside, but Sissi escapes through a window. She goes to the wood, and when she is fishing in a river, the Emperor Franz Joseph passes by in his royal carriage. He is immediately enamored by ... Written by Maths Jesperson {}

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Release Date:

22 December 1955 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

La principessa Sissi  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although he played her husband in this trilogy, Karlheinz Böhm is only 10 years older than Romy Schneider. See more »


The Emperor Waltz is played as background music during Sisi and Franz Joseph's wedding dance in 1854. The Emperor Waltz was composed by Johann Strauss II in 1889. See more »


Followed by Sissi: The Fateful Years of an Empress (1957) See more »


Polonaise in a major
Written by Frédéric Chopin
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User Reviews

Charm all around
18 July 2004 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

I know these films are considered by some purported high-brows to be of low popular-art form and saccharine emotions. They have historical inaccuracies and pander to the idea of what should-have-been, rather than perhaps quite what was. But-man oh man-they are extremely well-made and extremely enjoyable. There is nothing wrong with these films on a visceral or visual level.

The production values in the sets and costumes and the magnificent outdoor locales makes these films really spectacular. But the very rich and cohesive performances by the cast are what keep these films alive. Above all Romy Schneider and Vilma Degischer as Sissi and Sofia playing the tension between the young empress and her formidable mother-in-law, are great to watch. Each has their own humanity and, actually, rich human qualities shine through in all of the other characters quite beautifully.

Karl-Heinz Boehm is excellent as the young emperor torn between his love for the fresh and lively Sissi and duty to his by-the-book mother. And Magda Schneider and Gustav Knuth are warm and sympathetic as Sissi's parents.

The restoration, recently performed on these films, has left them looking incredibly beautiful (on par with "Gone With the Wind"). And people are now able to enjoy these films in the U.S., as they have recently been sub-titled in English and given deluxe DVD transfers with bonus features. Apparently there was an assembled version made of all 3 films and dubbed-horribly-into English included in the set. But above all it is great to see them released here with a good translation and anexcellent DVD presentation.

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