The second in a trilogy of movies about Elisabeth "Sissi" of Austria, the film chronicles the married life of the young empress as she tries to adjust to formal and strict life in the palace and an overbearing mother-in-law.
England, the 19th century. Young Victoria is crowned to be the queen of England. She aims to do her best in order to help her country prosper. However, the family and her trustful advisor, ... See full summary »
16 year old princess Elisabeth, 'Sissi', follows her mother and sister Helene to the Austrian court in Ischl, where the engagement between Helene and the young emperor Franz Josef will be announced. But he meets Sissi when she's out fishing and falls in love with her. Sissi also loves Franz Josef but a marriage with him comes with a bonus, his arrogant and headstrong mother. Written by
I think, I have seen this movie (and it´s prequels) 5 times or so, my mother loves them dearly. Many other people love them as well, while other´s think it´s corny. So, what makes this movie so special for some many people and so successful after all these years?
Quite likely it´s the story: A princess finds her her true love in a king ( or an emperor, as it happens to be the case here). It´s the perfect fairy tale for adults, they can connect with her, especially the characters are based on real people, which gives the movie some authenticity (which it doesn´t deserve, it´s very inaacurate at some points).
So, for those, who haven´t seen it already, here´s a short synopsis: Elisabeth (nicknamed Sissi and played by a very young Romy Schneider), lives with her parents in Bavaria. She travels with her mother Ludovica (Magda Schneider, real mother of Romy) and her sister Helene to Bad Ischl to meet Francis Joseph I, emperor of Austria (Karlheinz Böhm) and his mother, Archduchess Sophie (Vilma Degischer). Ludovica and Sophie are sisters and have plotted to marry Helene and Francis. But, as it turns out, Francis and Sissi fall in love with each other and after some difficult situations, they both have to survive, they finally get married.
The prequels (Sissi - Jugendjahre einer Kaiserin & Sissi - Schicksalsjahre einer Kaiserin) deal with her young married life, with the birth of her first child and a sickness, which she survives against all odds.
The storys are very trivial and corny, and especially the prequels are full of historical mistakes.
What makes this movie watchable, is only Romy Schneider. This movie stands and falls with her. She made this movie at the age of 16 and although she doesn´t show the depth of her later work she compensates that with her youthfulness. Her character is never three dimensional, but watching her eagerness, you hardly notice.
After this movie Schneider became typecast as the beautiful, nice little girl, and after the two other Sissi-movies, she was in the german speaking countries "Sissi". People started to mistake Schneider with the character she created and didn´t want to see her in more complex roles, which finally led to her move to France, where she finally could show her versatility.
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