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.
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The story follows the life of a regular German women Leni Gruyten during 1930s and 1940s. Through her interactions with friends, family and other people she knows, the regular folks' perception of the Nazi era is shown.
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
Charming story of sweet love with young Romy Schneider in main role
There was a time, about thirty years ago, when Marischka's SISSI trilogy was considered kitschy by many critics. Fortunately, these times are gone and again we all can see these beautiful films without being influenced by the critics and their politics.
I must admit that Sissi has always been one of my favorite movies. Romy Schneider, her acting, gestures and her face are almost identical with real Sissi. Marischka could not make a better choice. However, I heard that this role had such an impact on Romy's life that she was associated with Sissi throughout her career. As a result, some people consider SISSI films the deepest insight into Romy's life. Hasn't she got through the terrible sorrows similarly as empress Elizabeth did?...
Other cast are also very, very good. Magda Schneider, Romy's mother, gives a fine performance as Ludovika, Karlheinz Bohm (Franz Josef) does an excellent job. Vilma Degischer is particularly memorable as a cruel Sophie. Only Gustav Knuth's portrayal of Duke Max is a historical travesty. He was not so much attached to family life...
Another reason why I like these films is the fact that despite its historical inaccuracies (their love did not look like that), these movies are very gentle, show the value of love between a man and a woman and as a result, they can be watched even by small children without harm done to their psyche.
Some say that Sissi is for sentimental girls and old women. This viewpoint is absolutely wrong. I am a 25 year old man and come back to these films with great pleasure and so do a lot of my friends. See it and you will not regret. Make your personal judgments, not being influenced by the unexplained criticism.
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