'Back in the crinoline', so to say, reliable and much underrated German film star Ruth Leuwerik plays Germany's most popular royal. Do not be fooled: Empress Elisabeth von Österreich (better known as Sissi) was indeed a Bavarian princess but married to the Archduke of Austria and later Emperor Franz Joseph. Queen Luise of Prussia was born to the house of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, married very young, had some children, was not noted for her mental abilities but nevertheless achieved some kind of fame after Prussia's horrible defeat at Jena and Auerstedt in 1806 when she personally begged Napoleon to have mercy with her country. He denied. Queen Luise, already gravely ill, died soon after. So much for the bare facts.
Do not expect anything of it to appear in this beautiful mounted, handsomely staged but altogether dull production. Ruth Leuwerik, at the height of her fame and beauty, is fundamentally miscast but almost pulls it of. She hides her broken heart under several yards of mink and has to carry the whole burden of this not-too exciting picture. Good supporting players infuse the tedious show with it few highlights.
The pic did not too well at the box-office and started Miss Leuwerik's demise as a top star. With her best roles yet to come ('Die ideale Frau', a delightful und surprisingly witty comedy and, above all, 'Liebling der Götter' as doomed UFA actress Renate Mueller) Miss Leuwerik's work is worth to be rediscovered.
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