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The King Steps Out (1936)

Princess is destined to marry the Emperor, until her sister steps in.


Sidney Buchman, Ernst Decsey (play) | 2 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview:
Grace Moore ... Princess Elizabeth / Cissy (as Miss Grace Moore)
Franchot Tone ... Emperor Franz Josef
Walter Connolly ... Maximilian, Duke of Bavaria
Raymond Walburn ... Col. Von Kempen
Elisabeth Risdon ... Grand Duchess Sofia
Nana Bryant ... Louise
Victor Jory ... Capt. Palfi
Frieda Inescort ... Princess Helena
Thurston Hall ... Major
Herman Bing ... Pretzelberger
George Hassell George Hassell ... Herlicka
Johnny Arthur ... Chief of the Secret Police (as John Arthur)


The film depicts the courtship of Princess Elisabeth of Bavaria (1837-1898), nicknamed "Sisi", by her cousin Franz Joseph I of Austria (1830-1916, reigned 1848-1916). The complication is that Franz Joseph was originally engaged to Elisabeth's older sister Duchess Helene in Bavaria (1834-1890), nicknamed "Néné". The film depicts events from 1852 to 1854. Written by Dimos I

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

28 May 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sissy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Gwen Verdon. See more »


The Emperor's carriage is unoccupied when it first appears entering the palace but is occupied when it stops. See more »


Barker at Shooting Gallery: Well, we all know the emporer plays second fiddle.
See more »


The End Begins
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Music by Fritz Kreisler
Copyright 1936 Carl Fischer, Inc.
Sung by Grace Moore
See more »

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User Reviews

Slight but enchanting
23 October 2016 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Notable for starring Grace Moore, being directed by Josef Von Sternberg and having tunes by none other than violin virtuoso and composer Fritz Kreisler, 'The King Steps Out' is still an enchanting and very entertaining film in its own right.

Its weak point is the story, which is very slight and occasionally veers on the wrong side of absurd. Herman Bing's role is also a little over-exposed, and while Fritz Kreisler's songs are lovely, lushly orchestrated and full of energy and pathos the only ones that really have unforgettable staying power are "Stars in My Eyes" and "What Shall Remain" (there's absolutely nothing wrong with them, they just don't have the wow factor).

'The King Steps Out' is a gorgeous-looking film though, with sumptuous period detail and photography that really shimmers. The script is heart-warming, light-footed and smart, with Walter Connolly and especially Herman Bing (did mention about him being over-exposed but still loved the performance) providing some scene-stealing moments, Bing especially delighting by facial expressions, use of voice and body language.

Sternberg directs more than competently, personally didn't think any lack of trust in the material came through, and the energy and enchanting charm 'The King Steps Out' exudes in every frame makes it such an easy film to like. Moore proves to be a graceful leading lady, beautiful in voice and a deft comedienne, while Franchet Tone is elegantly charming. Their chemistry is sweet and wholly natural.

All in all, slight but enchanting. Moore may be the main attraction, but she is certainly not the only reason to see this. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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