7.5/10
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The Princess and the Warrior (2000)

Der Krieger und die Kaiserin (original title)
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Young nurse Sissi lives a secluded life, seemingly entirely devoted to her patients at Birkenhof asylum. Her first encounter with ex-soldier and drifter Bodo has a lasting impact. He causes... See full summary »

Director:

Tom Tykwer

Writer:

Tom Tykwer
6 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Franka Potente ... Sissi
Benno Fürmann ... Bodo
Joachim Król ... Walter
Lars Rudolph Lars Rudolph ... Steini
Melchior Derouet Melchior Derouet ... Otto (as Melchior Beslon)
Ludger Pistor ... Werner
Christa Fast Christa Fast ... Sigrun
Susanne Bredehöft Susanne Bredehöft ... Zewil
Gottfried Breitfuss Gottfried Breitfuss ... Paul (as Gottfried Breitfuß)
Steffen Scheumann Steffen Scheumann ... Bruno (as Steffen Schult)
Rolf Dennemann Rolf Dennemann ... Dieter
Ali Nejat-Nouei Ali Nejat-Nouei ... Ali
Sybille J. Schedwill ... Maria (as Sybille Jacqueline Schedwill)
Peter Ender Peter Ender ... Thomas
Friederike Frerichs Friederike Frerichs ... Corinna
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Storyline

Young nurse Sissi lives a secluded life, seemingly entirely devoted to her patients at Birkenhof asylum. Her first encounter with ex-soldier and drifter Bodo has a lasting impact. He causes an accident that results in her lying under a truck, unable to breathe. While he provides life-saving first aid, mesmerized Sissi begins to wonder whether he may be the man of her dreams. But when she tracks him down weeks later her affection is rejected, as Bodo is stuck somewhere between a traumatic past and a criminal future. Written by Armin Ortmann <armin@sfb288.math.tu-berlin.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Irgendwo da draußen wartet die Liebe

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing images, language and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

12 October 2000 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Princess & the Warrior See more »

Filming Locations:

North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$51,426, 24 June 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$871,058, 25 November 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The literal translation of the German title is "The Warrior and the Empress". The name of the main female character, "Sissi", refers to the nickname of Elisabeth, Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary (1837-1898). There are several movies and television shows about the Empress Elisabeth, some with "Sissi' in the title. See more »

Goofs

When Bodo is being interviewed by the doctor in the psychiatric ward, the doctor pours a glass of mineral water for Bodo, and sets the bottle down on the desk, with the label at an angle to the camera view. In the next shot, the bottle is turned so that the label is nearly directly facing the camera view. (The water happens to be Apollinaris mineral water, which is sourced from a spring in Bad Neuenahr, Germany.) See more »

Quotes

Bodo Riemer: [laying on bead, Sissi has just sniffed him] What are you doing?
Simone 'Sissi' Schmidt: You smell good.
Bodo Riemer: What planet do you come from anyway?
Simone 'Sissi' Schmidt: This one. I was born here.
Bodo Riemer: In the nuthouse? What about your parent's?
Simone 'Sissi' Schmidt: My mother died, a hairdryer fell in the tub. My father is out there.
Bodo Riemer: What do you mean?
[she motions to the mental patients outside]
Bodo Riemer: One of the loonies?
See more »

Alternate Versions

A scene from the German version is missing in the U.S. one: Towards the end, instead of just leaving the "old Bodo" behind, we see him encountering a bus driven by Walter and then the two driving off together. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Holiday (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Oremus
Composed by Urmas Sisask
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This existential fairy tale is devastatingly beautiful
13 May 2004 | by FargoUTSee all my reviews

"The Princess and the Warrior" moves at a leisurely pace, nowadays commonly mistaken for slow or plodding. It is the pacing antithesis of "Run Lola Run", yet in remarkable ways, covers the same thematic ground. Tykwer takes Krzysztof Kieslowski's favorite themes (fate, chance, destiny) and tells one of the most uplifting existentialist tales I've ever seen on film. Poetic in its visceral impacts, heartbreaking in its emotional force, "The Princess and the Warrior" achieves an astonishing level of humanity which very few films ever strive to attain.

As a result, "The Princess and the Warrior" becomes the jewel in the crown of Tykwer's filmic repertoire. With Franka Potente as the emotionally-reserved Sissi and Benno Furmann as the jaded Bodo, Tykwer has created two opposites who are fated to attract. Unlike Hollywood, however, there are no magical forces at work, no clever "Meet Cute". It is very conceivable that these two could have never met, and only due to Bodo's criminal actions do they meet. Is it fate or coincidence that Bodo's run in with the law causes a run in with Sissi? Their interactions are quiet with bursts of trauma, their eyes do most of the talking. Tykwer seems to suggest that Bodo and Sissi's entire existence is to affirm each other's life.

Tykwer has crafted a psychological exploration of two misguided souls looking for an escape from their lives. Stuck in perpetual repetition, Sissi and Bodo live without living, searching for some meaning but incapable of doing so or, even more sorrowful, rejecting whatever is presented to them. This is not a "Pretty Woman" clone but an honestly reaffirming look at two unhappy individuals finding what they so desperately need in each other. Bodo and Sissi's relationship of awkward meetings, misconceptions, and soul-binding metaphysical connections culminates in what I can only describe as one of the most impactful and emotional climaxes in all of film history--period.

Kudos to Tykwer for creating one of the most romantic and spiritually-fulfilling films I've ever seen. A perfect and necessary viewing experience for anyone feeling stuck in the mundane routine of life, thrilling, suspenseful, almost painfully aware of what it feels like to be emotionally and spiritually lost. "The Princess and the Warrior" upholds the optimistic idea that even when things go bad, life is still worth living, if only to help someone else. It is, in my opinion, one of the finest motion pictures ever made.


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