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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ernst Marischka|
|Produced by|| Karl Ehrlich |
|Written by||Ernst Marischka|
|Starring|| Romy Schneider |
|Music by||Anton Profes|
Sissi is a 1955 Austrian film directed by Ernst Marischka and starring Romy Schneider, Karlheinz Böhm, Magda Schneider, Uta Franz, Gustav Knuth, Vilma Degischer and Josef Meinrad. Sissi is the first installment in the trilogy of films about Empress Elisabeth of Austria, who was known to her family as "Sisi" (with one s and therefore a long /i:/). It was followed by The Young Empress and Fateful Years of an Empress .
Princess Elisabeth, nicknamed "Sissi", is the second oldest daughter of Duke Maximilian Joseph in Bavaria and Princess Ludovika of Bavaria. She is a carefree, impulsive and nature-loving child. She is raised with her seven siblings at the family seat Possenhofen Castle on the shores of Lake Starnberg in Bavaria. She has a happy childhood free of constraints associated with her royal status.
With her mother and her demure older sister Helene (called "Néné"), 16-year-old Sissi travels from Possenhofen to the spa town of Bad Ischl in Upper Austria. Ludovika's sister, Archduchess Sophie, is the mother of the young emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. Helene is called by Archduchess Sophie to meet the young emperor Franz Joseph in the imperial villa so that the two might be immediately engaged. Sissi is unaware of the real reason for the journey and is forbidden by her aunt to participate in any social events due to her girlishly impetuous ways.
Sissi spends her time fishing in the forest where by chance she meets Franz Josef. The emperor is unaware that the girl is his cousin Sissi. He takes a liking to her and invites her for an afternoon hunting trip in the Alps. They meet as arranged in the mountains where they talk and become acquainted. Sissi falls in love with him but does not reveal her true identity. During their trip, Sissi learns of the planned marriage between Franz Joseph with her sister. The Emperor confesses that he envies the man who will marry Sissi and confesses that he feels no connection to Néné. Upon hearing his indirect declaration of love, Sissi becomes distraught due to her loyalty to Néné. She runs away from Franz Joseph without any explanation.
When Sissi returns to their residence, Néné reveals the reason for the trip to Bad Ischl: to become engaged with Franz Joseph. Unexpectedly, a new guest, the Prince of Lippe, arrives and Sissi is invited by the Archduchess to act as his partner at the Emperor's birthday celebration. At his birthday party, Franz Joseph is suddenly confronted by Sissi's appearance there with her mother and sister. He realises who Sissi is and tries to talk to her, openly confessing his love and asking her to marry him. Sissi rejects Franz Joseph in order not to betray her sister. He defies his mother's reservations and Sissi's resistance and announces, to the surprise of his guests, his betrothal to Sissi. Néné is heartbroken and leaves the party crying. Sissi, in a state of shock, is forced to obey the Emperor's wishes.
In Possenhofen, preparations for the wedding have started. Sissi is not excited about her impending marriage, as the hurt Néné has left for an indefinite period. For her sister's sake, Sissi attempts to break her engagement, however, Néné returns with a new suitor, Maximilian Anton, Hereditary Prince of Thurn and Taxis. The sisters reunite and Néné gives her blessing to Sissi for her marriage.
For the wedding ceremony, Sissi travels with her family on the steamboat "Franz Joseph" down the Danube to Vienna. People line the banks, waving flags and cheering their future Empress. As part of a grand procession, Sissi enters the city in a gilded carriage. The wedding takes place in the Augustinian Church on April 24, 1854.
Sissi was filmed in some original places the Empress visited, including Schönbrunn Palace and the Kaiservilla in Bad Ischl. The scenes of her youth on Lake Starnberg, however, were actually filmed at Schloss Fuschl at Lake Fuschl in the Salzkammergut region because Possenhofen Castle was in a poor condition at the time. The wedding celebration was filmed at St. Michael's Church, Vienna.
An early movie about the life of the empress was The King Steps Out , a 1936 American light comedy film directed by Josef von Sternberg, starring Grace Moore. Since the rights to the original play Sissys Brautfahrt by Ernst Décsey and Robert Weil aka Gustav Holm were bought from Marischka by Columbia Pictures, he bought instead the novel Sissi from Marie Blank-Eisman, published in 1952. Marischka then adapted the script based on the novel.
Sissi was viewed by 20 to 25 million people in cinemas. It is one of the most successful German-language movies. The movie was followed by The Young Empress in 1956 and Fateful Years of an Empress in 1957. In 1962, a condensed version of the trilogy was released in English under the title Forever My Love. The trilogy is a popular Christmas television special, and is shown on channels in German-speaking countries and Hungary.The Empress' date of birth on Christmas Eve 1837 adds to the appeal of the film as a Christmas special.
The success of the movie marked Empress Elisabeth's entrance to popular culture which made the historical figure even more legendary. The popularity of the films attracted tourists to places which were associated with the Empress, specifically those in Austria. The popularity also led to the creation of the 1992 musical Elisabeth , which became the most successful German-language musical of all time. The trilogy was parodied in the 2007 animated film Lissi .
Romy Schneider's role as Elisabeth is considered her acting breakthrough. She became synonymous with her role in the film, even as she progressed in her acting career. Schneider reprised the role of Elisabeth in Luchino Visconti's 1972 film Ludwig , this time portraying the Empress as a mature yet cynical woman.
The films have been dubbed in languages including French, English, Spanish, Japanese and Hungarian.[ citation needed ]Sissi was very popular when it aired on Mainland Chinese television in the 1980s.
Empress Elisabeth of Austria was Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary by marriage to Emperor Franz Joseph I. She was born into the royal Bavarian House of Wittelsbach. Nicknamed Sisi, she enjoyed an informal upbringing before marrying Emperor Franz Joseph I at the age of sixteen. The marriage thrust her into the much more formal Habsburg court life, for which she was unprepared and which she found uncongenial. Early in the marriage she was at odds with her mother-in-law, Archduchess Sophie, who took over the rearing of Elisabeth's daughters, one of whom, Sophie, died in infancy. The birth of the heir apparent, Crown Prince Rudolf, improved her standing at court, but her health suffered under the strain, and she would often visit Hungary for its more relaxed environment. She came to develop a deep kinship with Hungary, and helped to bring about the dual monarchy of Austria–Hungary in 1867.
Archduchess Sophie of Austria was the first child and first of three daughters born to Franz Joseph I, Emperor of Austria, and Elisabeth of Bavaria. She died aged two.
Archduchess Marie Valerie of Austria was the third daughter and fourth and last child of Franz Joseph I of Austria and Elisabeth of Bavaria. Her given name was Marie Valerie Mathilde Amalie, but she was usually called Valerie.
Princess Sophie of Bavaria was born to King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria and his second wife Caroline of Baden. She was the identical twin sister of Princess Maria Anna of Bavaria, Queen of Saxony as wife of Frederick Augustus II of Saxony. Her eldest son Franz Joseph reigned as Emperor of Austria, and King of Hungary; her second son Maximilian reigned as Emperor of Mexico.
Duchess Sophie Charlotte Augustine in Bavaria was a granddaughter-in-law of King Louis Philippe of France, the favourite sister of Empress Elisabeth of Austria and fiancée of King Ludwig II of Bavaria.
Sissi or Sisi may refer to:
Karlheinz Böhm, sometimes referred to as Carl Boehm or Karl Boehm, was an Austrian-German actor and philanthropist. He took part in 45 films and became well known in Austria and Germany for his role as Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria in the Sissi trilogy and internationally for his role as Mark, the psychopathic protagonist of Peeping Tom, directed by Michael Powell. He was the founder of the trust Menschen für Menschen, which helps people in need in Ethiopia. He also received honorary Ethiopian citizenship in 2003.
The House of Habsburg-Este, holders of the title of Archduke of Austria-Este, is a cadet branch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine and also descends from the House of Este. It was created in 1771 with the marriage between Ferdinand of Habsburg-Lorraine and Maria Beatrice d'Este, only daughter of the Duke of Modena, Ercole III d'Este. After the death of Ercole III in 1803, the Modena ruling branch of the Este family's male line ended, and the Habsburg-Estes inherited his possessions in Italy.
Ludwig is a 1973 biographical film directed by Italian director Luchino Visconti about the life and death of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Helmut Berger stars as Ludwig, Romy Schneider reprises her role as Empress Elisabeth of Austria.
Maria Sophie Amalie, Duchess in Bavaria was the last Queen consort of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. She was one of the ten children of Maximilian Joseph, Duke in Bavaria and Princess Ludovika of Bavaria. She was born as Duchess Maria Sophia in Bavaria. She was the younger sister of the better-known Elisabeth of Bavaria ("Sisi") who married Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria.
Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria was a Princess of Bavaria and later Queen consort of Prussia.
Pöcking is a municipality in the district of Starnberg in Bavaria in Germany. Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria, consort of Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria-Hungary, grew up here in the Possenhofen Castle as daughter of Duke Max in Bavaria and Princess Ludovika of Bavaria.
Sissi – The Young Empress is a 1956 Austrian film directed by Ernst Marischka and starring Romy Schneider, Karlheinz Böhm, Magda Schneider, Uta Franz, Gustav Knuth, Vilma Degischer and Josef Meinrad. It was entered into the 1957 Cannes Film Festival. It is the second film in the Sissi trilogy, following Sissi and preceding Sissi – Fateful Years of an Empress. This movie in three parts tells the famous story of the Empress of Austria best known as Sissi.
Sissi – Fateful Years of an Empress is a 1957 Austrian film directed by Ernst Marischka and starring Romy Schneider, Karlheinz Böhm, Magda Schneider, Gustav Knuth and Josef Meinrad, costumes by Gerdago. It was entered into the 1958 Cannes Film Festival. It is the last film in the Sissi trilogy, following Sissi (1955) and Sissi – The Young Empress (1956). The director Ernst Marischka planned a fourth film, but Schneider refused to play Sissi any longer. She appeared 15 years later again as Empress Elisabeth in Luchino Visconti's 1972 film Ludwig.
Helene Caroline Therese, Duchess in Bavaria of the House of Wittelsbach, nicknamed Néné, was a Bavarian princess and, through marriage, temporarily the head of the Thurn and Taxis family.
Magdalena Schneider was a German actress and singer. She is the mother of the actress Romy Schneider.
Archduchess Hedwig of Austria was the second daughter of Archduke Franz Salvator of Austria and his wife, Marie Valerie of Austria. She was a granddaughter of Emperor Franz Joseph I and Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria.
The King Steps Out is a 1936 American light comedy film directed by Josef von Sternberg based on the early years of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, known as "Sisi" or "Sissi", and her courtship and marriage to Franz Joseph I of Austria, after he was initially engaged to her older sister Duchess Helene in Bavaria. The film is set from 1852 to 1854.
Princess Maximiliana Josepha Caroline of Bavaria, was a Princess of Bavaria, daughter of King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria and Queen Caroline of Baden.
Duchess Sophie in Bavaria.