Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Sissi Collection|
Actors: Romy Schneider, Karlheinz Bohm, Magda Schneider, Gustav Knuth, Vilma Degischer
Genres: Indie & Art House, Classics, Comedy, Drama
At the age of seventeen, Romy Schneider became an international star through her portrayal of Princess Elisabeth (Sissi) of Austria in the first of three lavish films directed by Ernst Marischka. While she would go on to ... more »
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Delightful Gems... Beautifully Restored... Fine Extras
dooby | 11/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This delightful trilogy tells the story of Elisabeth of Bavaria (nicknamed Sisi) who ascended to the Austrian throne at the age of 16 upon marrying her cousin Franz-Josef. In doing so, she became Empress of Austria and beloved Queen of Hungary.
Elisabeth's beauty was legendary. 17-year old Romy Schneider was perfect in the role of the enchanting, outgoing, free-spirit. She plays Sisi from the age of 15 to her mid-20s when the last film ends.
The films were made between 1955 and 1957 as an Austro-German co-production under the helm of Austrian director Ernst Marischka. They are not historically accurate. They are in the style of mid-50s romantic comedies, good-natured and innocent and with a large dose of cornball humour. To modern viewers they may appear dated, schmaltzy and yes corny.
The first film "Sissi" is my favourite. It has the most pageantry and is the archetypal romance with the fairy-tale ending. It begins with Elisabeth's chance meeting with the young Franz-Josef, literally "hooking" him while out fishing in the lakes around Austria's picturesque Salzkammergut. It chronicles their secret whirlwind romance against the wishes of their parents and ends with the lavish Royal Wedding in Vienna amidst general rejoicing.
"Sissi: Die Junge Kaiserin" (The Young Empress) charts the first year of her marriage to Franz-Josef, her unhappiness at court, the meddling of her mother-in-law, her championing of Hungarian rights and ends with the Hungarian coronation.
"Sissi: Der Shicksalsjahre einer Kaiserin" (The Fateful Years of an Empress) chronicles her estrangement from the Austrian court, her diagnosis with a severe lung disease, presumably tuberculosis and her moving to warmer climes; her travels to Madeira, Corfu, Athens, Milan and Venice. The third film takes the most liberties in conflating fact and fiction. All the sad parts of her life have been removed or altered. The film ends with the Imperial Family meeting the Pope at St Mark's Basilica in Venice. The final lingering shot is of the happy family waving at their loyal Italian subjects in the Piazza San Marco as the band strikes up Haydn's rousing Kaiserhymne one last time.
Each of the 3 films is presented on its own individual disc. Disc 4 contains the 139min abridged version shown in America. It is recut with scenes reordered and dubbed into English and contains a new title song "Forever My Love" sung in English. In doing so it omits the original Sissi theme music. It is too truncated for my liking though American viewers averse to reading subtitles and not wanting to spend 5-plus hours on the originals may find this a worthwhile substitute.
Disc 5 contains the 1954 film "Mädchenjahre einer Königin" (Youthful Years of a Queen). 15-year old Romy Schneider plays Britain's newly crowned Queen Victoria. Amidst the scheming to get her married off to one or other of the royal houses of Europe, she travels to Dover and falls madly in love with a dashing young man who turns out to be the love of her life, Prince Albert of the German House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Like the Sissi films this is also a light-hearted romance with humour provided in the form of the 3-stooges-like ladies-in-waiting and the young Queen's bumbling old manservant. Nice costumes and sets but not on the scale of the Sissi films. And the lovely Miss Schneider is much too beautiful to be believable as the stumpy, dour-faced Queen. Still it is a nice change from the Austrian court. And after 4 films filled with the Kaiserhymne (Deutschlandslied), it's actually a pleasure to hear "God Save The Queen" once again. The film is in German with optional English subtitles.
Picture quality is excellent in the main Sissi Trilogy. The entire trilogy has been restored and remastered. A few scattered instances of damaged and off-colour segments can be found but they are thankfully rare. All 3 films are presented in their original 1.33:1 aspect ratio (fullscreen). Sound quality is clear 1.0 mono, although it tends to be very bright, noticeable especially when the children come screeching onto the screen. Overall, very pleasing picture and acceptable sound. Optional English subtitles are provided. The 139min American version has NOT been restored. Contrast is set pretty high, the image looks a lot brighter, washed out at times, and colours are slightly off - Franz's blue uniform looks almost green at times. "Mädchenjahre einer Königin" has similarly not been restored and suffers from the same deficiencies. Still they are watchable, about comparable to a TV broadcast of vintage 50s material. Extras are pretty limited: A trailer each for the first and last Sissi films and a vintage 18-minute "Behind the Scenes" featurette for "Die Junge Kaiserin" on Disc 2. Romy Schneider takes us through the filming at the Schönbrunn Summer Palace, the honeymoon in the Tyrolean Alps, and Fuchsl Castle which stands in for Sisi's childhood home of Possenhofen. Three truly delightful gems from the past, beautifully restored. The price though should be a little lower."
I got it at long last!
C. Marter | MN | 01/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sissi has been one of my favourite movies ever since i was a teenager. Although i still long to own the English-dubbed 3-tape sequels, this condensed version is near perfect with excellent translation & picture quality. Even my husband enjoys watching it with me, to my surprise, and I would recommend it to all the ladies that love Romy Schneider and the splendid scenery of Austria, Bavaria & the Mediterranean."
It was a long wait
H. Benson | 10/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Sissi CollectionI was searching for this movie for a long time.Iam german and every christmas in germany there show this movie.I haved watched this movie over and over and will watch it again and again.Thanks amazon for making this happening for me."
"Who's that is outside?" "Anybody!"
James M. Dial | Odenton, MD | 12/29/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I bought the first two installments of this three-part chick flick as a gift for my mother, who wanted it after a girlfriend recommended it. Mom is annoyed with the broken-English subtitles, which were obviously done by someone with a limited knowledge of English. For example, the translator consistently uses the pronoun "anyone" when he means "no one" and conversely uses "nobody" when he means "anybody". I watched the film with Mom so that I wouldn't have to try to return two DVD's that had been opened, while trying to convince someone that the subtitles are ungrammatical. With my help in translating broken English to standard idiomatic Englsih, Mom enjoyed the story, which would touch most mothers. I was unmoved by the premise of the story, but I enjoyed the lush scenery of the Bavarian and Austrian Alps, the unintentional humor of the subtitles, and the intentional physical humor in the character of an incompetent Austro-Hungarian policeman."