The Sissi Collection

Directed by Ernst Marischka
Film Movement Classics
1955
584 Minutes
Austria
German
Drama, Romance, Classics
Not Rated
DVD
$39.95 Members
$49.95 Non-Members
Blu-ray
$64.95 Members
$74.95 Non-Members
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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 work with some of the most influential and daring European directors of the era, Schneider will always be remembered by this defining roll. Newly restored in 2K and available for the first time ever on Blu-ray, the "Sissi Trilogy" is presented in its entirety along with Victoria in Dover, a precursor to the Sissi films, in which Schneider plays Britain's Princess Victoria.

DVD Features

New 2K Digital Restorations.
Forever My Love (English dubbed feature film condensed from the original films with theme song by Burt Bacharach).
Making-of Featurette: From Romy to Sissi.
Rare footage of Sissi's great-grandson at the movies in an excerpt from the documentary Elisabeth: Enigma of an Empress.
20-page commemorative booklet with new essay by film critic Farran Smith Nehme.

Sound: 2.0 Stereo

Discs: 5

Blu-ray Features

New 2K Digital Restorations.
Forever My Love (English dubbed feature film condensed from the original films with theme song by Burt Bacharach).
Making-of Featurette: From Romy to Sissi.
Rare footage of Sissi's great-grandson at the movies in an excerpt from the documentary Elisabeth: Enigma of an Empress.
20-page commemorative booklet with new essay by film critic Farran Smith Nehme.

Sound: 2.0 Stereo

Discs: 5

  • Highest Rating
    "The Sissi trilogy presents through heartwarming storytelling and undeniable visual beauty a Cinderella story in scrupulous detail, in three chronologically biographical films that, together, take nearly six hours to watch. Made between 1955-1957 by German director Ernst Marischka, Sissi, Sissi: The Young Empress, and Sissi: The Fateful Years of An Empress chronicle, in not-strictly historical terms, Elisabeth of Bavaria's marriage to her cousin, Franz Josef (Karlheinz Böhm), for which she is crowned Princess of Austria and, later, Queen of Hungary. Nicknamed Sissi (Romy Schneider), Elisabeth possesses fairy tale beauty and charm, from her early days in her Austrian schlosse, where she raises dachshunds, doves, and pet deer, to her latter days as regal ambassador of love, honesty, and generosity. The three films, taken as one sprawling epic, are as saccharine and idealized as The Sound of Music, with similar alpine landscapes, rivers, and castles dotting the sets. But Romy Schneider's magnetism is as strong as Julie Andrews's, and as one watches her horseback riding, learning manners and politics, having a baby, winning the hearts of Hungarians and Italians, or suffering with tuberculosis, it is quite difficult to turn the films off! The costuming and ceremonial pomp alone is riveting and serves as a fascinating glimpse, even if fictionalized, into 19th century aristocratic life. Each character in Sissi's family, including the reproachful mother-in-law, Sophie (Vilma Degischer), who constantly reprimands Sissi for her lack of formality and sophistication, and her warm parents, Ludovika and Max (Magda Schneider and Gustav Knuth) add infinite depth to this ambitious tale. The extras in the Sissi Collection, including "Forever My Love," a condensed, English-dubbed version lacking original score, and "Victoria in Dover," a precusor to the Sissi trilogy in which Schneider plays Princess Victoria, contextualize but don't compare to the trilogy's vigorous cinematic power. To watch the Sissi trilogy in full effect is to revel in ostentatious filmic presentation, and in the fantastic possibility that fate instigates love, politics, and sheer, unabashed goodness."
    Trinie Dalton, Amazon.com

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