THE SISSI COLLECTION REVIEWED
“The Sissi Collection” is pretty incredible. It’s one of those oddball Euro releases from the 1950s that set the World Cinema on fire. Unfortunately, it’s only known for a rather dubious achievement via Paramount Pictures in the 50s/60s. Paramount couldn’t get a grasp on the full German trilogy, so they edited all three movies into one feature that plays rather short. If that wasn’t enough, they slap a Burt Bacharach song on top of a period costume drama.
The 2K restoration is quite brilliant and the film holds up among Cohen and Criterion’s recent releases. Honestly, Film Movement is flooring me with their ability to pluck foreign films out of nowhere. The end result is a beautiful translation to HD that will only open up the material to more audiences. Check it out, if you have the time. If you don’t, then watch the American cut in the special features.
- Bonus American film cut of the Sissi Trilogy.
- Documentary excerpt
- 1.33:1 1080p transfer
- DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track
RELEASE DATE: 11/14/17
The Plot Thus Far
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.
Troy Anderson is the Owner/Editor-in-Chief of AndersonVision. He uses a crack team of unknown heroes to bring you the latest and greatest in Entertainment News.