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The Sissi Collection

4.6 out of 5 stars 169 customer reviews

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(Sep 11, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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 role. Now for the first time on DVD, KOCH LORBER Films proudly presents the restored "Sissi Trilogy" (Sissi, Sissi: The Young Empress, Sissi: The Fateful Years of an Empress) in its entirety along with the U.S. theatrically released, English-language dubbed version, Forever My Love, and Victoria in Dover (The Story of Vickie), a precursor to the trilogy in which Schneider plays Britain’s Princess Victoria.

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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

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Romy Schneider, Karlheinz Bohm, Magda Schneider, Gustav Knuth, Vilma Degischer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English, German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Koch Lorber Films
  • DVD Release Date: September 11, 2007
  • Run Time: 574 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000RXZIJS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,403 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Sissi Collection" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.
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"Sissi sticks to me just like oatmeal"... Romy Schneider would often use that quote when asked about the film trilogy which launched her international career. Schneider always harboured misgivings about starring as the Empress Elisabeth of Austria, but the movies themselves (which stretch the truth in favour of fairytale fantasy) are an endless delight for romantics and followers of world cinema. Hopefully Ms. Schneider made her peace with "Sissi" before her untimely death in 1982. This box set contains all three "Sissi" movies (plus the dubbed SISSI: FOREVER MY LOVE and the prequel, VICTORIA IN DOVER).

In the classic original SISSI (1955), we first meet the vivacious 16-year-old princess. At her family estate in Bavaria, Princess Elisabeth--nicknamed Sissi--spends her days riding horses, tending to her collection of animals, and hunting in the woods. When her elder sister Nene (Uta Franz) wins an arranged marriage with cousin Emperor Franz-Joseph (Karlheinz Bohm), Sissi and her mother, Duchess Ludovika (Magda Schneider) accompany her to Austria. But things take another turn altogether when Sissi herself meets Franz-Joseph by chance, and captures his heart. The original SISSI is overflowing with charm, lavish costumes and breathless romance. Schneider and Bohm spark off the screen with their strong chemistry as Sissi and Franz-Joseph.

SISSI: THE YOUNG EMPRESS (Sissi: die junge Kaiserin) (1956) picks up the story shortly after the wedding of Sissi and Franz-Joseph. Young Sissi finds it very difficult to adjust to a structured lifestyle in the Austrian palace, following her carefree family life in Bavaria.
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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.
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I watched "Forever My Love" many, many years ago and loved it! I wanted to read more about Sisi. Then several years ago I found a set of tapes in French and got it. The scenery in these films are breathtaking. I also have a tape of "Forever my Love". I am looking forward to the German language DVD set with English subtitles so that I have a more detailed understanding of the action. I also have the Young Victoria movie in French and it is delightful, too. The Sissi movies are based on a true event, but it is highly fictionalized, though it does not take away from my enjoyment of the movies.
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When the movie Sissi came out in Puerto Rico, I was just a sprouting teen. Sissi and her story blew me away. I always wondered what happened to the series and if I will ever see it again. Then one day recently, as I was browsing for movies in your European category, there it was! Beautifully restored, in original German with captions in English. A feast to all my senses. My set is now traveling to places, for I wanted to share it with my niece and she is just as delighted as I am. Thank you, Amazon, for making this almost senior a young, vulnerable woman once again.
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What I like about this alltime classic is the combination of love story, comedy and a bit of history. Superb actors and a great story round out this movie. Great for kids too.

Please note that the movie is in German with English subtitles.
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