Nov 152017
 

The Sissi Collection tells a fictionalized story of the real life Empress Elisabeth of Austria but even so, the performance from Romy Schneider is utterly engaging even when the drama is ramped up to soap opera levels.

 

 

The Sissi Collection
(1954-62)

Genre(s): Drama, Romance
Film Movement | NR – 600 min. – $74.95 | October 31, 2017

Date Published: 11/15/2017 | Author: The Movieman

 


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Ernst Marischka
Writer(s): Ernst Marischka (screenplay)
Cast: Romy Schneider, Karlheinz Böhm, Magda Schneider, Gustav Knuth
DISC INFO:
Features: Featurettes
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 5
Audio: German (DTS-HD MA 5.1), German (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78, Full Frame 1.33
Subtitles: English
Disc Size: NA
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

 


ABOUT THIS RELEASE


At the age of seventeen, Romy Schneider became an international star through her portrayal of Princess Elisabeth (Sissi) of Austria in the first 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.

Sissi (1955)
It is time for young Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph (KARLHEINZ BÖHM) to marry. His domineering mother, Archduchess Sophie (VILMA DEGISCHER), knows that the best way to find a suitable wife for her son is to make the decision herself, so she decrees that the future empress will be the Bavarian Princess Helene. Sophie plans to bring the two together in Ischl and to announce the betrothal soon afterwards. She did not, however, anticipate a chance meeting between Helene’s vivacious young sister, Princess Elisabeth (ROMY SCHNEIDER), and Franz Joseph. With his mind firmly made up, Franz Joseph declares that Elisabeth (nicknamed “Sissi”) will be his bride, and their union is celebrated with a lavish and magnificent wedding.

Sissi: The Young Empress (1956)
After the magnificent imperial wedding in Vienna, Sissi settles down to everyday life as empress. However, the strong-willed Sissi and her domineering mother-in-law still cannot see eye to eye. The conflict between the two women comes to a head after Sissi gives birth to a daughter. Invoking court tradition, Sophie refuses to let Sissi raise the child. After Franz Joseph submits to his mother’s will, Sissi flees to her parents. But the Emperor follows her, and a compromise is reached: Sissi will comply with court ceremonial tradition in the future, and Sophie will let Sissi raise her daughter. The young couple now head for Hungary, where they are crowned King and Queen to the cheers of the jubilant crowd.

Sissi: The Fateful Years (1957)
Sissi has proven her ability to not only handle affairs of state but also her mother-in-law. But as Sissi travels to Hungary with Count Andrassy (WALTHER REYER) in an effort to calm the insubordinate nobility, Archduchess Sophie spreads rumors about an affair between Sissi and the Count. When Franz Joseph meets Sissi in Ischl, she informs him that she is suffering from pulmonary disease and needs to be treated in Greece. After her health improves, she travels with Franz to visit Austria’s Italian provinces. Despite fierce opposition to Austrian rule, Sissi wins over the hearts of her Italian subjects and is cheered by throngs of Venetians at a brilliant reception in Saint Mark’s Square.

Victoria in Dover (1954)
When Princess Victoria becomes Queen of England, the court decides she must marry. Victoria, however, is not amused and secretly slips away to visit her brother in France. In Dover, she meets a German student in a little inn and falls in love with him. The student is none other than Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg (ADRIAN HOVEN), one of the suitors for her hand, who is also traveling incognito. Their surprise is great when they meet again at the Queen’s ball. Fortunately, Johann Strauss is there. Albert teaches a rapt Victoria the steps, and soon the entire court has yielded to the irresistible charm of the Viennese Waltz. Under the twinkling eye of Strauss Senior, Victoria shyly asks the Prince to marry her.

Forever My Love (1962)
Director Ernst Marischka presents the original “Sissi Trilogy” in a condensed English-dubbed version, which follows the story of the Princess from courtship through her marriage.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.75/5


This 5-disc release (4 BDs, 1 DVD) comes housed in an extra-wide HD Keep Case. Inside is a 20-page booklet. All features are contained on the DVD: From Romy to Sissi (19:21), an old making-of featurette and Sissi’s Great-Grandson at the Movies (4:21) which is an excerpt from the documentary “Elisabeth: Enigma of an Empress”.

 


VIDEO – 4.25/5


The Sissi Collection arrives on Blu-ray through Film Movement and the first three movies are given the choice of a 1.78 or original 1.33 aspect ratios, either option looks great. There are some nice pops of color, especially the reds while skin tones appear natural looking and detail is sharp and nicely defined throughout. On the downside, Victoria in Dover doesn’t look quite as good with some okay detail and colors aren’t as prominent. And no surprise, Forever My Love in standard definition is littered with heavy grain and noise.

AUDIO – 4.0/5


All four movies come accompanied with German-language DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. Not bad all around showcasing some depth with the 1950s-era score to go along with clear dialogue levels, however I did notice in some scenes hissing sounds, thankfully it’s nothing distracting.

 


OVERALL – 3.0/5


Overall, The Sissi Collection tells a fictionalized story of the real life Empress Elisabeth of Austria but even so, the performance from Romy Schneider is utterly engaging even when the drama is ramped up to soap opera levels. This 5-disc collection released by Film Movement does offer excellent video and audio transfers, save for Victoria in Dover, and unfortunately limited with the features.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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