Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

SISSI: THE YOUNG EMPRESS

A ball at the palace















SISSI: THE YOUNG EMPRESS (aka Sissi - Die junge Kaiserin/1956). Director: Ernst Marischka. 

This is the second film in the trilogy that began with Sissi. Sissi (Romy Schneider) and Franz Josef (Karl Boehm) are married and living in the beautiful Schonbrunn palace. As Empress of Austria, Sissi is instrumental in creating new understanding between the Austrians and Hungarians when she importunes Franz to offer amnesty to former enemies. Naturally, her termagant mother-in-law, Sophie (Vilma Degischer), a conservative with old, rigid ways, disagrees with Sissi, then goes too far when she decides to simply take over the raising of Sissi's baby daughter without even talking it over with the mother. This causes a brief separation between the emperor and his wife. This is an entertaining movie, even if it gets to be a little cloying at times, and there seem to be more kids [in the scenes when Sissi goes home to her family] than in The Sound of Music, adorable as they may be. Although this has the same cinematographer as Sissi, Bruno Mondi, the film and its glamorous, magnificent settings are photographed and displayed with much more care than in the first film, making this a treat to look at. Anton Profes has contributed a beautiful opening theme as well. The silly bodyguard, Major Bockl (Joseph Meinrad) is back and now in love with Sissi. Schneider, Boehm, Degischer and the other actors all give fine performances. 

Verdict: Not exactly heavy drama, but lovely in many ways, and well-acted. ***. 

No comments: