33 thoughts on “Sissi Is the Pretty Pretty Princess We Didn’t Know We Needed

  1. I have and they’re fun. But the 1950s does 1850-1860 were an argh moments due to the no corsets being worn and the lack of proper foundation garments. Romy Schneider rocked the hair.
    I prefer her cameo as Zizi in Visconti’s Ludwig. Costumes were awesome either Piero Tosi or Danilo Donati and the Tirelli Costume collect.

  2. Oooooh, going on my list!

    The flowers in her hair in the last picture makes me think of Emmy Rossum’s hair as Christine in the Phantom of the Opera movie.

    1. Christine’s look in “think of me” was 100 % inspired by Sissi, and so were the others.
      It makes sense she would be an inspiration since the movie is set in the 1870’s , although the fashion is mostly picking from her 1860’s attires, with few bustles here and there, mostly on extras.

  3. They are, apparently, the German equivalent of an annual showing of, say, “Gone with the Wind” – our friends in Germany recommended that I see them … and did when they aired on TCM. But watching them all in a row … I tired of it by the middle of the third movie.

    However, ages, ago, in “Costumes from the Austria-Hungarian Empire” at the Met, there were several, if I recall correctly (it was ages ago) some of the Empresses’ dresses, including her tiny, very corseted waist. There was no real catalog, per so, but a book edited by Jackie Kennedy Onassis, with some pretty pictures and a bit of a historical overview. I have it, somewhere ….

    1. I am from Slovakia (which is not that far from Austria and used to be part of Austria-Hungary, so Sissi is also kinda “ours” as well) and 100% can confirm that Sissi reruns are a pretty common thing in our TV channels, especially on hollidays.

  4. I saw the first of the Sissi films and now I’m kicking myself for not recording the other two. It is definitely a guilty pleasure and reminded me quite a bit of the Sound of Music. Probably because of the setting.

  5. What I itch to see is one of the musicals based on Sissi, “Elisabeth.” They have a strong gothic flavor, plus there’s an edition by Takarazuka.

    1. Whoah! I came here to mention the musical, Elisabeth!! I have seen bits and pieces of a Korean production that my daughters recorded off tv in Korea. I searched high and low for a DVD or a download, but no luck. Looked fascinating.

  6. The „Sissi“ movies are still hugely popular here in Germany, especially around Christmas. They are like everybody‘s guilty pleasure and even though people won‘t openly admit liking them, there was a huge public outcry a year or two ago when the movies weren‘t played during the holidays, lol.

      1. Or eating really tacky chocolates, the kind with gooey cherry filling. I quite like Romy, but Ava Gardner was a better mature Elisabeth, even with all that 1970s anachronistic eye make-up, in “Mayerling,” although the film itself is ridiculous. I watched the first Sissi movie when I was feeling sad and depressed (the elections, you know), and it was wonderfully diverting.

    1. I love having certain movies only shown on TV at certain times of the year! Sure, you can buy a tape or DVD, but there’s a charm to knowing that thousands of ppl are all watching the same thing together. We’ve lost that in this age of media fragmentation & on-demand streaming movies.

    2. Same in The Netherlands. Love 💕 it. It is a Christmas tradition, although I like the more recent mini series better.

  7. Yes, they’re still popular in France and Belgium around Christmas, and watching them is my guilty pleasure as well ;) !

  8. I remember re-watching some bits a little while back, and noticing the low necklines for the first time. Proof of having learnt at least a little over the last couple of years. And yes, they’re still shown every year around Christmas, even in the Netherlands ;).

  9. Few days ago i was just reading a biography on Sissi and now you just post a review of the movies of her! What a coincidence!

    In my opinion, the clothing much one of, if not, the redeeming quality out of the contents in the movie, even if it ‘s not accurate. The dresses are just damn gorgeous and that hairstyles! I WANT IT! Regarding the story, the movies is not entirely at fault on romanticizing Sissi’s life. A lot of people before the 80s loved to portray Sissi as some classic fairy tale princess and didn’t know how miserable her life truly was.

    I admit i actually cried reading Sissi’s life. She’s much a Disney princess meets real life. So i’m hoping there will be a film or mini series that accurately depicted her (that is, with of course, some accurate beautiful costumes :).

  10. The green dress in the second movie is my dream dress!!!!! Hands down!!! I used to watch these with my mom every year and since she passed, I still watch them as a tradition!!! My faves!!!

  11. Have not seen the films but there is an old British TV series about the royal houses of Europe, Fall of Eagles, which features Sissi in several of the early episodes. She was portrayed as being a strong minded woman, though possibly of fragile mental and physical health who took an interest in international affairs, stood up to her domineering Mother in Law, and when the marriage went sour, basically chose how she would live her life so an interesting woman. .

  12. So so happy to see that you made a review of the Sissi movies!!!!! They’re actually very popular in France around Christmas time too – and definitely a childhood favorite of mine (I think my love for historical costumes actually comes from seeing all these dresses in Sissi). Costumes are so not accurate but I think it makes these movies even more endearing. They also made one with Romy Schneider as Queen Victoria (before the Sissi ones) – doesn’t really follow history either but still very enjoyable to watch around Christmas time :)

    1. Yes, I loved the film with Romy Schneider as Queen Victoria – I think it’s called “Victoria in Dover” in English – as a child :) But my favourite was actually “Magnificent Sinner” in which Romy plays Catherine Dolgorukov, mistress and later wife of Tsar Alexander II. None of them is historical accurate nor are the costumes that great but I still have a soft spot for them.

  13. They are still a big thing in Germany and are being shown around the holidays alright. I’m so happy you reviewed them!
    There’s a drinking game, too, called “Sissisaufen” (Sissi drinking). The rules (okay, one set of rules, there are variations) state that each time Sissi or Franz say each other’s name you take a sip, and each time someone says “Your Majesty” (or just “majesty”) everyone raises, shout “Long live the Empress!” and take a shot.
    And I’m with my forecommenters, I absolutely recommend the Musical!

  14. She had the most awful death, Empress Sissi. I won’t divulge it here, but google it if you must.

  15. They are shown in Austria every Christmas. Back in the 80s they’d also show them in May around Independence Day. Austria gained its independence in 1955, and the movies were part of a “let’s all feel good about ourselves in our new country” movement.

    The irony is the movies, while hitting some major benchmarks, couldn’t be further from the truth. Sisi (the movie added the second s) and Franz Joseph were a miserably unhappy couple and their lives were marred by tragedy after tragedy. In today’s Austria, both versions exist happily together. Everybody knows it’s complete bollocks, but loves it anyways. (Unlike “Sound of Music”, which is universally despised in Austria)

  16. I would like to note, for the record, that as fancy, frilly and pretty as the “Sissi” costumes are (I have the boxset from Fox Lorber Video containing all three of the uncut Sissi films plus the one where Romy plays the young Victoria), I must explode into a rant here, because the opera gloves are hideously inaccurate. HIDEOUSLY.

    Now, over-the-elbow gloves are my favorite accessory ever, and one reason I love Belle Epoque costume so much, but they were almost never worn between the 1820’s and early 1870’s (when, according to at least one writer, they were brought back into fashion by no less a luminary than Sarah Bernhardt, who wore them to disguise her arms, which she considered to be unattractively thin – the same reason, in fact, that Vivien Leigh also often wore gloves, I am given to understand). In fact, women’s gloves rarely even came anywhere close to elbow length, even with short-sleeved ball dresses, during that period. The wrist-length glove ruled supreme.

  17. Hello! I loved the page, especially the publications with comments on the costumes …
    And that’s why I wanted to order one, I’ve seen that they usually check at the request of the readers, and here’s my request: come up here looking for some criticism on the movie Mädchen in Uniform of 1958 starring Romy Schneider as Manuela von Meinhardis and Lilli Palmer as Fraeulein von Bernburg …
    I know it does not have many costumes, but I think it’s worth seeing it if we take into account that it was filmed after this movie, Sissi …
    Thank you.
    By the way, this was written by a translator, I am Spanish speaking

  18. Sissi movies are my favourites movies of all time. I think no others movie have this perfection of characters, actors, storytelling, costumes . I love all them. Romy Schneider is the most beautiful woman ever seen alongside Grace Kelly. She is sweet, charming, very classy . The setting is too good. I know movies tell Sissi’s story as a fairy tale but I think people at the cinema must to dream , Sissi’s movie create dreams. My favourites. I love them!

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