I recently came across a 1955-57 period drama trilogy that is available to watch instantly on Netflix, called Sissi, Sissi: The Young Empress and Sissi: Fateful Years of the Empress. I'm a sucker for anything historical and the synopsis and cover looked really interesting, so I decided to give the first one a try. Though the tag Foreign should have given it away, I was surprised to realize that the movie was in German (thank goodness English subtitles are included!) However, I was quickly sucked into this very loose retelling of the life of Elisabeth of Bavaria-- called Sissi by family and friends-- who would become Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary in the late 19th century.
In the first movie, we meet Sissi and her family, including her friendly and slightly roguish father Duke Maximilian and her lovable and harried mother Princess Ludovika. Sissi accompanies her mother and older sister Helene, called Nene, to Vienna, where she has a chance meeting with her cousin Franz Josef, the Emperor of Austria. Franz is instantly smitten, not realizing that his domineering mother, the Archduchess Sophie, has already arranged for him to marry Nene. Though Sissi is reluctant to take on the demanding role of empress, she loves Franz and he persuades her that he would be unable to rule without her. The movie ends with their wedding (after Franz basically announces their engagement without her consent) and Sissi becoming Empress of Austria.
|Franz and Sissi meet cute on an Austrian mountain|
|Franz giving roses to Sissi instead of Nene (left)|
|The Emperor, Empress and Archduchess|
|Portrait of the real life Sissi by Franz Xaver Winterhalter|
Source: Netflix instant streaming