Undoubtedly, the story staged by E. W. Emo in The Fairy Doll is nothing particularly original. It could even be stated that the feature film has acquired particular historical importance today precisely because it is one of the films in which Romy Schneider’s parents took part when they were young. Yet, despite everything, we must recognise a certain grace and elegance in the staging of the tender love story between the two young protagonists.
The Story of Vickie is not intended to faithfully depict the early years of Queen Victoria’s reign. Marischka’s main aim – and that of Sil-Vara before him – is to entertain the audience, to move them and to make them dream with a classic love story.
Eva – made by Rolf Thiele in 1959 and the last Austrian film with Romy Schneider – has the feel of a comedy by Vincente Minnelli, by Robert Wise or even by George Cuckor.
Ernst Marischka in his interesting The House of three Girls seems extraordinarily able to combine humour and drama, prose and poetry, dance and music, without ever seeming artificial or banal, cleverly avoiding any rhetoric.
When we think of Magda Schneider, we cannot help but think of her as Romy Schneider’s mother. And yet, despite her mother’s strong and authoritarian character and despite her not always easy relationship with her, we do not know whether, without her, Romy Schneider would have become the Romy Schneider we all appreciated and loved. But who was, in fact, Magda Schneider?
Third chapter of the successful saga directed by Ernst Marischka, Sissi – Fateful Years of an Empress has an even weaker personality than the unconvincing Sissi, the Young Empress. Following step by step the structure of the previous works, the film almost seems to us like a transitional film, especially if we think about the fact that it was supposed to be followed by a fourth feature film of the saga – to whose production Romy Schneider herself was strongly opposed.
In Sissi – The Young Empress, the difficulty of making the film a success is immediately evident, as if Ernst Marischka, living off his previous work, was struggling to pick up the thread of a discourse that had been interrupted at a point when a sequel was not even necessary.
Sissi, directed by Ernst Marischka, is a romantic comedy filmed in a pleasant and elegant way, clearly intended for an international distribution, in order to give the world a lively and joyful image of Austria and of what was, in its time, the Austro-Hungarian Empire.