The Story of Vickie (1954)


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The Story of Vickie Movie Reviews

Beautiful Introduction to Sissi Trilogy

Ernst Marischka, one of the most respected Austrian directors of that time, made films full of beautiful scenes, delicate love and with respect to all that is precious in life.

Nowadays, if people should hear about him, they associate the name of Marischka with SISSI trilogy (1955,1956,1957). However, he made other excellent films like DAS DREIMADERLHAUS (1958), EMBEZZLED HEAVEN (1958) and definitely this one, MADCHENJAHRE EINER KONIGIN showing the young years of queen Victoria. Although it deals with a slightly different theme than SISSI films, I do not see many differences between this movie and SISSI. They are strikingly similar.

The movie is almost identical. The style, the music, the photography. In fact, the crew are almost the same. Anton Profes, Bruno Mondi!

The cast… Romy Schneider’s one of the first main roles. It was a lovely introduction to her role of Sissi since this film was made one year before the first part of the trilogy about the Austrian empress. It is also a film where Romy plays with her mother, Magda Schneider. But Ernst Marischka was not the first director who cast Romy to play with her mum. Romy’s debut, WENN DER WEISSE FLIEDER WIEDER BLUHN (1953) was her performance with her mother, too. Therefore, there were some voices that Romy began her Austrian career on the bases of her mother’s fame. Indeed, there is some truth in it.

Again, like in SISSI, this film shows love very gently. Victoria meets Prince Albert in a little inn in Dover. Their sympathy is based on pure exaltation in dance and gentle smiles. And now…? What would it be showed like? Only sex… But is it the only thing love is based on?

I am grateful to Ernst Marischka for these movies. They had a soul and a message. Some people may call them kitschy, but I will never give up admiring these films. They are IMPRESSIVE!!! UNFORTUNATELY, HIGHLY UNDERRATED!

Enjoyable fluff

It’s interesting that the DVD producers seemed to try to make people think this was one of Romy Schneider’s immensely popular Sissi movies. However popular this trilogy of films was, this is NOT one of them but is a story of part of Queen Victoria’s life–and has nothing to do with the Austria-Hungarian empress, though they both lived during the same period. Now because this is about Victoria, it is a tad confusing, as everyone’s speaking German during the film. Her future husband, Albert, was German and she could speak the language, but in this film set in the UK and France it is odd hearing nothing but German!

The film begins just before Albert and Victoria meet–but it is pure romantic fiction. The Princess is about to become queen when the film begins. Soon, King William dies and she is now queen. When she’s told she must marry, she has no interest in a proposed marriage to a German prince (Albert) and instead takes off for a trip to France. On the way to Dover, by chance, she stops at an inn and meets a man who she falls head over heels for–not realizing it is Albert himself! It may sound like I am providing a spoiler, but this also is divulged in the summary listed on IMDb.

If you think about it, the plot is very much like the plot of the first Sissi film–a member of the royalty longs for life outside court and ends up meeting and falling in love with their future husband. The big difference is what’s not in the film–that Victoria practically worshiped Albert, whereas Sissi and her husband, Franz Josef, were about as compatible as a wolverine and a hyena! Also, you may notice that Romy Scheider looks and acts like she did in her Sissi films–and little like Victoria. So is it worth seeing? Well, yes…if you like romantic fluff. This isn’t meant as pejorative–but the film has very little depth and isn’t exactly a biography–more a story of the couple that COULD have happened…but didn’t. If you are looking more for the real life of Victoria, try watching “The Young Victoria”–it’s so much closer to the facts and lacks all the romanticism–which is good, since the real story of the couple is, in fact, quite romantic and sweet. Watchable but not a lot more.

Sissi light pretty much

“Mädchenjahre einer Königin” or “Viktoria in Dover” or “Victoria in Dover” or “The Story of Vickie” or “The Pursuit and Loves of Queen Victoria” is an Austrian German-language movie from 1954, so this one is already over 60 years old and to put in perspective this was the year when Sepp Herberger won the World Cup with his team, only you understand how long ago this came out. The director is Ernst Marischka and he worked together with actress Romy Schneider on many occasions, for example on the Sissi trilogy and this 105-minute-film we have here is a good indicator of things to come. The struggle with adapting to life as a royalty at a very young age, the different relationships with characters that have an impact on her life as the queen (soon to be) or finally the romance relationship with her future king: these are all aspects that play a major role in the Sissi films and they also play a big role in this movie we have here. You could actually say that these under 2 hours are Sissi condensed into one movie and you would be correct. At least partially. The real gravity and seriousness involving illness for example or children is missing in here and it’s all a bit on the lighter side. There is also probably at least as much comedy as in the three Sissi films together in this one movie. But it is a trailblazer for the trilogy without a doubt, the action only switched from England to Austria then. Yeah what else is there to say. You will find many actors in here who also play in the Sissi films. One to mention would be Magda Schneider, Romy’s mother, who starred alongside her in pretty much every project back then. Overall, I cannot say I enjoyed the movie too much. It suffered from problems that were fairly common in the 1950s when it comes to storytelling. However, I do believe the struggles here are different compared to the main problem of the Sissi movies. Both films/series are not really worth seeing, but for very different reasons. However, I would say that people who like Sissi will also like this one we have here. It’s one for the easily entertained I guess. I personally give it a thumbs-down as there were too many moments (drama and comedy) where the film was not working well at all. I recommend to watch something else instead.