The King Steps Out (1936)

85-86 mins | Musical | 20 May 1936

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HISTORY

Working titles for this film were Poor Sister and Cissy . In her autobiography, actress Grace Moore noted that the production number "Madly in Love" in which she sings while milking a cow, was eliminated from the final cut. According to Josef von Sternberg's autobiography, he had seen the original production of Fritz Kreisler's play Cissy in Vienna. According to Newsweek , Moore's husband, noted Spanish actor Valentin Parera, bought the film rights to Cissy in Europe, including the Kreisler score, and sold them to Columbia for his wife's use, making "a tidy profit." According to modern sources, Kreisler's score was borrowed from the musical play Apple Blossoms , which opened at the Globe Theatre on 7 Oct 1919. The King Steps Out was one of the most successful films at the box office in 1936, according to Var . A German language series of "Sissi" films made during the late 1950s and starring Romy Schneider was released in America in 1962 as a combined feature under the title Forever My Love (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ; ... More Less

Working titles for this film were Poor Sister and Cissy . In her autobiography, actress Grace Moore noted that the production number "Madly in Love" in which she sings while milking a cow, was eliminated from the final cut. According to Josef von Sternberg's autobiography, he had seen the original production of Fritz Kreisler's play Cissy in Vienna. According to Newsweek , Moore's husband, noted Spanish actor Valentin Parera, bought the film rights to Cissy in Europe, including the Kreisler score, and sold them to Columbia for his wife's use, making "a tidy profit." According to modern sources, Kreisler's score was borrowed from the musical play Apple Blossoms , which opened at the Globe Theatre on 7 Oct 1919. The King Steps Out was one of the most successful films at the box office in 1936, according to Var . A German language series of "Sissi" films made during the late 1950s and starring Romy Schneider was released in America in 1962 as a combined feature under the title Forever My Love (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ; F6.1647). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
14 May 36
p. 3.
Film Daily
18 May 36
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jan 36
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Apr 36
p. 4.
Motion Picture Daily
15 May 36
p. 10.
Motion Picture Herald
23 May 36
p. 44.
New York Times
29 May 36
p. 15.
Newsweek
30 May 36
p. 27.
Time
1 Jun 36
p. 24.
Variety
Jan 1936.
---
Variety
3 Jun 36
p. 15.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Frieda Inescourt
Henry Rocquemore
Allen Matthews
Victor Kilian Jr.
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Harry Cohn, President
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Assoc dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus score
Vocal seq cond by
DANCE
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the operetta Sissy by Hubert and Ernst Marischka, composed by Fritz Kreisler (copyrighted 31 Oct 1932), which was based on the play Sissy's Brautfahrt by Ernst Decsey and Gustav Holm (production undetermined).
SONGS
"Stars in My Eyes," "Learn How to Lose" (also known as "Caprice Viennoise"), "What Shall Remain," "The Old Refrain," "Soldiers March" and "Call to Arms," music by Fritz Kreisler, lyrics by Dorothy Fields.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Poor Sister
Cissy
Release Date:
20 May 1936
Production Date:
6 January--26 February 1936
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp. of California, Ltd.
Copyright Date:
26 July 1936
Copyright Number:
LP7498
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
85-86
Country:
United States
PCA No:
2058
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Maximilian, Duke of Bavaria, and the Emperor Franz Josef of Austria's uncle, has six daughters, including Helena and Elizabeth, in a household run by his wife Sofia. Sofia has planned for Helena to marry the emperor, not the man she loves, the officer Palfi. Despite Elizabeth's attempted intercession on Helena's behalf, their father remains too intimidated to defy his wife, who leaves with Helena for Austria. Elizabeth manages to convince her father to join her in a plan to invade the palace and retrieve Helena, and the father and daughter arrive together in Hellbrun and check into the Golden Ox Inn. Elizabeth gains access to the palace and attracts the eye of Franz Josef, who has yet to meet Helena. Elizabeth hides when Maximilian ineffectually visits his nephew, and her father conceals himself rather than face Sofia and his sister the empress, who has commanded her son's proposed marriage. That evening at the inn, Franz Josef calls on Elizabeth, who has only identified herself as a dressmaker, to attend incognito the birthday fair given in his honor. To his mother's consternation, Franz Josef fails to return to the palace until the next morning. Elizabeth, now in love with Franz Josef, tells Helena she can safely end the royal engagement, but her sister merely believes that Elizabeth is jealous. The empress has Elizabeth jailed, but Franz Josef rescues her after a conversation with Palfi. Maximilian finally stands up to the empress and rejects the arranged marriage, then tells Franz Josef Elizabeth's true identity. She had kept her royal blood a secret from him because he proclaimed himself unenthusiastic over marrying nobility--when it concerned ... +


Maximilian, Duke of Bavaria, and the Emperor Franz Josef of Austria's uncle, has six daughters, including Helena and Elizabeth, in a household run by his wife Sofia. Sofia has planned for Helena to marry the emperor, not the man she loves, the officer Palfi. Despite Elizabeth's attempted intercession on Helena's behalf, their father remains too intimidated to defy his wife, who leaves with Helena for Austria. Elizabeth manages to convince her father to join her in a plan to invade the palace and retrieve Helena, and the father and daughter arrive together in Hellbrun and check into the Golden Ox Inn. Elizabeth gains access to the palace and attracts the eye of Franz Josef, who has yet to meet Helena. Elizabeth hides when Maximilian ineffectually visits his nephew, and her father conceals himself rather than face Sofia and his sister the empress, who has commanded her son's proposed marriage. That evening at the inn, Franz Josef calls on Elizabeth, who has only identified herself as a dressmaker, to attend incognito the birthday fair given in his honor. To his mother's consternation, Franz Josef fails to return to the palace until the next morning. Elizabeth, now in love with Franz Josef, tells Helena she can safely end the royal engagement, but her sister merely believes that Elizabeth is jealous. The empress has Elizabeth jailed, but Franz Josef rescues her after a conversation with Palfi. Maximilian finally stands up to the empress and rejects the arranged marriage, then tells Franz Josef Elizabeth's true identity. She had kept her royal blood a secret from him because he proclaimed himself unenthusiastic over marrying nobility--when it concerned Helena. Now the couple appear together on the balcony of the Golden Ox, to the cheers of a crowd. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.