The Romy Schneider Mystery: The Actress and the Woman in 5 Moments – Actus Ciné

Rediscover Romy Schneider’s career in 5 milestones, from her mother, also an actress, to her two César awards for Best Actress.


5- His mother was an actress

Romy Schneider’s mother, Magda Schneider, is a German dancer and singer who first appeared in cinemas in 1930 and who experienced the golden age of her career in the 1930s in Germany by filming for Max Ophüls (A story of love) or Anatole Litvak (The Song of a Wet).

In 1938, she gave birth to Rosemarie Magdalena Albach, the future Romy Schneider. Close to the Third Reich regime, Magda was a Nazi sympathizer, a past that will haunt Romy in her life as in her roles.


Magda and Carmine Gallone’s “Going Gay” (1933)

It was Magda who found Romy her first film role in Lilas Blancs (1953) when she was only 15 years old. She plays her mother’s daughter there. After several roles in romantic films labeled Heimatfilm (films set in rural areas) or Princess (The young years of a queen), the mother and daughter play in Sissi (1955), who drives Romy to star status. . A role that will pressure her to leave Germany, and to move away from her mother.

4- Sissi, a consuming role

In Sissi, Romy Schneider embodies the daughter of Duke Maximilian and Duchess Ludovica of Bavaria, whom Emperor François-Joseph dit Frantz falls madly in love with. The first film was an incredible success, and two other films followed: Empress Sissi (1956) and Sissi facing its fate (1957). Between the feature films in this saga, the actress finds a slightly different role in Monpti, but finds herself locked into the role of the nice Sissi.


Romy as Sissi

She then refuses a million German marks to play in “Sissi 4”. Years later, she would take over the role in Ludwig: The Twilight of the Gods (1973), on the only condition (respected by the director) that the character finally conform to historical reality. Sissi appears so cynical there, in contrast to the little princess from the previous trilogy.

After his rejection of a 4th Sissi, Romy makes another radical decision: to leave Germany (and his mother) to come and pursue a career in France. A large part of the German public, who saw her as a “country girl”, did not understand her decision and then rejected Romy, who would be hurt by it forever. But they do not know that the reason for his departure to France is not only professional. The actress had a meeting that will shape her life.

3- Alain Delon, selected from the catalog!

In 1958, Romy Schneider is to submit Christine, a remake of A Love Story, and resume the role her mother had in 1933. She can choose her partner and by flipping through pictures, Alain Delon chooses. Despite the language barrier, the two actors fall in love and Romy sets off to settle in France.

France, New Society of Cinematography (SNC); Italy, Tritone Cinematografica

Alain Delon and The Pool

They will share the poster three times for Plein soleil (1960), Too bad she is a hore (a play filmed by Visconti, 1961) and L’Amour à la mer * (1962-65), which comes out after the breakup of their engagement in 1963. During the 1960s, Romy Schneider moved to the United States and signed a contract in Columbia that allowed her to shoot with Otto Preminger or Orson Welles, but the machinery of her studies displeased her, and she returned to France.

At the end of the decade, she found Alain Delon for the sulphurous La Piscine (1969), which still iconizes their couple six years after their separation, then The Assassination of Trotsky by Joseph Losey, in 1972.

2- Five films with Claude Sautet

In 1970, Claude Sautet met Romy in unlikely circumstances, which he told on television in 1978 :

“I knew she was syncing at the Boulogne-Billancourt studios and I could not find her. And then I see a little person come out of the bar with glasses and chat with another woman and I say ‘but who is this woman , she’s very much alive ‘and it was Romy Schneider. (…) It immediately made me want to shoot with her (…) “.


With Michel Piccoli in The Things of Life

They would work together five times, for Les Choses de la vie (1970), Max et les ferrailleurs (1971), César et Rosalie (1972), Mado (1976) and Une histoire simple (1978). Through this collaboration, Romy Schneider demonstrates the full extent of her talent in a relationship of full confidence in a director who allows her to play different emotions and complex characters from film to film.

1- Caesarized twice

The few awards Romy Schneider received had always been for “The Best Foreign Actress”: The Crystal Star for The Trial of Orson Welles and the Victory of French Cinema for The Cardinal by Preminger in 1964. More than ten years later, she is finally inaugurated Best Actress “tout court” for his interpretation of The Important thing is to love, by Andrzej Żuławski.

She plays the role of an actress making pornographic films to ensure her survival as well as that of her husband (Jacques Dutronc). She meets a photographer (Fabio Testi) who will try to help her but at the same time turn her life upside down. The film is hailed by critics as giving his second statuette: A Simple Story.

The studio channel

Fabio Testi and Romy

The latest collaboration between Schneider and Sautet places the film Romy in the skin of a divorced woman who finds herself pregnant with her new companion, for whom she no longer has romantic feelings. She chooses to leave him and have an abortion. Sautet suggests a feminist character, embodied by an imperial Romy Schneider. A movie to rediscover.

To move on, check out our visit to the Romy Schneider exhibit, which was dedicated to her in 2011:

* Romy Schneider’s scene in L’Amour à la mer will be edited during editing.

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