“To England, and the Queen!”*
On this day in 1559, Elizabeth I was crowned and anointed Queen of England and Ireland in Westminster Abbey. “Queen Elizabeth of famous memory—we need not be ashamed to call her so! …that Lady, that great Queen.” (Oliver Cromwell, 1656)
It only seems appropriate that our Friday Movie pick be a film about this great queen or, at least, featuring her as a character. Here are a few of my favorites:
1. Elizabeth (1998) starring Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth, with Geoffrey Rush and Joseph Fiennes–a really great movie!
2. The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939) with Bette Davis as Elizabeth and Errol Flynn as Essex in the film version of the Maxwell Anderson play. Bette Davis is
over the top a little much but it’s always a treat to watch Errol…although you can kind of tell they hated each other in real life.
3. The Sea Hawk (1940) starring Errol Flynn and incidentally, but memorably, Flora Robson as Elizabeth.
4. Fire Over England (1937) with Flora Robson (again) as the queen and Laurence Olivier as a court spy. This is a good one and I really like Flora Robson as the queen. Like The Sea Hawk, this historical drama is really a propaganda piece for England in WWII. What can I say–it works.
5. Shakespeare in Love (1998) with Judi Dench as the Queen. She won an Oscar for her portrayal which amounted to a couple of good scenes in an exceptional movie.
There are literally dozens of movies and mini series about the great queen you could watch–these are just my favorites. What are yours?
Since I just recently watched Shakespeare in Love again, I think I will watch Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth, which I haven’t seen in awhile.
*The Sea Hawk