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Mary of Scotland (1936)

Approved  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  28 August 1936 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 1,530 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 16 critic

The recently widowed Mary Stuart returns to Scotland to reclaim her throne but is opposed by her half-brother and her own Scottish lords.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play), (from the play by), 1 more credit »
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Title: Mary of Scotland (1936)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Florence Eldridge ...
Douglas Walton ...
...
Robert Barrat ...
Gavin Muir ...
Ian Keith ...
Moroni Olsen ...
William Stack ...
Ralph Forbes ...
Randolph
...
Frieda Inescort ...
Mary Beaton
...
David Torrence ...
Lindsay
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Storyline

Mary Stuart returns to Scotland to rule as queen, to the chagrin of Elizabeth I of England who finds her a dangerous rival. There is much ado over whom Mary shall marry; to her later regret, she picks effete Lord Darnley over the strong but unpopular Earl of Bothwell. A palace coup leads to civil war and house arrest for Mary; she escapes and flees to England, where a worse fate awaits her. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

History called her "The Temptress"! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 August 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mary, Queen of Scotland  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System) (as R C A Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Moroni Olsen was the only member of the original Broadway cast of the play to repeat his role in the film version. See more »

Goofs

In the movie, Mary's execution takes place outdoors. It actually took place in the great hall of Fotheringay castle. See more »

Quotes

Mary, Queen of Scots: [to Queen Elizabeth I] I might have known you'd come to gloat like this - stealthily, under cover of night.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: "Like two fateful stars, Mary Stuart and Elizabeth Tudor appeared in the sixteenth century, to reign over two great nations in the making ... They were doomed to a life-and-death struggle for supremacy, a lurid struggle that still shines across the pages of history ... But today, after more than three centuries, they sleep side by side, at peace, in Westminster Abbey." See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Romantic Look at the passion of two female rulers
5 July 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Mary of Scotland is not based on the exact historical record, but on Maxwell Anderson's play. However Anderson was trying to dramatize the difference between Elizabeth Tudor and Mary Stuart. Elizabeth was first and foremost a queen who put her passions on hold when it was a choice between them and the country she governed. Mary Stuart was totally incapable of doing that.

Interesting that Katharine Hepburn played Mary. Hepburn who was probably the liberated woman of the 20th century would have been a natural to play Queen Elizabeth. Too bad in fact she didn't in her career. But she does fine her as Mary. Florence Eldridge plays a cold, calculating Elizabeth. Fredric March as Lord Bothwell is not the hero he's shone to be here.

One thing about Scotland in the 16th century. The kingdom had the unbelievable rotten luck of having a whole succession of minority rulers with regencies for a couple hundred years. The nobles who are depicted here are quite used to having their own way. And when Mary abdicated the throne it went to still another regency when her infant son James became king.

Ian Keith's part as Hepburn's illegitimate half brother the Earl of Moray is an interesting one. In history, I've always thought of him as the real hero. He gave Mary sound advice which had she taken, she would have died on the throne of Scotland.

Vanessa Redgrave's later film shows how the exiled Mary Stuart got tricked into a conspiracy to bring Elizabeth down. I wish that had been done here. She was essentially AbScammed.

Elizabeth and Mary never met in real life, but for dramatic purposes it had to happen here.

It's a good film, not one of the best for any of the principals in the cast or for John Ford. Still it's an interesting piece of cinema although some knowledge of Scottish history might help.


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