IMDb > Mary of Scotland (1936)
Mary of Scotland
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Mary of Scotland (1936) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
6.5/10   1,460 votes »
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Down 13% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Dudley Nichols (screen play)
Maxwell Anderson (from the play by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Mary of Scotland on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
28 August 1936 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
One of the greatest love stories of all time... brought to the screen in throbbing glory by a wonderful cast of stars! See more »
Plot:
The recently widowed Mary Stuart returns to Scotland to reclaim her throne but is opposed by her half-brother and her own Scottish lords. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(6 articles)
A Year with Kate: State of the Union (1948)
 (From FilmExperience. 18 June 2014, 3:00 PM, PDT)

A Year With Kate: Mary Of Scotland (1936)
 (From FilmExperience. 5 March 2014, 5:00 PM, PST)

Notebook's 6th Writers Poll: Fantasy Double Features of 2013
 (From MUBI. 13 January 2014, 11:53 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
The Queen Who Was Too Contrary - And What Happened at Kirk'a'Field? See more (21 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Katharine Hepburn ... Mary Stuart

Fredric March ... Bothwell
Florence Eldridge ... Elizabeth Tudor
Douglas Walton ... Darnley

John Carradine ... Rizzio
Robert Barrat ... Morton
Gavin Muir ... Leicester
Ian Keith ... Moray
Moroni Olsen ... John Knox
William Stack ... Ruthven
Ralph Forbes ... Randolph

Alan Mowbray ... Throckmorton
Frieda Inescort ... Mary Beaton

Donald Crisp ... Huntly
David Torrence ... Lindsay

Molly Lamont ... Mary Livingstone
Anita Colby ... Mary Fleming
Jean Fenwick ... Mary Seton
Lionel Pape ... Burghley
Alec Craig ... Donal
Mary Gordon ... Nurse
Monte Blue ... Messenger
Leonard Mudie ... Maitland
Brandon Hurst ... Airan
Wilfred Lucas ... Lexington
D'Arcy Corrigan ... Kirkcaldy
Frank Baker ... Douglas
Cyril McLaglen ... Faudoncide
Doris Lloyd ... Fisherman's Wife
Robert Warwick ... Sir Francis Knollys
Murray Kinnell ... Judge
Lawrence Grant ... Judge
Ivan F. Simpson ... Judge (as Ivan Simpson)
Nigel De Brulier ... Judge (as Nigel de Brulier)
Barlowe Borland ... Judge
Walter Byron ... Walsingham
Wyndham Standing ... Sergeant-at-Arms
Earle Foxe ... Earl of Kent
Paul McAllister ... du Croche
Lionel Belmore ... Fisherman
Gaston Glass ... Frenchman
Neil Fitzgerald ... Nobleman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frank Anthony ... Man (uncredited)
John Blood ... Man (uncredited)
Al Bridge ... (uncredited)
Tommy Bupp ... Boy in Boat (uncredited)
David Clyde ... (uncredited)
Hallam Cooley ... (uncredited)
Harvey D'Roulle Foster ... Man (uncredited)
Jean De Briac ... Man (uncredited)
Jerry Frank ... (uncredited)
Bud Geary ... (uncredited)
Douglas Gerrard ... (uncredited)
Hilda Grenier ... Woman (uncredited)
Winter Hall ... (uncredited)
Halliwell Hobbes ... Man (uncredited)
Robert Homans ... Jailer (uncredited)
Shep Houghton ... Soldier (uncredited)
Maxine Jennings ... Woman (uncredited)
Jean Kircher ... Prince James (uncredited)
Judith Kircher ... Prince James (uncredited)
Fred Malatesta ... Man (uncredited)
G.L. McDonnell ... Man (uncredited)
Wedgwood Nowell ... Queen Elizabeth's Majordomo (uncredited)
John Pickard ... Soldier Dueling Bothwell (uncredited)
Father Raemers ... Man (uncredited)
Robert Ryan ... (uncredited)
Leslie Sketchley ... (uncredited)
Wingate Smith ... (uncredited)
Pat Somerset ... Mary's Majordomo (uncredited)
Harry Tenbrook ... One of Queen Mary's Guards (uncredited)
John Tyke ... Man (uncredited)
Billy Watson ... Fisherman's Son (uncredited)
Bobs Watson ... Fisherman's Son (uncredited)
Niles Welch ... Man (uncredited)

Directed by
John Ford 
Leslie Goodwins (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
Dudley Nichols (screen play)

Maxwell Anderson (from the play by)

Mortimer Offner  contributing writer (uncredited)

Produced by
Pandro S. Berman .... producer
 
Original Music by
Nathaniel Shilkret 
 
Cinematography by
Joseph H. August (photographed by)
Jack MacKenzie (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Van Nest Polglase 
 
Costume Design by
Walter Plunkett 
 
Makeup Department
Mel Berns .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Louise Sloane .... hair stylist: Ms. Hepburn (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Bert Gilroy .... unit manager (uncredited)
Louis Shapiro .... unit manager (uncredited)
Charles Stallings .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Edward Donahue .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Carroll Clark .... associate art director
Darrell Silvera .... set dresser
 
Sound Department
Hugh McDowell Jr. .... recordist
Denzil A. Cutler .... sound recordist (uncredited)
George Marsh .... sound edit (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Vernon L. Walker .... photographic effects (as Vernon Walker)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Louie Anderson .... grip (uncredited)
Ernest Bachrach .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Jane Loring .... editorial associate
Robert Parrish .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Maurice De Packh .... orchestrator (as Maurice de Packh)
Nathaniel Shilkret .... musical director (uncredited)
Max Steiner .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Jack Bond .... stand-in: Fredric March (uncredited)
Patricia Doyle .... stand-in: Katharine Hepburn (uncredited)
Idalyn Dupre .... stand-in: Frieda Inescort (uncredited)
Georgia French .... stand-in (uncredited)
Hermes Pan .... choreographer (uncredited)
Meta Stern .... script clerk (uncredited)
Bill Worth .... stand-in: John Carradine (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
123 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Victor System) (as R C A Victor System)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Katharine Hepburn, who played Queen Mary, is actually a distant relative of the Earl Of Bothwell, whose family name was, in fact, Hepburn.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: A screen caption introduces a setting as "Holyrood Castle". Properly this building, now the monarch's official residence in Scotland, is known as the Palace of Holyroodhouse sometimes shortened to Holyroodhouse or Holyrood, but never as Holyrood 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 »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The Costume Designer (1950)See more »

FAQ

Who was ruling Scotland while Mary was off being Queen of France?
Who is Mary of Scotland?
How does the movie end?
See more »
39 out of 46 people found the following review useful.
The Queen Who Was Too Contrary - And What Happened at Kirk'a'Field?, 22 April 2006
Author: theowinthrop from United States

Brooks Atkinson was a first rate drama critic for the New York Times. He had blind spots. He over enthused on the career of Maxwell Anderson. Anderson wrote some good plays such as "Winterset", but Anderson was enthusiastic of Anderson's pompous attempts to do dramas in blank verse: "Mary Of Scotland", "Elizabeth The Queen", and "Anne Of The Thousand Days".

The problem with these plays is, even if they get the history right they are too stiff. Compare the conclusion of "Elizabeth The Queen" to "A Man For All Seasons". Yes, the loneliness of the elderly Elizabeth is shown as Essex goes to his doom - but in reality Elizabeth knew there were other young men to replace her dangerous, ambitious lover. In "All Seasons" the tragedy of a rotten system crushing the life of a decent, thoughtful man like Thomas More is far more powerful as it's stark tragedy is silently brought to us.

That said, the first of the three Tudor tragedies to be filmed was "Mary Of Scotland". It is above average because it is starring Katherine Hepburn (a distant relative of Mary's third husband the Earl of Bothwell) and Frederic March, and directed wholly or partially by John Ford. It suffers from being black and white, except for one moment of sheer unexpected terror: when Mary sees the Scots nobles who oppose her they are photographed in such light and darkness to look like ogres in a nightmare.

The film follows the reign of Mary from 1560 to her execution in 1587. Most Americans do not understand the great difficulties that Mary (and Elizabeth) both faced in their parallel reigns. While England and Scotland allowed for female monarchs, women were not considered good material for rulers. They were considered governed by their emotions more than by their brains. Those women who ruled well were usually married to capable partners (Isabella of Castille and Ferdinand of Aragon of Spain). More frequently they were dismissed as misfits, like Isabella and Ferdinand's daughter Juana the Mad).

Mary had other problems. From 1400 to 1560 the nobles of Scotland got a great boon. Scotland had a series of minors who grew up to be king, married, and then died before they could cement their monarchic views on the government. The nobles cemented their local powers at the expense of a weak central authority.

Mary had been Queen of France, married to Francis II who ruled for a two year period (1559 - 1560). As Mary was the niece of the Duc De Guise, the king's power-hungry mother Catherine De Medici hated her. When Francis died suddenly, Catherine encouraged Mary to return to rule her own country. Surprised Mary did so, not realizing that she was unprepared to start ruling. She was a Catholic, and she really needed some time to understand the need to compromise and take advice from Protestants. She never did understand this.

Her foes hated her and were fully supported by Elizabeth, who never could see that an attempt to join forces with her cousin might pay back great dividends. But then Mary was ambitious - she wanted to be Queen of England as well as Scotland. Her Catholic supporters felt she was legitimate Queen of England (as Henry VIII had briefly disowned Elizabeth as a bastard when he executed her mother Anne). So the peaceful resolution of their differences was almost impossible.

Elizabeth had only to watch from the sidelines, with only an occasional move on her own part, to see Mary wreck her own position. She encouraged a marriage between another cousin/potential heir Lord Henry Darnley to Mary (Mary almost chose Elizabeth's lover Robert Dudley!). The marriage was a disaster, as Darnley was an ambitious fool and vicious scoundrel. But it cemented a Scottish succession to the British throne from two Tudor heirs instead of one.

Hepburn portrays Mary as a brave woman desperately seeking a way out of the difficult situation she has inherited, especially tied to Darnley by marriage and facing the ghouls who are John Knox (Moroni Olsen) and the Scottish nobles - led by her jealous half brother the Earl of Moray (Ian Keith). Her only allies are the independent Earl of Bothwell (March) and her secretary Rizzio (John Carridine). The murder of the latter (implicating Darnley) is the first step to her loss of the throne, and to the death of her husband. We know today that Kirk'a'Field house was blown up by Bothwell, but to this day we don't know if Mary was implicated. It remains one of the big mysteries of the 16th Century.

Historically Bothwell was no prince, but ambitious in his own right - he killed Darnley in order to marry Mary, and guide her to rule both Scotland and England. But March plays him as a man deeply in love with his Queen, and this enhances the story's tragedy - especially as Bothwell died in exile insane. The reason for this was his ship was captured by a Danish warship. Bothwell was guilty of a rape in Denmark, and was imprisoned. His punishment (which led to his madness) was to stand chained to a stone pillar that was half his height.

The last ten minutes glosses over the road that led Mary to the block in England - her support of a plot by one Anthony Babbington to kill Elizabeth and let Mary take the throne. Elizabeth's spy-master Sir Francis Walsingham sprung this trap - though Elizabeth did not reject the result. Elizabeth allowed a functionary to be blamed for falsely getting her to sign the death warrant - but all she did was briefly imprison the man. Unlike her movie representative (Florence Eldritch) she never met Mary.

A good film - but it is too gentle on Mary's failings, and not deep enough to explain what is going on in the background.

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