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Queen Elizabeth is running this show. The men in her court should be thinking about how to add to the glory of the Elizabethan Age and how to foil those pesky Spanish who got far too much influence in England when her older sister Mary was on the throne after their father Henry VIII was succeeded by their sickly half brother. Elizabeth thinks Michael Ingolby can do great things. Michael is mostly thinking about one of Elizabeth's ladies in waiting, Cynthia. Soon his mind is on survival when Elizabeth sends him on a voyage to Spain. Written by
Dale O'Connor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Note the date this was made..1937. What a shot in the arm for a people about to fight for their survival....AGAIN. The lines that effectively say "Loved I you, loved I not England more" spoken by Olivier speak for all the Brits that would soon have to turn their backs on a gentle home life. Today we are not faced with that decision and it seems amazing that a human being would have to lay down his life for his country. As Vivien Leigh pleads with her lover (later to be her husband) to remember 'all the sunsets we could see together", you know that she is speaking to the audience of that time in a visceral manner.
Quaintly anachronistic, and let's pray it stays that way.
To watch Raymond Massey play the king of Spain and James Mason play the English 'spy' Vane is worth the price of the movie itself. Logic rears its ugly head, of course, or illogic: Five Englishmen are identified as traitors by Olivier and what happens? Elisabeth puts them under his command to fight off the Spanish Armada. Didn't she ever hear of fragging?
As the English ships are set ablaze and sailed into the Armada, it makes me long for a history book to find out what actually happened. I thought the weather broke the Spanish Armada up before it reached English shores off the coast of Ireland....accounting for the 'black Irish', descendants from those sailors who made it ashore.
Nonetheless, to watch the Lord and Lady of the English stage appear together while their love was young (and both were married to others) is fascinating.
You think you're watching Elisabeth Taylor half the time, with those big expressive eyes. Olivier also sings and plays a lute. His singing voice isn't bad atall, and is he handsome!!!!
When he plays his acrobatic ship and sword fighting tricks, you'll think of Errol Flynn and long for the movie to be colorized. How easy it would be with today's technology to color these wonderful old movies in gorgeous realistic color. And the mood would be enhanced, not destroyed as it might were it a film noir.
When Queen Elisabeth (the first one) says, "I'm only a woman", you'll burst out laughing.....she who made England was 'only a woman'. See it.
So 'Fire over England' was a propaganda film. Fine. I loved it.
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