IMDb > Fire Over England (1937)
Fire Over England
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Fire Over England (1937) More at IMDbPro »

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Up 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
A.E.W. Mason (novel)
Clemence Dane (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Fire Over England on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 March 1937 (USA) See more »
. . . A truly brilliant producer brings you a thrilling tale of love and danger that will live in your memory as long as there is romance in your heart !
Queen Elizabeth is running this show. The men in her court should be thinking about how to add to the... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
The events of 1587-88 See more (22 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Flora Robson ... Queen Elizabeth I of England

Raymond Massey ... King Philip II of Spain

Leslie Banks ... Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester

Laurence Olivier ... Michael Ingolby

Vivien Leigh ... Cynthia
Morton Selten ... Lord Burleigh
Tamara Desni ... Elena

Lyn Harding ... Sir Richard Ingolby
George Thirlwell ... Mr. Lawrence Gregory
Henry Oscar ... Spanish Ambassador
Robert Rendel ... Don Miguel (as Robert Rendell)

Robert Newton ... Don Pedro
Donald Calthrop ... Don Escobal
Charles Carson ... Adm. Valdez

James Mason ... Hillary Vane
Howard Douglas ... Lord Amberley
Cecil Mainwaring ... Lord Illingworth
Francis De Wolff ... Sir James Tarleton
Graham Cheswright ... Mr. Joseph Maddison
A. Corney Grain ... Hatton
Laurence Hanray ... French Ambassador
Roy Russell ... Sir Humphrey Cooper
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Evelyn Ankers ... Lady-in-Waiting (uncredited)
Noel Brophy ... Irishman (uncredited)
Beryl de Querton ... Chief Lady-in-Waiting (uncredited)
Pam Downing ... Courtier (uncredited)
Franklin Dyall ... (uncredited)
Herbert Lomas ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Ralph Truman ... Spanish Inquisition Representative (uncredited)

Norma Varden ... Elena's Governess (uncredited)

Directed by
William K. Howard 
Writing credits
A.E.W. Mason (novel)

Clemence Dane (screenplay) and
Sergei Nolbandov (screenplay)

Produced by
Erich Pommer .... producer
Alexander Korda .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Richard Addinsell 
Cinematography by
James Wong Howe 
Film Editing by
Jack Dennis 
Set Decoration by
Lazare Meerson (settings)
Costume Design by
René Hubert  (as Rene Hubert)
Production Management
Roland Gillett .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Wilfred O'Kelly .... assistant director (as W. O'Kelly)
René Clair .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Frank Wells .... assistant art director
William Hutchinson .... set designer (uncredited)
Sound Department
Jack Rogerson .... sound recordist
A.W. Watkins .... recording director
Special Effects by
Lawrence W. Butler .... special effects assistant (as Lawrence Butler)
Edward Cohen .... special effects photographer (as Eddie Cohen)
Ned Mann .... special effects
Visual Effects by
W. Percy Day .... matte painter (uncredited)
Peter Ellenshaw .... assistant matte artist (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Wilkie Cooper .... camera operator
Paul Barrelet .... photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Music Department
Leonard Isaacs .... music arranger
Muir Mathieson .... musical director
Lionel Salter .... additional orchestrator (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
92 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Wide Range Noiseless Recording)

Did You Know?

This English film was made just prior to WWII, which would truly see "Fire Over England" three years later during the Nazi Germany air campaigns known as "The Battle of Britain," and "The Blitz."See more »
Anachronisms: Queen Elizabeth uses a small telescope to check on the progress of her fleet against the Spanish Armada (1588). The telescope was invented in 1608, five years after her death.See more »
Spanish Ambassador:If your majesty will not hear words, we must come to cannon and see if you will hear them.
Queen Elizabeth I of England:If you use threats of that kind, I will chase you out of my kingdom.
Spanish Ambassador:But, your grace. You MUST listen.
Queen Elizabeth I of England:Must? Little man, little man, must is NOT a word to use to princes. Our council shall confer with you. Meanwhile, go home and be quiet!
See more »
Movie Connections:
O Magnum MysteriumSee more »


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14 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
The events of 1587-88, 23 March 2005
Author: theowinthrop from United States

There is not real film about the events leading to Philip II's great enterprise of 1588, the sailing (and destruction, as it turned out) of the great Spanish Armanda. To understand the story would take too many twists and turns. I recommend Garrett Mattingley's classic account of the Armada from the 1950s for those interested. Philip, tired of the aid that Elizabeth I of England gave to the Dutch and French Protestants, made a plan to transport an army under his nephew, Alexander Farnese, Duke of Palma, from Belgium to England using the Armada. He put the fleet under command of the Spanish nobleman, the Duke of Medina Sidonia. But Medina Sidonia was not a sailor (although a conscientious nobleman and servant of Philip). The Armada would first suffer a raid (by Walter Raleigh and Francis Drake). After it was repaired it did sail, only to find the faster English ships of Drake, Howard, and Frobisher more deadly, and the heavy winds, seas, and storms even deadlier. Many ships were wrecked off Scotland and Ireland. It was one of the worst naval catastrophes of history.

However it was also Philip's finest moment. Always a firmly religious man, he did not despair at the disaster to his fleet and plans, but he saw it was God's will. He actually put together Armadas again twice in the 1590s, but neither got as far as the first one did.

The complications of the story make it too confusing for anything but a full television seris: Philip was spurred on when Mary, Queen of Scots was executed in 1587 - he had been named her appointed heir to the English throne in her will; the French religious wars were approaching a critical moment, and Mary's uncle (the Duc de Guise) was leader of the Catholic forces at war with King Henri III of France and King Henri of Navarre (the leader of the Huguenots). There have been films dealing with Elizabeth's sea rovers, such as Drake ("Seven Seas To Calais", "The Sea Hawke"), but only this film tries to tackle the actual story of the Armada. As an adventure story it is excellent. As history, not exact but pretty good in parts.

First it does touch briefly on Mary's execution, in an early scene where one of Mary's servants tries to assassinate Elizabeth (Flora Robson). It really concentrates on the complex world of Elizabethan spying and the Elizabethan Catholic "underworld". The latter is an unfair description, for the Catholics were being persecuted in England. They had been supporters of Mary, and now that she was killed they gave support (mostly begrudgingly) to Philip. England's master of spies was Sir Francis Walsingham (who does not appear in this film). Instead the espionage against Spain is handled by Robert, Earl of Leicester (Leslie Banks) in the film - but in fact, Leicester died in 1587 in Holland, so he was not around for the Armada.

Lawrence Olivier is splendid in this early role as the young agent sent to spy on Philip and his plan (going in place of James Mason, who committed suicide in trying to avoid arrest). Olivier manages to get close to Philip (Raymond Massey) but that is not fully possible. Philip does not even like Englishmen, but he is willing to go along with the Catholics to get rid of Elizabeth and her regime. Philip is not easy to fool, and in a marvelous (almost comic moment) he stops Olivier from disclosing anything by finding that there was one name Olivier does not know that he should.

I won't go into the rest of the film's story. Watch it to see how Olivier still manages to escape and save England, and end up with his love (Vivian Leigh). For a 1937 historic film it is quite good, even if it could not tell the completely true story of the invasion of 1588.

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good film rmouts
Didn't like Olivier in this film SusanJL
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