An elderly countess strikes a bargain with the devil and exchanges her soul for the ability to always win at cards. An army officer, who is also a fanatic about cards, murders her for the ... See full summary »
Young Joan of Arc comes to the palace in France to make The Dauphin King of France and is appointed to head the French Army. After winning many battles she is not needed any longer and soon... See full summary »
Queen Victoria is deeply depressed after the death of her husband, disappearing from public. Her servant Brown, who adores her, through caress and admiration brings her back to life, but ... See full summary »
In 1875 London, young Wheeler (who lives by scavenging) finds a cameo of Queen Victoria which he thinks so beautiful he risks his life to save it. Possessed of a desire to see the Queen, he... See full summary »
The famous "Dreyfus Case" where a Jewish captain in the French Army is falsely accused of treason. He is sentenced to imprisonment on Devil's Island. When the real traitor is found the ... See full summary »
The period locomotive seen in this film is called "The Lion". It was one of the very first locomotives in the world, and was built in 1837 to transport passengers and luggage on the world's first passenger railway line between Liverpool and Manchester. It was rediscovered in 1923 and restored to working order. It is now on display in the Museum of Liverpool. See more »
If an Englishman grows sentiments, he goes out into the garden and shoots himself.
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I had long been anxious to see this famous British biography, and finally found a copy available. Featuring a renowned performance by Anna Neagle, one of Great Britain's most famed golden age actresses, as Queen Victoria, this film was a huge hit when released during Coronation Summer in 1937. Although not made with US audiences in mind, VICTORIA THE GREAT also hit big in the states and resulted in producer/director Herbert Wilcox and future wife Neagle making a lucrative deal to work at RKO studios. The Wilcox/Neagle RKO films never achieved the level of acclaim enjoyed by their pairings in the UK, and they returned home during the war to many years of success.
Telling the story of Victoria's courtship and marriage to Prince Albert, VICTORIA THE GREAT has a very dated and sometimes static feel to it when compared to Hollywood films of the same era. It does, however, contain some very nice moments between Neagle's Victoria and Anton Walbrook's Albert, and Victoria has never, to my knowledge, been portrayed with such humanity and tenderness (at least until MRS. BROWN.) Lavishly produced, and with a Diamond Jubilee finale in TECHNICOLOR (one has to assume the original dye transfer prints were much more impressive than the muddy quality of the videocassette I viewed)it's easy to see why this appealed to 1937 British audiences reeling from the glamor of George VI's coronation that June. So successful was this biopic that Wilcox and Neagle filmed and released a sequel the following year, 60 GLORIOUS YEARS, shot entirely in TECHNICOLOR.
While not nearly as technically slick as such Hollywood biopics as MARIE ANTOINETTE or THE LIFE OF EMILE ZOLA, this one is definitely worth a look for history lovers and royal watchers. It's also a chance to see Dame Anna Neagle in one of her most famous portrayals.
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