This period drama frames the tumultuous affair between Queen Elizabeth I and the man who would be King of England, Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex. Ever the victor on the battlefield, Devereux returns to London after defeating Spanish forces at Cadiz. Middle-aged Elizabeth, so attracted to the younger Devereux but fearful of his influence and popularity, sends him on a new mission: a doomed campaign to Ireland. When he and his troops return in defeat, Devereux demands to share the throne with the heir-less queen, and Elizabeth, at first, intends to marry. Ultimately sensing the marriage would prove disastrous for England, Elizabeth sets in motion a merciless plan to protect her people and preserve her throne. Written by
Elizabeth I's love for the Earl of Essex threatens to destroy her kingdom.
Did You Know?
This was an adaptation of the play "Elizabeth the Queen" by Maxwell Anderson
. The stage production opened at the Guild Theatre in New York on November 3, 1930 starring legendary married couple Lynn Fontanne
and Alfred Lunt
. The play ran for 147 performances. The title of the movie was to be the same as the play, but Errol Flynn
protested that he wanted his presence acknowledged in the title. The choice of "The Knight and the Lady" upset Bette Davis
, and "Elizabeth and Essex" was a book title already copyrighted. "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex" was chosen to fit in the motif of The Private Life of Henry VIII.
(1933) and The Private Life of Don Juan
(1934). For several years, from the time of Errol Flynn
's death until the film was issued on videocassette and began to be shown on Turner Classic Movies, the title was changed to "Elizabeth the Queen", after which it was restored to "The Private Lives...". See more
Essex twice compares Elizabeth to her father, speaking of nm3430975
as if from personal acquaintance, though Henry died in 1547 and Essex was born in 1565. See more
Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex
And now, may I go? This dying sticks in my mind and makes me poor company.
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love (Come Live With Me and Be My Love)
(posthumous 1599) (uncredited)
:yrics by Christopher Marlowe
Music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Played on piano by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
and sung by Nanette Fabray See more