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?
(31 at the time the movie was made) was less than half the actual age of Queen Elizabeth was at the time of the events of the film. Queen Elizabeth was 63 in 1596. Errol Flynn
was only one year younger than her, although Essex was 32 years younger than Elizabeth. See more
Details of some historical characters and events have been changed to fit the dramatic narrative. See more
Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex
[after being slapped hard by Queen Elizabeth I
I would not have taken that from your father the King; much less will I take it from a king in petticoats!
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love (Come Live With Me and Be My Love)
(posthumous 1599) (uncredited)
Written by Christopher Marlowe
Music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Played on piano by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
and sung by Nanette Fabray See more