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?
had originally wanted Laurence Olivier
for the role of Lord Essex, claiming that Errol Flynn
could not speak blank verse well. She remained extremely upset about this through the entire filming, and Flynn and Davis never worked again together in a film, but according to Olivia de Havilland
, she and Davis screened the film again a short while before Davis's stroke. At film's end, Davis turned to de Havilland and declared that she had been wrong about Flynn, and that he gave a fine performance as Essex. See more
Details of some historical characters and events have been changed to fit the dramatic narrative. See more
Queen Elizabeth I
And when he takes you in his arms again, thank heaven you are not a queen.
Mistress Margaret Radcliffe
But I thought to be a queen...
Queen Elizabeth I
To be a Queen is to be less than human, to put pride before desire, to search Men's hearts for tenderness, and find only ambition. To cry out in the dark for one unselfish voice, to hear only the dry rustle of papers of state. To turn to one's beloved with stars for eyes and have him see behind me only the shadow of the executioner's block. A queen has no hour for love, time presses, and ...
Spoofed in Malibu Beach Party
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