7.2/10
4,014
61 user 25 critic

The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, History | 11 November 1939 (USA)
A depiction of the love/hate relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) (as Aeneas MacKenzie) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 5 Oscars. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Sir Walter Raleigh overcomes court intrigue to win favor with the Queen in order to get financing for a proposed voyage to the New World.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Bette Davis, Richard Todd, Joan Collins
The Sisters (1938)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Three daughters of a small town pharmacist undergo trials and tribulations in their problematic marriages between 1904 and 1908.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Errol Flynn, Bette Davis, Anita Louise
The Sea Hawk (1940)
Action | Adventure | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Geoffrey Thorpe, a buccaneer, is hired by Queen Elizabeth I to nag the Spanish Armada. The Armada is waiting for the attack on England and Thorpe surprises them with attacks on their galleons where he shows his skills on the sword.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Errol Flynn, Brenda Marshall, Claude Rains
Dodge City (1939)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Texas cattle agent witnesses first hand, the brutal lawlessness of Dodge City and takes the job of sheriff to clean the town up.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Ann Sheridan
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When lovely and virtuous governess Henriette Deluzy comes to educate the children of the debonair Duc de Praslin, a royal subject to King Louis-Philippe and the husband of the volatile and ... See full summary »

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Bette Davis, Charles Boyer, Jeffrey Lynn
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A major countermands orders and attacks to avenge a previous massacre of men, women, and children.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Patric Knowles
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Popular and beautiful Fanny Trellis is forced into a loveless marriage with an older man, Jewish banker Job Skeffington, in order to save her beloved brother Trippy from an embezzlement charge, and predictable complications result.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Bette Davis, Claude Rains, Walter Abel
The Old Maid (1939)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The arrival of an ex-lover on a young woman's wedding day sets in motion a chain of events which will alter her and her cousin's lives forever.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Bette Davis, Miriam Hopkins, George Brent
Juarez (1939)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Louis Napoleon III takes advantage of the American Civil War to circumvent the Monroe Doctrine and expand his power by helping Emperor Maximillian Hapsburg to add Mexico to his empire. of Mexico.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Paul Muni, Bette Davis, Brian Aherne
Dark Victory (1939)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young socialite is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, and must decide whether or not she'll meet her final days with dignity.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Bette Davis, George Brent, Humphrey Bogart
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A highly fictionalized account of the life of George Armstrong Custer from his arrival at West Point in 1857 to his death at the battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876. He has little ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Arthur Kennedy
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Old friends Kit Marlowe and Millie Drake adopt contrasting lifestyles: Kit is a single, critically acclaimed author while married Millie writes popular pulp novels.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Bette Davis, Miriam Hopkins, Gig Young
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Mistress Margaret Radcliffe (as Nanette Fabares)
...
...
...
Sir Edward Coke
Edit

Storyline

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 IMDb Editors

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

queen | throne | earl | ireland | hug | See All (104) »

Taglines:

Elizabeth I's love for the Earl of Essex threatens to destroy her kingdom.


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 November 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Elizabeth and Essex  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,075,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Vitaphone)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Errol Flynn and Bette Davis disliked each other, and when Elizabeth slaps Essex in front of the entire court, Davis hauled off and unexpectedly belted Flynn for real, during a dress rehearsal, a blow that brought stars to his eyes. Flynn described in his biography that he had decided that if Davis hit him during filming, he would have to hit her back. However, she did not actually hit him in the take that ended up in the final version of the film. See more »

Goofs

Essex twice compares Elizabeth to her father, speaking of Henry VIII as if from personal acquaintance, though Henry died in 1547 and Essex was born in 1565. See more »

Quotes

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!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sunny Side Up (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Love's Answer
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Walter Raleigh
Sung by Olivia de Havilland (dubbed by Faith Kruger)
Lute playing dubbed by an anonymous lutist
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Excellent Flynn Performance!Davis Greatest actress!
10 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Private lives of Elizabeth and Essex has been one of my favorite films for some time and just goes to show that one should look at these old films rather than believe what the biographers and critics state without examination. I have read that Errol Flynn was poor in this film,but that is in serious error,IMO! He does an outstanding job in this role and his doomed romanticism MAKES the film what it is. There is no story if the audience does not believe in the love affair, and Flynn convinces in this category. He holds his own with Powerhouse Davis, and that is saying something(watch her chew up Henry Fonda in Jezebel for e.g.)! His naturalness and ease on screen are very appealing, and there is no one more handsome in such costumes. He seems very much the courtier and lover. Very underrated thespian-he is elite here in a difficult role. Bette's pyrotechnics are a marvelous counterpoint to Errol's subtle ways-she is the Greatest movie actress,period. And, they did have sexual chemistry in this film, despite personal antipathy. Great stuff!


8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?