Sir William Hamilton, a widower of mature years, is British ambassador to the Court of Naples. Emma who comes for a visit with her mother wouldn't cut the grade with London society but she ... See full summary »
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Blake is in love with an aristocratic woman whose husband seriously injures him. Blake's friendship with Lord Nelson provides the basis for Blake's part in the growth of Lloyd's insurance ... See full summary »
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Robert De Niro,
Sir William Hamilton, a widower of mature years, is British ambassador to the Court of Naples. Emma who comes for a visit with her mother wouldn't cut the grade with London society but she gets along well with the Queen of Naples. Emma likes being Lady Hamilton and life goes smoothly until Lord Nelson pays a visit. Sir William decides at first to let his young wife have her fling and pretends not to know what is going on. But the real life lovers, whose first screen romance was in "Fire Over England" (1937) have an even more burning passion for each other in this film. Written by
Dale O'Connor <email@example.com>
The King & Queen of Naples depicted in the movie are Ferdinando IV and Maria Carolina d'Austria. Ferdinando IV was member of the Bourbon/Borbon/Borbone family, a French dynasty which came to Italy by way of Spain. (When the kingdoms of southern Italy were "rebooted" after the Napoléon Bonaparte Wars, this king's designation was changed to Ferdinando I of Two Sicilies, so you may find him listed as such in reference books.) Ferdinando's elder brother was King Carlos IV of Spain, and their first cousin King Louis XVI of France was married to Marie Antoinette, sister of Maria Carolina. The latter's fanatical personality as shown here was fueled by grief over the French Revolutionary executions of Louis and Antoinette in 1793. The close connections between all these rulers are a testament to the incestuous nature of European international politics in the 18th century. See more »
When the calendar changes to 1 January 1800, Nelson says it's a new century, making a mistake people frequently make. Mathematical logic dictates that centuries begin in years ending with 01, not 00. See more »
[Greeting a lady in waiting for the Queen of Naples]
Good morning, your ladyship. My daughter, her ladyship, is still resting. And how is Her Majesty's sore throat? You know the best thing for a sore throat is to wrap a woolen sock around your neck before bed.
Sir William Hamilton:
Good morning, your ladyship.
[to Emma's mother]
Sir William Hamilton:
Is Emma still asleep?
She is asleep. In my village, a husband just turns round in bed to look for himself.
Sir William Hamilton:
Yes, and the Queen of Naples does not wear woolen socks!
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One of the best known stories of adultery in British history is the one between Lord Horatio Nelson and the enchanting Emma Hamilton. This film by Alexander Korda takes that story and does not disappoint.
In the pivotal role of Emma, Vivien Leigh shines in a role that came not long after her international triumph in 'Gone With The Wind'. Her Emma is flirty, scheming, and delightful, and you can see why she captured the heart of Nelson. The part of Nelson is taken by Vivien Leigh's real-life husband, Laurence Olivier, and his stuffed-shirt persona suits the role perfectly.
In support, Alan Mowbray (as the cuckolded Lord Hamilton), and Gladys Cooper (as the snide Lady Nelson), are excellent, and the standard of script, photography, and direction is high throughout.
This was said to be Winston Churchill's favourite wartime film, and you can see the attraction. It was given a coda which showed that Emma didn't profit from her liaison but this is a small price to pay for such a sumptuous and engaging film.
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