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Mary, Queen of Scots (1971)

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Historical drama detailing the political and religious conflict between Scotland's Catholic Queen Mary Stuart and England's Protestant Queen Elizabeth Tudor during the 16th century.



(original screenplay)
Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Henry - Lord Darnley
Daniel Massey ...
Tom Fleming ...
Katherine Kath ...
Beth Harris ...
Frances White ...
Bruce Purchase ...
Brian Coburn ...


Mary Stuart, named Queen of Scotland when she was six days old, is the last Roman Catholic ruler of Scotland. Her cousin Elizabeth Tudor, Queen of England and her arch adversary, has her imprisoned at age 23. Nineteen years later, Mary is executed, removing the last threat to Elizabeth's throne. The two Queens' contrasting personalities make a dramatic counterpoint to history. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They used every passion in their incredible duel....and every man in their savage games of intrigue! See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

29 March 1972 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

María, reina de Escocia  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(world premiere)| (35 mm prints)| (some 35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Vanessa Redgrave was originally cast as Queen Elizabeth, but was replaced by Glenda Jackson. She was later recast as the title role. Redgrave would eventually play Queen Elizabeth in Anonymous (2011) four decades later. See more »


The meeting between Queen Elizabeth I of England and Queen Mary I of Scotland in the borderlands has no basis in any factual account of these rulers. However, it is stated in the film that the meeting is secret, and never mentioned even to Elizabeth's closest advisers. See more »


[first lines]
Francis - King of France: [screams] La Vierge!
Mary, Queen of Scots: What is it? What is it?
Francis - King of France: My head! My head!
Mary, Queen of Scots: Be still, be still, put your head down.
Francis - King of France: Please, help me.
See more »


Follows Anne of the Thousand Days (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

Wonderfully atmospheric music and locations, excellent pacing, and especially wonderful performances by Redgrave, McGoohan, and the compellingly handsome Nigel Davenport.
15 August 1999 | by (Illinois, USA) – See all my reviews

A visually lush, beautifully-acted treatment of the compelling story of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots--refreshingly, not slanted in favor of Mary's English opponents. Along with massive doses of romance, the film provides an interesting depiction of the long-distance tension between Mary and her Cousin, Elizabeth I of England, and the forces at work in the courts of continental Europe and of England and Scotland that made Mary's life hazardous from the moment she set foot on Scottish soil. This is above all a vivid portrait of the interrelationships of fascinating personalities--none more so than those of the Queen, played with riveting and unselfconscious elegance by Vanessa Redgrave, and her great love Lord Bothwell--in which role the gifted and compellingly attractive Nigel Davenport is perfectly cast.

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Glenda Jackson or Vanessa Redgrave JK21
Gwyneth Paltrow as Mary? Dan1863Sickles
Lets get this on dvd octavain
Vivre et Mourir -What does it mean? Arpa4me
Anyone know if Sean Connery was ever considered for Bothwell? gingerwanderer
John Barry's score finally released on cd scruffy58
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