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Mary, Queen of Scots (1971)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  29 March 1972 (Sweden)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,924 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 7 critic

Mary Stuart, who was named Queen of Scotland when she was only six days old, is the last Roman Catholic ruler of Scotland. She is imprisoned at he age of 23 by her cousin Elizabeth Tudor, ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Mary Stuart, who was named Queen of Scotland when she was only six days old, is the last Roman Catholic ruler of Scotland. She is imprisoned at he age of 23 by her cousin Elizabeth Tudor, the English Queen and her arch adversary. Nineteen years later the life of Mary is to be ended on the scaffold and with her execution the last threat to Elizabeth's throne has been removed. The two Queens with their contrasting personalities make a dramatic counterpoint to history. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They Used Every Passion In Their Incredible Duel! MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS, who ruled with the heart of a woman. ELIZABETH, QUEEN OF ENGLAND, who reigned with the power of a man. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

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Release Date:

29 March 1972 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

María, reina de Escocia  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to a 1974 interview, the role of Mary was intended for Geneviève Bujold, star of Anne of the Thousand Days (1969). She turned it down after refusing to be typecast in movies about doomed 16th-century queens, leading to a major fallout with Hal B. Wallis. Oddly enough, her replacement Vanessa Redgrave had appeared in A Man for All Seasons (1966) as Anne Boleyn, the same role Bujold had played in "Thousand Days." See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Version of Mary of Scotland (1936) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Captivating study of the Tudor Era's royal lady rivals
3 April 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

It's been quite some time since I saw this movie, so have forgotten many of the details, but quite enjoyed this portrait of the clash between Mary Queen of Scots and her rival Tudor cousin, Elizabeth I. I confess to a lack of knowledge as to its historical accuracy, which may perhaps be just as well, as I read that the supposed meeting between the two queens never took place in real life. The producers presumably felt audiences would expect such an in person meeting. Frankly, however, while such films might be permitted a wee bit of dramatic license, they should definitely stick with fundamental historical truths.

The movie chronicles the struggles of Mary Stewart, who returns from France, where she had been wife to the sickly (now deceased) king Francois II, to Scotland, where her Protestant half brother, Jamie, is acting as Regent. In order to secure the Scottish throne for herself and her son (later James VI of Scotland and James I of England), she must battle the Scottish Lords, her brother Jamie, who causes rebellions against his sister, and even her second husband, Lord Darnley, who makes a bid for the throne himself. The most devastating enemy proves to be her royal English cousin, Elizabeth I, who sees Mary as a threat, especially when Mary produces (with Darnley) a son while she (Elizabeth) remains unmarried and childless.

The main asset of the movie lies in its two female leads, who portray the warm, emotional Catholic Mary and the cool, calculating Protestant Elizabeth. Vanessa Redgrave made, at least for me, a convincing enough Mary. Especially, however, I recall Glenda Jackson as an absolutely brilliant Queen Elizabeth. She IS Elizabeth, and I believe to a certain extent, it's really her movie. To this day, whenever I picture Elizabeth I, it's Glenda Jackson, who of course went on to play the Virgin Queen in the TV series, Elizabeth R.

Others in the star studded cast include Patrick McGoohan as James Stewart (Mary's brother), Timothy Dalton as Lord Darnley (Mary's weak, conniving second husband), and Nigel Davenport as Bothwell (Mary's true love and third husband). Two of Elizabeth's ministers are portrayed by Trevor Howard as Sir William Cecil, and Daniel Massey as the queen's devoted Dudley.

Beautiful Oscar nominated Tudor period costumes and scenes. I would like to see again the tale of this tragic figure, a woman who should have been content with her Scottish crown and not covetous of the English one as well. Pity modern cinema seems disinclined to delve into these British historical dramas. Personally, I would like to see more movies such as this one and the 1986 Lady Jane with Helena Bonham Carter. There's certainly no lack of historical figures that would make interesting subjects.


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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
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