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Elizabeth (1998)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  19 February 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 71,933 users   Metascore: 75/100
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A film of the early years of the reign of Elizabeth I of England and her difficult task of learning what is necessary to be a monarch.



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Won 1 Oscar. Another 33 wins & 51 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Liz Giles ...
Female Martyr
Rod Culbertson ...
Master Ridley
Male Martyr


This film details the ascension to the throne and the early reign of Queen Elizabeth the First, as played by Cate Blanchett. The main focus is the endless attempts by her council to marry her off, the Catholic hatred of her and her romance with Lord Robert Dudley. Written by CharmedGirl47

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Absolute power demands absolute loyalty. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

19 February 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen  »

Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£166,174 (UK) (2 October 1998)


$30,012,990 (USA) (7 May 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The costuming and shot composition of the coronation scene is based on Elizabeth's coronation portrait. For example, Elizabeth is shown wearing her hair long. This is historically accurate, as the real Elizabeth was giving the public a sign of her virginity. See more »


In the film, Bishop Stephen Gardiner stands as a key figure in the pro-Catholic faction during Elizabeth's reign. In fact, he died in 1555 before Elizabeth ever ascended to the throne. The role Gardiner plays in religious politics here is likely a stand-in for the historical Bishop Edmund Bonner, the Catholic clergyman most at odds with Elizabeth's Protestant reforms, who died as her prisoner in the Tower of London in 1569. See more »


[speaking to a priest he is having tortured]
Sir Francis Walsingham: Tell me, what is God to you? Has he abandoned you? Is he such a worldly god that he must play at politics in the filth of conspiracy? Is he not divine? Tell me the truth, as if you were face to face with him now. I'm a patient man, Father.
See more »


Rondeas I and VII
from "Dansereyr" 1551
Composed by Tylman Susato
Performed by New London Consort
Conducted by Philip Pickett
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Period drama for those who don't like period dramas
4 January 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A biopic of the Virgin Queen Elizabeth's rise to power in England showing the corruption in her court with assassinations, unsuitable suitors, political marriages and treachery.

This is very much a historical costume drama for those that dislike the dry, lifeless drama of other period dramas such as Merchant & Ivory etc. This is a wonderfully vibrant piece, full of gaudy colours, comical and treacherous performances. Director Kapur brings the air of corruption and betrayal to life in a story that is rich in detail and story. The story is full of action and wonderful characters and holds the interest from beginning to end. Kapur gives plenty of modern touches to the drama from comical touches of Elizabeth rehearsing her speech in very quickly edited sequences to filming her through a red-veil shortly after a murder that was authorised by her. It is good to watch a period drama that is so very vibrant and colourful.

Cate Blanchett is great as Elisabeth but the supporting cast are roundly fantastic - Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush, Christopher Eccleston the list of quality actors goes on goes on. This is also completed by UK TV actors such as Cathy Burke and Angus Deayton. Ex-Manchester United footballer Eric Cantona also shows that he made a good career choice by putting in a good performance in a small role as a member of the French court.

Overall a great film that brings the period to life - warts and all.

13 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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