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Elizabeth (1998)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 67,118 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 404 user | 138 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

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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Title: Elizabeth (1998)

Elizabeth (1998) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 34 wins & 47 nominations. See more awards »

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Stars: Helena Bonham Carter, Cary Elwes, John Wood
History

After years of plots and intrigues, Elizabeth must face one last hurdle, her own mortality.

Director: Shekhar Kapur
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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

Absolute power demands absolute loyalty. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

19 February 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$275,131 (USA) (6 November 1998)

Gross:

$30,012,990 (USA) (7 May 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Alison Owen's two children appear in the movie: actor Alfie Allen and Lily Allen, who is best known as a successful pop singer. See more »

Goofs

In the featurette included on the DVD, the on-screen titling refers to the Duke of Norfolk, played by Christopher Eccleston, as her "Advisary." The correct spelling is "Adversary." See more »

Quotes

[Elizabeth presents her ideas of religious reform to Parliament; the bishops are outraged and begin to argue]
First Bishop: Madam, by this act... by this act, you force us to relinquish our allegiance to the Holy Father.
Elizabeth: How can I force you, Your Grace? I am a woman.
[Bishops laugh]
Elizabeth: I have no desire to make windows into men's souls. I simply ask, can any man, in truth, serve two masters, and be faithful to both?
[Bishops start to argue again]
Bishop #2: Madam, this-this is heresy!
Elizabeth: No, Your Grace, this is... common sense.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 71st Annual Academy Awards (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Nimrod
from "Enigma Variations"
Composed by Edward Elgar (as Sir Edward Elgar)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Elizabeth could have unfolded in front of me all day and I would have remained enraptured.
15 December 1998 | by (Manchester, UK) – See all my reviews

England. 1555. Henry VIII has snuffed it from gout or syphilis, it depends on who you read, Bloody Mary's got a tumour and the Catholics' greatest fear is Anne Boleyn's daughter Elizabeth. Director Kapur has brought to the screen some of the most intriguing moments in English history and the result is dazzling.

Following recent grandiose French historical epics, such as the glorious Ridicule, Elizabeth more than holds its own as a no-holds barred, gripping English extravaganza. Historians across the land will no doubt pick holes in the accuracy, but it hardly matters.

The opening scene signals the film's intent. Protestant heretics are burnt mercilessly at the grisly stake, accompanied by proclamations that they should burn in Hell. It's clear that England is in a pretty gloomy state and ruled by a humourless zealot, Mary (the ubiquitous Kathy Burke), who is hell-bent on converting or murdering Elizabeth: "My sister was born a whore of that Ann Boleyn."

Cheery Mary rules a poor, remote island that is very likely to become the next possession of the growing empire of Spain. She is surrounded by rebels who want to place the Protestant Elizabeth on the throne. So, Mary gets her trusted Lord Norfolk (Eccleston cuts an impressive presence; you can imagine this man swishing on the battlefield) to arrest Lizzy and dispatch her to the Tower of London.

The camerawork and the pace of this film are breathtaking. Kapur directs with ambitious panache, whilst supplying more than a wink to Coppola's The Godfather in the process. Two scenes in particular reek of the Mafia masterpiece: one in the Vatican, the other a succession of assassinations sparked by the majesty's demand, "let it all be done". Pure Pacino.

If you shimmy past the slightly silly inclusions of the likes of Eric Cantona (the IKEA School of Acting) and Angus Deayton, and the fact that Dickie Attenborough (plays a fussy sidekick who sniffs the Queen's bedsheets and claims, "her body belongs to the State") is starting to resemble an Ewok, the acting is otherwise splendid.

Cate Blanchett not only resembles the great lady, but imparts her with enormous affection (her love of Lord Dudley, played by Fiennes, is tenderly dealt with) and delivers her lines with a steely intelligence, "I do not see why a woman must marry at all" and "I'm no man's Elizabeth" . Her performance is a revelation and if it weren't for Geoffrey Rush she would have stolen every scene. However, the Shine star, playing her demonic sidekick Walsingham, delights in creeping in the shadows and pulling the devilish strings. A positively Machiavellian turn and worthy of another Oscar.

This is a history film made at its very finest and the equal of A Man For All Seasons. Elizabeth could have unfolded in front of me all day and I would have remained enraptured. Intoxicating imagery ("English blood on French colours" the wicked Mary of Guise, Ardant, proclaims), naughty shenanigans, dastardly deeds, an epic tale and a superb cast. Stunning cinema.


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Edited Version for Classroom Use? gbeasley1
A bastard? codyhoskins
Is it just me or is this movie weird?! darylUK
Why Walsingham too loyal to elizabeth? mangkook
Evil? odinsmystress
The villains in this film codyhoskins
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