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Elizabeth (1998)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  19 February 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 71,891 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 36 wins & 48 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?


Christopher Eccleston and Daniel Craig had previously starred together in Our Friends in the North (1996), and both have played iconic British hero roles: Eccleston as Doctor Who, and Craig as James Bond. See more »


Two of Elizabeth's ladies in waiting in the film are called Lettice Howard and Isabel Knollys. In fact Lettice Knollys, Elizabeth's first cousin once removed was one of her ladies in waiting. Knollys went on to marry Robert Dudley. See more »


Lord Robert: Remember who you are. Do not be afraid of them.
See more »


Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.188 (2013) 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

A small nudge in the direction of romanticism…

And Elizabeth did whisper Robert Dudley's name on her deathbed… The movie is an imaginative interpretation of the way that things could have been…

Shekhar Kapur's film explores the instabilities of her reign, and the absolute horror and terror that surrounded the early part of her royal office without neglecting her relationship with her terminally ill sister… So it's a glimpse of her girlhood into statehood, and the shedding that occurs, with the people who expended in her life along the way…

The film shows Elizabeth growing up in an incredibly unstable, tumultuous environment… But she's an absolute survivor... Someone who has got no solid ground on which she walks… So one minute she's a bastard, the next minute she's a princess, then one moment she's an illegitimate daughter, then she's a queen… And it's a very relevant period of her life, because she was 25 when she became a female monarch…

There are four men in Elizabeth's life and all have quite different influences on what it means for a young woman to run the country so young, given that she comes to the throne under very difficult political circumstances…

There's Sir Cecil (Attenborough) who's from an older regime giving her the traditions and the conventions that are the most orthodox; Sir Francis (Geoffrey Rush) Elizabeth's great spy master, very astute, almost puritanical and rather dry bureaucrat; Robert Dudley (Fiennes) with whom the film suggests that she has quite a passionate, private relationship; and Norfolk (Eccleston), a major rival who doesn't regard that she is suitable to rule his England…

The motion picture succeeds in developing Elizabeth's change and, basically, locks off parts of herself, and dehumanizes herself in order to wield her power among men…

36 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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A bastard? codyhoskins
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Is it just me or is this movie weird?! darylUK
Edited Version for Classroom Use? gbeasley1
Robert wanted Elizabeth assassinated? jimrm1
Evil? odinsmystress
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