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Elizabeth (1998)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  19 February 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 72,615 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 404 user | 139 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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Won 1 Oscar. Another 33 wins & 51 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
The Pope
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


Declared illegitimate aged 3. Tried for treason aged 21. Crowned Queen aged 25. 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?


Cate Blanchett was chosen as Elizabeth after she was seen in a play in Sydney. See more »


The movie shows Kat Ashley as being about the same age as Elizabeth when in actuality she was much older than Elizabeth was. See more »


Sir Francis Walsingham: [referring to Elizabeth] Her Majesty rules with the heart... not with the head.
Mary of Guise: [smiles] Hm, I understand. It is hard for a woman to forget her heart.
See more »


Referenced in The Making of 'The Phantom of the Opera' (2005) 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

What Tamed Passion!
13 July 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In a year overwhelmed with reminiscent films, Elizabeth rises above the rest to become one of few stunning manifestations of the Hollywood Renaissance. Certainly acknowledged by the Oscars garnering 7 nominations, Shekhar Kapur's intimate portrait of a young Elizabeth further expands the modern view on a distant monarch, whose maturing reign as well as taming nature continued to dazzle the 20th century viewers.

Presented here by a superb cast led by Golden-Globe winner Cate Blanchett, early Elizabethean era turmoil and upheaval are captured brilliantly. The lush set itself is a feast for the eye as the audience is drawn to follow a passionate young Elizabeth's path. Against the dark setting of medieval stone castles, a blooming Golden Age approaches as England expands to take control in a world of great unrest after Catholic Queen Mary's death. Her Protestant half-sister, Elizabeth daughter of Anne Bolyne is placed on a throne of a kingdom torn between religion. Cate Blanchett does a fabulous job capturing the details of a frustrated young woman waking to the merciless reality of queenhood--surrounded by enemies such as Norfolk (Christopher Eccleston). Constantly by her side is her reverent adviser Sir William Cecil (Richard Attenborough) who advises Elizabeth to marry for convenience choosing from a "pool" of ready political candidates--while Elizabeth herself is long set on her lover from the past Sir Robert Dudley (a charming Joseph Fiennes). Yet just as England learns to wake up from the medieval dream, Elizabeth learns the bitterness of betrayal as she looks to Sir Francis Walsingham (Jeffrey Rush)'s counsel.

Focusing on Elizabeth's subtle changes of phase from fire to ice at a distant in the midst of a grander panorama beautifully shot, the audience gradually distinguishes her footsteps from the shedding of innocence to a tough ruler that dares to strike first against her enemies, to ultimately become the Virgin Queen to reign above all men.

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