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Methinks the previous Commenter has mistaken this documentary on the life of Elizabeth Tudor with the Cate Blanchett theatrical release "Elizabeth". While the Blackett movie played fast-and-loose with many, many historical facts, it was pretty to look at and, as a big fan of Tudor English history, at least it gave some exposure to the period. This version is not a drama (well, of course Elizabeth's life WAS a drama, wasn't it?), but rather a biographical presentation. It is done with actors (unlike "In Search of Shakespeare", using entirely modern settings), most of whom, in generally non-speaking roles, convey the atmosphere of the period. It is quite well done and, though much of the period is greatly open to interpretation, historically accurate. As it should be, being not a drama but a documentary. If your taste is for scripted drama about Elizabeth Tudor, I would still highly recommend the 6-part BBC series, Elizabeth R (with Glenda Jackson). A very good telling of the history, but fleshed out with dialog.
I am no historian admittedly, but I do have an interest in the Tudors. I saw both this and The Six Wives of Henry the VIII, both presented by David Starkey and really liked them both. If I had a preference, I slightly prefer this but both were really interesting and well presented. The pacing is not the best there is, but it is never boring. Elizabeth is quite frankly wonderfully presented by Starkey, while the production values(costumes, photography, locations) are top drawer and the music is gorgeous. Elizabeth also benefits from being splendidly written, and the dramatisation is fine with Elizabeth particularly well done in what I consider a fairly demanding role in some respects. Overall, really well done and interesting. 9/10 Bethany Cox
In this comprehensive documentary, Henry VIII scholar David Starkey
turns his attentions to the tyrant's daughter. Although most people who
have a smattering of English history will know that Elizabeth ordered
the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, probably few will realise that
she was in some ways every bit as ruthless as her dear old Dad, that
for example on one occasion she ordered a pamphleteer who had
overstepped the mark have his hand amputated. And we complain about
Another surprise is that she once accepted a proposal from a much younger suitor only to change her mind the very next morning. The big question though is was she really the Virgin Queen? Starkey doesn't really address that, but few people will take issue with the claim that her friendship with Robert Dudley was more than platonic.
Elizabeth and her court are brought to life in this series, and there are also interviews, including with a certain Anthony Babbington.
This may have been the first Elizabethan Age but it was also the rise of England and later the British Empire, and this is reflected therein. The latter may be gone forever but our own Queen Elizabeth has already long outlived and outreigned the original. And long may she continue to do so.
It is beautiful to look at but, this film has NOTHING to do with the real Queen Elizabeth I. It is a nightmare for anyone who has studied Tudor history. Inaccuracies are too vast to mention. It saddens me to think that there are millions of people who believe that this film was based on the life of one of the greatest women in history.
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