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Bertie and Elizabeth (2002)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama  -  4 June 2002 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 344 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 2 critic

The duke of York, nicknamed Bertie, was born as royal 'spare heir', younger brother to the prince of Wales, and thus expected to spend a relatively private life with his Scottish wife ... See full summary »



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Title: Bertie and Elizabeth (TV Movie 2002)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Princess Mary
James Stuart
Barbara Leigh-Hunt ...
Lady Mabel Airlie
Rupert Wickham ...
Young Woman
Nicholas Pritchard ...
J.C. Davidson
Geoffrey Beevers ...
Earl of Strathmore
Deborah Cornelius ...


The duke of York, nicknamed Bertie, was born as royal 'spare heir', younger brother to the prince of Wales, and thus expected to spend a relatively private life with his Scottish wife Elisabeth Bowes-Lyon and their daughters, in the shadow of their reigning father, George V, and next that of his elder brother who succeeded to the British throne as Edward VIII. However Edward decides to put his love for a divorced American, Wallis Simpson, above dynastic duty, and ends up abdicating the throne, which now falls to Bertie, who reigns as George VI. Now he expects to be, as constitutional monarch, little more then a figure head, but again faith has more in store for him: Nazi Germany proves such a formidable war challenger to the British Empire that the nearly desperate nation looks to its royal couple as comforting symbol of the unbroken spirit, a part they play with great success, while hosting chased monarchs and governments from continental Europe. After victory, life returns to normal... Written by KGF Vissers

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4 June 2002 (UK)  »

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Bertie and Elizabeth  »

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Did You Know?


Denis Lill (Clement Attlee) previously played King George VI in The Gathering Storm (1974) and his paternal grandfather King Edward VII in Lillie (1978). See more »


A British Movietone Newsreel, complete with commentary, shows the Duke of York attending the Empire Exhibition at Wembley. This visit took place in October 1925 - not only is this four years before Movietone News began in Britain, but it is two years before sound film was invented. The Exhibition was covered by British Pathe News but the film is of course silent. See more »


King George V: I have no pretensions of being able to run anything. But I do know a few fellows who can. I'm a very ordinary sort of chap... as are you, David. The difference between us is that you seem to be unaware of this very important fact.
See more »


Featured in The Story of the Costume Drama: The Stars (2008) See more »


If You Were the Only Girl (In the World)
Music by Nat D. Ayer
Lyrics by Clifford Grey
See more »

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User Reviews

Adequate but Not Extraordinary
22 April 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I first became acquainted with this little docu-drama at some grocery store DVD stand and saw an ad for it on television many years ago. It seemed interesting but was never something I looked into until recently.

I checked out the reviews here first, and while I'm not quite finished watching it yet, I do say I have to agree with the majority; I am not well-versed in this particular part of history, but it does sound like there's probably plenty of inaccuracies, everything is rather glossed over, and oftentimes manages to be less compelling and more bland.

Which is not to say I do not like this film, because I do. It has a few admirable successes: all of the leads are superbly well acted, I do genuinely care about what is going on and occasionally get excited, the cinematography is quite good and I think the period set and costume pieces are lovely. In that respect, it's done its job.

However, possibly as a result of being a commissioned piece, the bleeding-heart patriotism and jingoism gets extremely tedious in places, particularly WWII, but in other places as well. I think the mini-series format might have been a better choice since it would have allowed for greater exploration of complex events, but given how the material was being handled, I doubt it would have changed things overly much or made a much more complex portrayal of the characters present.

While I'm definitely not going to run out and buy this on DVD - it's cute, but it's hardly worth that - it did make me more interested in the subject, so if I get some spare time I'd like to research that. So it is good for that, but judging it on its own merits, it is a little disappointing.

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