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Mary of Scotland (1936)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, History | 28 August 1936 (USA)
The recently widowed Mary Stuart returns to Scotland to reclaim her throne but is opposed by her half-brother and her own Scottish lords.

Directors:

John Ford, Leslie Goodwins (uncredited)

Writers:

Dudley Nichols (screen play), Maxwell Anderson (from the play by)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Katharine Hepburn ... Mary Stuart
Fredric March ... Earl of Bothwell
Florence Eldridge ... Elizabeth Tudor
Douglas Walton ... Lord Darnley
John Carradine ... David Rizzio
Robert Barrat ... Norton
Gavin Muir ... Leicester
Ian Keith ... James Stuart - Earl of Moray
Moroni Olsen ... John Knox
William Stack William Stack ... Ruthven
Ralph Forbes ... Randolph
Alan Mowbray ... Throckmorton
Frieda Inescort ... Mary Beaton
Donald Crisp ... Huntly
David Torrence ... Lindsay
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Storyline

Mary Stuart returns to Scotland to rule as queen, to the chagrin of Elizabeth I of England who finds her a dangerous rival. There is much ado over whom Mary shall marry; to her later regret, she picks effete Lord Darnley over the strong but unpopular Earl of Bothwell. A palace coup leads to civil war and house arrest for Mary; she escapes and flees to England, where a worse fate awaits her. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

History called her "The Temptress"! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 August 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mary, Queen of Scotland See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System) (as R C A Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Contrary to the play and the film, Mary and Elizabeth never met. See more »

Goofs

When an overzealous Bothwell pulls at the window bars of his cell, the prop bars move. See more »

Quotes

Mary, Queen of Scots: I have loved as a woman loves, lost as a woman loses... My son shall sit on the throne! My son shall rule England! Still, still, I win!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: "Like two fateful stars, Mary Stuart and Elizabeth Tudor appeared in the sixteenth century, to reign over two great nations in the making ... They were doomed to a life-and-death struggle for supremacy, a lurid struggle that still shines across the pages of history ... But today, after more than three centuries, they sleep side by side, at peace, in Westminster Abbey."

ENGLAND See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Katharine Hepburn (1962) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Great Performances and Sets
6 September 2010 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Mary of Scotland (1935)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Historical drama from RKO about the rivalry between Mary of Scots (Katharine Hepburn) and her cousin Elizabeth I (Florence Eldridge). The film follows Mary's fight for justice from 1560 to 1587 and includes her third marriage to Bothwell (Fredric March). This film was a notorious flop when it was originally released and it had a large part in Hepburn being called box office poison. Seeing the film today it's rather amazing to see how good the film actually looks considering RKO was usually just popping out very low-budget films. There were certainly a few exceptions and this here is one of them and I'm sure many will be shocked to see how much actually went into this film. The amazing sets and costumes are one of the biggest selling points to the movie. Ford knows how to make things appear epic and he does that here with these amazing sets that make you feel as if you're at the actual locations. Many times these sets are obviously on some lot but you never get that feeling here. The costumes are another major plus as they help bring a realistic nature to the film. I'm not sure what the actual budget was on the film but it really does look just as expensive as many of de Mille's epics. Another reason the film is worth viewing is the performance by Hepburn. As a devoted atheist she really does a nice job in the role of a Catholic and her religious scenes are quite moving as she's certainly giving it her all. She's very believable in the part as you can tell she's strong enough to lead all the battles that Mary had to. That strong nature of the actress clearly shows up on the screen. March is also very good in his role, although the film could have used much more of him. I was a little Luke warm on Eldridge but after a while she started to grow on me. The supporting cast includes Douglas Walton, Frieda Inescourt, Donald Crisp and John Carradine. Carradine plays the servant Rizzo and does a pretty good job with it. We also get to hear him sing a couple songs, which I'm not sure how many times he had the chance of doing that in his long career. The biggest problem with the movie is that the story is at times hard to follow as it appears like the screenplay wasn't totally sure where they wanted to take all of the events. I think at times the story just seemed to float all over the place.


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