6.6/10
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Fire Over England (1937)

Queen Elizabeth is running this show. The men in her court should be thinking about how to add to the glory of the Elizabethan Age and how to foil those pesky Spanish who got far too much ... See full summary »

Director:

William K. Howard

Writers:

A.E.W. Mason (novel), Clemence Dane (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Flora Robson ... Queen Elizabeth
Raymond Massey ... Philip of Spain
Leslie Banks ... Leicester
Laurence Olivier ... Michael
Vivien Leigh ... Cynthia
Morton Selten ... Burleigh
Tamara Desni ... Elena
Lyn Harding ... Sir Richard
George Thirlwell George Thirlwell ... Gregory
Henry Oscar ... Spanish Ambassador
Robert Rendel ... Don Miguel (as Robert Rendell)
Robert Newton ... Don Pedro
Donald Calthrop ... Don Escobal
James Mason ... Vane
Charles Carson ... Adm. Valdez
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Storyline

Queen Elizabeth is running this show. The men in her court should be thinking about how to add to the glory of the Elizabethan Age and how to foil those pesky Spanish who got far too much influence in England when her older sister Mary was on the throne after their father Henry VIII was succeeded by their sickly half brother. Elizabeth thinks Michael Ingolby can do great things. Michael is mostly thinking about one of Elizabeth's ladies in waiting, Cynthia. Soon his mind is on survival when Elizabeth sends him on a voyage to Spain. Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

. . . A truly brilliant producer brings you a thrilling tale of love and danger that will live in your memory as long as there is romance in your heart !


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 March 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eld över England See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System Noiseless Wide Range Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

When Alexander Korda re-released this movie in 1944, he commissioned a new trailer which implied that James Mason (by then a huge box-office star for rival studio Gainsborough) was a major star of this movie. In fact, Mason played the small role of Hilary Vane, and his name appears last in the credits. See more »

Goofs

Cynthia is admonished by the Queen when she tries to fit the Queen's foot into the wrong shoe. Shoes made for the left foot and the right foot were not introduced in England until the 1860's. See more »

Quotes

Don Pedro: You see, Elena, the whole trouble comes from treating your enemies like human beings. Don't you see, my dear, that if you do that they cease to be enemies. Think what that leads to: the end of patriotism; the end of war; it's the end of everything."
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: IN 1587 SPAIN POWERFUL IN THE OLD WORLD MASTER IN THE NEW

ITS KING PHILIP RULES BY FORCE AND FEAR

BUT SPANISH TYRANNY IS CHALLENGED BY THE FREE PEOPLE OF A LITTLE ISLAND

ENGLAND

EVERYWHERE ENGLISH TRADERS APPEAR ENGLISH SEAMEN THREATEN SPANISH SUPREMACY

A WOMAN GUIDES AND INSPIRES THEM ELIZABETH THE QUEEN. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Lion Has Wings (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

O Magnum Mysterium
(uncredited)
Composed by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Sung by unseen chorus at the Spanish court
See more »

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User Reviews

Nazis or Spanish Armada, It's the Same Message
15 October 1999 | by alicecbrSee all my reviews

Note the date this was made..1937. What a shot in the arm for a people about to fight for their survival....AGAIN. The lines that effectively say "Loved I you, loved I not England more" spoken by Olivier speak for all the Brits that would soon have to turn their backs on a gentle home life. Today we are not faced with that decision and it seems amazing that a human being would have to lay down his life for his country. As Vivien Leigh pleads with her lover (later to be her husband) to remember 'all the sunsets we could see together", you know that she is speaking to the audience of that time in a visceral manner.

Quaintly anachronistic, and let's pray it stays that way.

To watch Raymond Massey play the king of Spain and James Mason play the English 'spy' Vane is worth the price of the movie itself. Logic rears its ugly head, of course, or illogic: Five Englishmen are identified as traitors by Olivier and what happens? Elisabeth puts them under his command to fight off the Spanish Armada. Didn't she ever hear of fragging?

As the English ships are set ablaze and sailed into the Armada, it makes me long for a history book to find out what actually happened. I thought the weather broke the Spanish Armada up before it reached English shores off the coast of Ireland....accounting for the 'black Irish', descendants from those sailors who made it ashore.

Nonetheless, to watch the Lord and Lady of the English stage appear together while their love was young (and both were married to others) is fascinating.

You think you're watching Elisabeth Taylor half the time, with those big expressive eyes. Olivier also sings and plays a lute. His singing voice isn't bad atall, and is he handsome!!!!

When he plays his acrobatic ship and sword fighting tricks, you'll think of Errol Flynn and long for the movie to be colorized. How easy it would be with today's technology to color these wonderful old movies in gorgeous realistic color. And the mood would be enhanced, not destroyed as it might were it a film noir.

When Queen Elisabeth (the first one) says, "I'm only a woman", you'll burst out laughing.....she who made England was 'only a woman'. See it.

So 'Fire over England' was a propaganda film. Fine. I loved it.


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