Queen Elizabeth I (Dame Flora Robson) 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 have 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 (Sir Laurence Olivier) can do great things. Michael is mostly thinking about one of Elizabeth's ladies in waiting, Cynthia (Vivien Leigh). Soon his mind is on survival when Elizabeth sends him on a voyage to Spain.Written by
Dale O'Connor <email@example.com>
Vivien Leigh and Sir Laurence Olivier credit this movie as being the inspiration for their falling in love. Although both were married to other people, they became known as "the lovers" on the set. See more »
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 »
This enjoyable historical drama is particularly notable for the fine cast headed by Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, and Raymond Massey. The period atmosphere works well, and the setting, against the background of the 16th century struggles between England and Spain, is an interesting one.
The story does a solid job of working the historical setting into a romance between Olivier's and Leigh's characters, setting up some interesting possibilities. Those two work well together - Leigh is a natural in her role, and it's an interesting change of pace for Olivier, from his Shakespeare roles and the like. Massey adds considerable interest and energy as the kind of heavy that he played so well his very voice seems appropriate. Flora Robson is very well suited to the role of Queen Elizabeth. Tamara Desni and Leslie Banks also do well in their roles.
The plot creates good moments of drama, romance, and action, along with some good cat- and-mouse games between the characters. It builds to a good climax and, if it occasionally stretches plausibility, it easily holds your interest all the way through. Overall, it's pretty good and well worth seeing.
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