This 1939 Technicolor film, which was directed by the notoriously tyrannical Hungarian Michael Curtiz is strangely unavailable on video at present. A wonderful film if you don't take it too seriously history-wise, because many of the characters and situations are fictionalized. Davis was only 31 here, but her valiant attempt to portray Good Queen Bess impressed the pious critics: a showy performance, Davis chews the scenery with zesty aplomb: it's never boring. Errol Flynn isn't as bad in his playing of Essex as many are led to believe, certainly, he didn't equal Davis as a thespian, but he lends the film his energy, looks and finesse. It has been widely implied that Davis herself wanted Laurence Olivier for the role of Essex, but he was busy doing WUTHERING HEIGHTS. As Lady Penelope Grey, a purely fictional character, Olivia de Havilland is lovely but her performance isn't particularly captivating, owing to a rather weakly drawn character. The real surprise performance of the lesser cast members is that of Nanette Fabares as a lady-in-waiting. Truly genuine and sincerely heartfelt is her brief emotional scene with the Virgin Queen. The sets are magnificent, the old Technicolor gorgeous, and the Erich Wolfgang Korngold score is stellar. A finely crafted movie version of Maxwell Anderson's ELIZABETH THE QUEEN, hopefully this semi-controversial film will find its way back on video soon.