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The Heart of a Queen (1940)

Das Herz der Königin (original title)
| Biography, Drama | 1948 (USA)
While awaiting her unjust execution at the hands of the treacherous Queen Elizabeth I, the tragic Mary Stuart reflects at the series of cruel political machinations that set up her path to the scaffold.

Director:

Carl Froelich

Writers:

Harald Braun (novel), Harald Braun (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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This short film, one of the first to use camera tricks, depicts the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Director: Alfred Clark
Stars: Mrs. Robert L. Thomas
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Zarah Leander ... Mary Queen of Scots
Willy Birgel ... Lord Bothwell
Maria Koppenhöfer Maria Koppenhöfer ... Queen Elizabeth I. of England
Lotte Koch ... Lady Johanna Gordon
Axel von Ambesser ... Prinz Henry Darnley
Friedrich Benfer Friedrich Benfer ... David Riccio
Ernst Stahl-Nachbaur Ernst Stahl-Nachbaur ... Jon Knox
Walther Süssenguth Walther Süssenguth ... Lord Jacob Stuart
Odo Krohmann Odo Krohmann ... Lord Morton
Herbert Hübner ... Lord Arran
Emil Heß Emil Heß ... Lord Douglas (as Emil Hess)
Karl Haubenreißer Karl Haubenreißer ... Lord Balfour
Rudolf Klein-Rogge ... General Ruthven
Anneliese von Eschstruth ... Eine der vier Marys
Ruth Buchardt ... Eine der vier Marys
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Storyline

As the title "The Queen's Heart" suggests, this early German black and white version of Mary Queen of Scott's eventful reign and death focuses on her emotional perception rather lyrically, with some songs, mainly by her. Starting in the Tower, awaiting and receiving her sentence to the ax from the English court, where Elisabeth I chose to remain absent in person, we flash back to Mary's arrival after a long exile at the sophisticated, splendidly hedonistic French royal court, where she was raised as a Catholic, in her people's eyes effeminate or even depraved, elegant pleasure-accustomed lady, at utter odds with the stern Scottish protestantism of John Knox as well as England's Anglicanism. No less rugged and troublesome, even turning bloody, are Mary's affairs with Lord Henry Darnley, a Scottish-born dandy favorite Elisabeth sent her, who becomes Mary's unfaithful king-consort to give Scotland a male heir, James Stewart, and with true stern Scottish Lord Bothwell, who by any means -... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Heart of a Queen See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Postwar German censorship visa # 05156 delivered on 17-11-1952, renewed on 17-11-1971. See more »

Goofs

David Rizzio said that he is from Bologna. However he was originally from Pancalieri, Italy, which is far away from Bologna. Also he came to Scotland from Savoy, France. See more »

Quotes

Queen Elizabeth I. of England: He who lets himself helped by England, he dies.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Legenden: Zarah Leander (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Nur nicht dran denken, nichts soll uns kränken
Music by Theo Mackeben
Lyrics by Harald Braun
Sung by Erich Ponto
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting but flawed
9 October 2013 | by rmeyerglassSee all my reviews

Where does one start? Like all other films about Mary Queen of Scots the plot line veers dizzyingly from the actual events of her life (for example Bothwell is portrayed as her enemy whereas he was actually one of her staunchest supporters). Zarah Leander is badly miscast in the title role - she's just too old and too statuesque for the part. This is painfully highlighted in her scenes with her four Marys. They were actually chosen to be her companions and were roughly the same age as the queen. In this film she comes across as a mother hen figure or a favourite high-school teacher to a quartet of slim young lovlies. The effects of this miscasting are hard to convey to English speakers but the nearest I can come to is to imagine Joan Crawford in the role emoting as she did in Mildred Pierce. The result is one of inadvertent camp comedy especially when La Leander lays on the patient suffering act which was her trademark (especiallyin her walk to the block). The sets, though, are magnificent - wonderful fantasies on renaissance Scottish and English architecture. The costumes too are as near to accurate as possible although there are some oddities such as Darnley's natty line in weird pointy shoulder pads and mini-kilts. Could have done without the miserable dirges that they felt obliged to give Zarah to perform, but she had to sing I suppose as she was, basically, known as an operetta/musical star. As it was released in 1940 the propaganda message is as subtle as the Blitz - perfidious Albion (Queen Elizabeth 1) being horrible to poor suffering German womanhood. I was interested to see Das Hertz der Koenigin but wouldn't be in any hurry to repeat the experience.


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