Sir William Hamilton, a widower of mature years, is British ambassador to the Court of Naples. Emma, who comes for a visit with her mother, wouldn't cut the grade with London society, but she gets along well with the Queen of Naples. Emma likes being Lady Hamilton, and life goes smoothly until Lord Nelson pays a visit. Sir William decides at first to let his young wife have her fling, and pretends not to know what is going on. But the real-life lovers, whose first screen romance was in Fire Over England (1937) have an even more burning passion for each other in this movie.Written by
Dale O'Connor <email@example.com>
The newly-married Leigh and Olivier had recently lost a great deal of their own money on a disastrous production of "Romeo and Juliet" touring the US. Their salaries enabled them to return to Britain, and a bonus for Leigh enabled her to send her mother and six-year old daughter to Canada, away from the impending bombing. See more »
In 1798, Nelson was in the White squadron and so would not have been made Rear-admiral of the Blue. In fact, the highest rank he attained was Vice-Admiral of the White. See more »
[Emma has just recounted her story to her cellmate, ending with her learning of Nelson's death]
What happened after?
There is no "then". There is no "after".
See more »
For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
[Sung by the croud at Nelson's return to England after his Tour of Europe] See more »
Viven Leigh shines in historical romance.
Screen biography of Emma, Lady Hamilton, whose love for Lord Nelson (the British naval hero of the Napoleonic wars) scandalized the Regency world.
Vivien Leigh is in almost every frame, and completely dominates the film. The story is all about Lady Hamilton and her unhappy marriage, her love for Nelson, and the consequences of leaving her stodgy husband to live adulterously and with the man she loved. (He was already famous before Trafalger, this was the "Monicagate" of its day) It's a fine soap opera, centered around a performance that can only be called luminous.
The camera doesn't just love Leigh, it gets down on its knees and worships her. Even in GWTW she never looked so unbelievably beautiful, and she's also completely charming and sensitive. The great Sir Laurence Olivier doesn't have a chance, he barely registers. He's handicapped by a serious lack of screen time and a dreadful red pony-tail wig, but the director seems to have decided to give him short shrift so he can squeeze in a few more exquisite close-ups of Leigh being enchanting. And she is, oh is she ever...
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