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The Virgin Queen (1955)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, History | 22 July 1955 (USA)
Sir Walter Raleigh (Richard Todd) overcomes court intrigue to win favor with Queen Elizabeth I (Bette Davis) in order to get financing for a proposed voyage to the New World.

Director:

Henry Koster
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bette Davis ... Queen Elizabeth I
Richard Todd ... Sir Walter Raleigh
Joan Collins ... Beth Throgmorton
Jay Robinson ... Chadwick
Herbert Marshall ... Lord Leicester (Robert Dudley)
Dan O'Herlihy ... Lord Derry
Robert Douglas ... Sir Christopher Hatton
Romney Brent ... French Ambassador
Leslie Parrish ... Anne (as Marjorie Hellen)
Lisa Daniels ... Mary
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Storyline

Sir Walter Raleigh (Richard Todd) gains an audience with Queen Elizabeth I (Bette Davis) and soon wins her over to his way of thinking. He wants ships to sail and make a name for England. A young ward of the court, Beth Throgmorton (Dame Joan Collins), is strongly attracted to Raleigh and returns the attraction. But soon the Queen shows her desires and he bends in order to achieve his goal of ships. But still, he loves Beth. Written by McGinty <McGinty@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

CinemaScope spectacularly spreads before you the velvet cape and violent age of Sir Walter Raleigh and The Virgin Queen.


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The second time Bette Davis portrayed English monarch Queen Elizabeth I, the first being "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex "(1939). See more »

Goofs

At the concluding scene of the movie, Queen Elizabeth looks through her window with a telescope, an invention of 1608, five years after her death in 1603. See more »

Quotes

[the Queen enters as Raleigh is on his knees trying to pick up Beth Throgmorton's broken pearl necklace]
Queen Elizabeth I: [to Beth] Is this your pet swine? You've cast your pearls before him.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: In 1581 all the roads of England led to London -- for better or worse. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hedda Hopper's Hollywood (1960) See more »

User Reviews

Typical (Twentieth) Tudor Twaddle!
7 October 2003 | by gregcoutureSee all my reviews

This one should have been a lot better, considering the pedigree of its cast and the professionals behind the camera, including the always reliable Franz Waxman, contributing a score that must have sounded wonderful when those theaters equipped with stereophonic sound systems played this costumer during its first release.

But director Henry Koster's touch is particularly pedestrian in this one. (Note how he stages the legendary scene when Sir Walter Raleigh spreads his cape across a muddy patch for Queen Elizabeth to glide over it without soiling her royal hem. Tossed off as if it weren't worth showing!) And the script seems to be regurgitating all those well-worn cliches about a love and sex-starved Queen Elizabeth I surrounded by male courtiers who have only their various personal ambitions to keep them apparently interested in her feminine needs.

Bette does her best (and even supposedly consented to shaving herself bald for the role!) and Richard Todd and a young and lovely Joan Collins convince as a couple willing to risk the frustrated Queen's wrath to consummate their love. And it's always a pleasure to see actors like Dan O'Herlihy and Herbert Marshall in support, despite how woefully little is made of their talents.

Beware the VHS version, a "formatted" desecration of the original 2.55:1 CinemaScope ratio. For no other reason this handsomely mounted production deserves to be given the widescreen DVD treatment.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 July 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sir Walter Raleigh See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,600,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording) (magnetic prints)| Stereo (Western Electric Recording)| Mono (Western Electric Recording) (optical prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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