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The Virgin Queen (1955)

Approved | | Drama, History, Romance | 22 July 1955 (USA)
Sir Walter Raleigh overcomes court intrigue to win favor with the Queen 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 Lisa Daniels ... Mary
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Storyline

Sir Walter Raleigh gains audience with Queen Elizabeth I 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, 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.

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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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)
See more on IMDbPro »

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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Average Shot Length = 18.3 seconds. Median Shot Length = 16.2 seconds. 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

French Ambassador: May I compliment you, Madame, on this most beautiful palace? There is no other like it in all of Europe.
Queen Elizabeth I: It was my father's. I'll tell him when I see him.
French Ambassador: [not fully understanding her answer] Yes... but King Henry is dead. Madame jests?
Queen Elizabeth I: Madame never jests.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Stars of the Silver Screen: Bette Davis (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Liz And Her Loves
5 March 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The Virgin Queen marks Bette Davis's second go around as Elizabeth I of England. The first and better known film was done in 1939, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex. The action in that film takes place at almost the very end of her regime in 1602. Bette Davis who was 31 at the time was made up to look the 66 that Elizabeth was then.

This film takes place 15 years earlier, but Bette is now 47, a lot closer in age to the real Elizabeth then. The film is a fictional account of the arrival of Sir Walter Raleigh at her court and what transpired therein.

Raleigh is played by Richard Todd, the Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, Raleigh was played by Vincent Price. These are two quite different Raleighs, Todd is here, self described as blunt speaking plain soldier who wants Elizabeth to give him a ship to explore the new world. By 1602, Price's Raleigh has become every bit the flattering courtier that he as Todd so despised.

All royal courts are places of intrigue by their very nature, Elizabeth's even more so. First of all she was a woman who did like young handsome men around her. In her early days it was Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester played here by Herbert Marshall. Later on it was Christopher Hatton who is played by Robert Douglas. Then it was Raleigh and last the Earl of Essex, the protagonist in the earlier Davis Elizabethan role. These guys fought for her favor and she kind of enjoyed pitting them against each other. In addition she had the Cecils, uncle William and nephew Robert also serving here. There was no romantic attachment there and Francis Walsingham as well with no romance involved. Each one of these people had their good and bad qualities and served Elizabeth well in his own way.

Also she was known as The Virgin Queen because she was unmarried though I doubt strongly she physically kept her virginity. She was the last of the line of Tudors, the succession was very much up in the air. The threat of civil war, like the War of the Roses in the previous century. None of these guys knew who would wind up succeeding her, they all had to be on nimble feet to make the right jump. A wrong decision could cost somebody his head.

This is the background of what Raleigh was dealing with in Elizabeth's court. It's not true however that Christopher Hatton was the villain as shown here. He was battling for his survival like everybody else.

What is true is that Raleigh while Elizabeth was drawn to him, was in turn drawn to Bess Throckmorton one of her ladies in waiting. He did secretly marry her and got her pregnant as the film states. And Elizabeth I got her dander up as she was wont to do.

I'm sorry the Cecils and Walsingham were not included in this film. They were both very much on the scene, it's the biggest inaccuracy of the film.

It's not good history, but fair enough entertainment. Note the presence here of both a young Joan Collins as Ms. Throckmorton and Dan O'Herlihy as Raleigh's Irish sidekick. Both do good jobs in their parts.


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