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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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

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

[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.
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 All About Bette (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
This acceptable historical drama recreates the problematic relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Sir Walter Raleigh
5 March 2013 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Historic drama about The Virgin Queen which focuses on the stormy relationship between the aging Queen and Sir Walter Raleigh . A talky slice of history with Bette Davis as stubborn Queen , whose love affair , jealousy with Raleigh led to his downfall . Well played by Davis who stole the acting honors at a resolute , strong , glamour-skimping characterisation , to give the illusion of baldness, Bette shaved her head two inches in front to show a high forehead under Elizabeth's red wigs, and addition , also performed by swashbuckling champ Richard Tood as an obstinate Raleigh . Elizabeth had learnt her political lessons in the years of intrigue before she became Queen, she was a brilliant stateswoman, managing a succession of parliaments so that she was loved as well as obeyed. Elizabeth I managed to set Great Britain to ruling and gloryfy amidst public and private confusion and she sets in motion a merciless plan to protect her people and preserve her throne . This good historic drama recreates the wars , loves ,turmoil and struggle for power . It explores her last period : from her days of old age when is besieged by court intrigues and political machination as Qeen of France Catalina of Medicis , her fear as a potential victim from Irish people ; into her years of triumph ; and her last, enigmatic relationship with her young protégé , Raleigh . Walter overcomes court intrigue from Sir Christopher Hatton (Robert Douglas) to win favor with the Queen in order to get financing for a proposed voyage to the New World . As Raleigh wants ships to sail and make a name for England and being helped by Robert Dudley , Lord Leicester (Herbert Marshall) . A young ward of the court, Beth Throgmorton (Joan Collins who is the secret object of Raleigh's true affections) , is strongly attracted to Raleigh and goes back the attraction . Elizabeth I's love for William Raleigh threatens to destroy her kingdom . The Virgin Queen managed to restore England glory and power amidst private and public turmoil .

This period drama frames the tumultuous affair between Queen Elizabeth and William Raleigh , dealing with a depiction of the love/hate among them . Bette is top-notch in the title role of this passable drama focusing on the life of known Queen . In this her second acting as Elizabeth and considered to be ever better than hist first in ¨The private lives of Elizabeth and Essex¨ by Michael Curtiz . Seeking the most authenticity , Bette shaved the front of her head and eyebrows and insisted on ugly bags under her eyes , she later complained that they never grew back properly and that ever after she had to draw them in with an eyebrow pencil. The stalwart Richard Todd plays rightly as Sir Raleigh , while Joan Collins gives a mediocre acting as the lady-in-waiting with whom he falls in love . However , the film relies heavily on the relationship between Elizabeth/Raleigh and Beth Throgmorton/Raleigh , resulting to be slightly tiring . Colorful cinematography in CinemaScope by Charles Clarke as well as magnificent production design , both of them add a spectacular ambient to the ancient atmosphere but it does help to know some history in order to keep the plot and plotters straight . Furthermore , an evocative and sensitive musical score by Franz Waxman . The motion picture was professionally directed by Henry Koster , an expert on super-productions and epic biographies , such as he proved in ¨Desiree¨, ¨The Virgin Queen¨, ¨A man called Peter¨, The story of Ruth¨ , ¨The Naked Maja¨ and of course ¨The Robe¨ , his greatest success.

Other films about this historical character are the followings : The classical rendition titled ¨The private lives of Elizabeth and Essex¨ (1939) by Michael Curtiz with Bette Davis and Errol Flynn dealing with her life through her great love affair Essex ; ¨Elizabeth¨ by Shakahar Kapur with Cate Blanchett , Geoffrey Rush , Joseph Fiennes , a story full sweep of Queen's life . And for television : ¨Elizabeth R¨ (1972) by Herbert Wise with Glenda Jackson and Peter Jeffreys ; ¨Elizabeth the Queen¨(1968) by George Schaefer with Judith Anderson and Charlton Heston ; finally TV series ¨Elizabeth¨(2005) by Tom Hooper with Anna Marie Duff , Sienna Guillory and Ian Hart , and ¨Elizabeth I¨ TV miniseries with Helen Mirren , Hugh Dancy and Jeremy Irons .


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