During the sixteenth century, the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots engages in over two decades of religious and political conflict with her cousin, the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I of England, amidst political intrigue in her native land.
When Elizabeth Tudor comes to the throne, her (male) advisers know she has to marry. Doesn't she? Thus starts a decades-long political/ matrimonial game, during an age of high passions and high achievement.
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Mary Stuart, named Queen of Scotland when she was six days old, is the last Roman Catholic ruler of Scotland. Her cousin Elizabeth Tudor, Queen of England, and her arch adversary, has her imprisoned at age twenty-three. Nineteen years later, Mary is executed, removing the last threat to Elizabeth's throne. The two Queens' contrasting personalities make a dramatic counterpoint to history.Written by
Vanessa Redgrave was in her early thirties during filming. For most of the movie, Mary is in her teens and twenties. See more »
Mary is seen enjoying a late-morning cup of hot chocolate in bed (and even requesting it when she is a prisoner) despite this not being a popular drink in the British Isles until well into the 18th century. See more »
Even though Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I, Queen of England never met, this is a brilliant film. Vanessa Redgrave is perfect in the role of Mary. She is such a wonderful actress. She plays the Scottish Queen in all her arrogance and deviousness. She looks and sounds magnificent throughout. Glenda Jackson is magnificent as Elizabeth I. She is so powerful and such a clever actress. What a great loss it is that she became a politician. Her great scene with Redgrave must be one of the classics of acting between two great actresses. Timothy Dalton is great as the devious and weak fop Lord Darnley and Nigel Davenport is incredible as the rugged Earl of Bothwell. The casting gets better with Trevor Howard as William Cecil, Ian Holm as David Rizzio and Patrick McGoohan as the half-brother James Stuart. Katherine Kath is suitably odious as Queen Catherine de Medici and Vernon Dobtcheff is highly suitable as the Duke of Guise, Mary's manipulative Uncle. Robert Fox is absolutely right as John Knox. The script is very clever, the scenery magnificent and the costumes incredible.
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