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Elizabeth (1998)

2:24 | Trailer
The early years of the reign of Elizabeth I of England and her difficult task of learning what is necessary to be a monarch.


Shekhar Kapur


Michael Hirst
3,263 ( 469)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 33 wins & 55 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Liz Giles Liz Giles ... Female Martyr
Rod Culbertson Rod Culbertson ... Master Ridley
Paul Fox ... Male Martyr
Terence Rigby ... Bishop Gardiner
Christopher Eccleston ... Duke of Norfolk
Peter Stockbridge Peter Stockbridge ... Palace Chamberlain
Amanda Ryan ... Lettice Howard
Kathy Burke ... Queen Mary Tudor
Valerie Gale Valerie Gale ... Mary's Dwarf
George Antoni George Antoni ... King Philip II of Spain (as George Yiasoumi)
James Frain ... Alvaro de la Quadra
Jamie Foreman ... Earl of Sussex
Edward Hardwicke ... Earl of Arundel
Cate Blanchett ... Elizabeth I
Emily Mortimer ... Kat Ashley


This film details the ascension to the throne and the early reign of Queen Elizabeth the First, as played by Cate Blanchett. The main focus is the endless attempts by her council to marry her off, the Catholic hatred of her and her romance with Lord Robert Dudley. Written by CharmedGirl47

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Declared illegitimate aged 3. Tried for treason aged 21. Crowned Queen aged 25. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The movie depicts Elizabeth finding out that Robert Dudley had married without her consent. This is based on Dudley's marriage in 1578 to Lettice Knollys, which he concealed from Elizabeth. When Elizabeth found out the year after, she banished Knollys from court permanently, and never forgave her. Knollys was the granddaughter of Elizabeth's aunt Mary Boleyn, and it was also rumored that her mother, Catherine Carey, was conceived as a result of Mary Boleyn's affair with Elizabeth's father Henry VIII, though Carey was never acknowledged as Henry's child by him or Elizabeth. Lettice Knollys' son Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, was one of Elizabeth's "favorites" during her later years. He was beheaded in 1601 after a failed rebellion. Lettice Knollys lived until 1634, to the remarkable age of ninety-one. See more »


After the unsuccessful assassination attempt, when Elizabeth is being tended by her ladies, she is shown standing, yet the very next shot has her sitting. See more »


Duc d'Anjou: [in French] Elizabeth is a witch... a witch... and her servant is the devil!
See more »


Featured in History Buffs: Elizabeth (2019) See more »


Te Deum
Composed by Thomas Tallis
Performed by St. John's College Choir, Cambridge
Conducted by George Guest
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User Reviews

This interesting movie describes the turbulent ascension to the throne and the early reign of Queen Elizabeth the First,
25 July 2013 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Good costumer drama that takes a brilliant look at the agitated life of famous Queen of England . This is a sweeping chronicle of 16th-century English Queen from his beginning until splendor years . She was declared illegitimate aged 3 and tried for treason aged 21 ; however being crowned Queen aged 25 . At the beginning , Elizabeth (Cate Blanchett) was imprisoned by Bloody Mary (Kathy Burke) , who rightly feared Protestant plots to place Elizabeth on the throne . She's the Protestant Elizabeth , she was a brilliant stateswoman who managed to restore England to power and glory amidst public and private confusion . This excellent historic drama recreates the wars , loves , turmoil and struggle for power by Robert Dudley , Earl of Leicester (Joseph Fiennes) whom the Queen Elizabeth I both loved and feared , and whose downfall she ultimately invoked . Elizabeth indeed proved to be her father's daughter as she must keep her head, her mother was Anne Boleyn , executed for alleged adultery . To ensure her security on the kingdom , Elizabeth has to show some leadership, which includes, according to some of her many adviser (Richard Attenborough , Edward Hardwicke , Christopher Eccleston , Geoffrey Rush) . Meanwhile, she's dealing with Protestant religion, intrigues with Spain and France and the vexing question of a political marriage to French prince (Vincent Cassel) . Elizabeth chose her advisers with consummate care, and she was well served by them . The first and best was William Cecil,1st Baron Burghley , he stayed in office for forty years. The heathen Protestant Elizabeth dreads the prospect of the Catholic Church followers and Pope (John Gielgud) about her ascending the English throne , leading to intrigue and divisiveness within the court . A film of the early years of the reign of Elizabeth I of England and her difficult task of learning what is necessary to be a monarch.

This is a correct portrayal about political intrigue , lovers and war during the Elizabeth I kingdom . As are splendidly recreated intrigues , treason , turmoil and power fight of its time , including her troublesome days and machinations surrounding . It's magnificently captured by marvelous sets , splendid production design and glamorous gowns . This elaborate , colorful costumer drama packs outstanding performances from Cate Blanchet as an impulsive queen , Joseph Fiennes as a dashing and arrogant Earl , besides a top-notch support cast giving strong acting , such as the charismatic Geoffrey Rush as Sir Francis Walsingham , Richard Attenborough as Sir William Cecil , Christopher Eccleston as Duke of Norfolk , Jamie Foreman as Earl of Sussex , Fanny Ardant as Mary of Guise , Vincent Cassel as Duc d'Anjou , Kelly MacDonald , James Frain , Emily Mortimer , Amanda Ryan , among them . The fine cast does quite well in historic setting . This interesting historical drama contains a wonderful cinematography that adds color to the atmosphere by Remi Adefarasin who also photographed the second part titled ¨Elizabeth: The Golden Age¨ . Evocative and imaginative musical score fitting to the past time by David Hirschfelder . The motion picture was rightly written by by Michael Hirst (The Tudor) and finely directed by Shakar Kapur , an Indian director , costumer expert (Elizabeth I and II , Bandit Queen , Four feathers).

Other renditions about this known Queen are the following : ¨Elizabeth : The golden age¨ with Cate Blanchett , Jordi Molla , Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush directed by Shekar Kapur ; ¨Elizabeth R¨ directed by Herbert Wise (72, TV) with Bette Davis ; ¨Elizabeth the Queen¨ (68, TV) with Judith Anderson and Charlton Heston ; and classic version , ¨The Queen Virgin¨ by George Sidney with Jean Simmons and Stewart Granger and ¨The private lives of Elizabeth and Essex¨ by Michael Curtiz with Bette Davis and Errol Flynn , among others

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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | French

Release Date:

19 February 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen See more »


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$275,131, 8 November 1998

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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