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The Twisted Tale of Bloody Mary (2008)

She was loved, she was a princess, heir to the throne - but the childhood fairytale turned to lifelong nightmare for Mary Tudor, Henry VIII's first child. When Henry divorced her mother and... See full summary »


Chris Barnard


Chris Barnard




Credited cast:
Miranda French Miranda French ... Mary Tudor
Simon Kirk Simon Kirk ... Dudley
Jorge Balça Jorge Balça ... Philip of Spain
Jason Sharp Jason Sharp ... Henry VIII
Lizzie Rees Lizzie Rees ... Young Mary (as Elizabeth Rees)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sarah Finigan ... Servant
Lisa Marie Kennedy Lisa Marie Kennedy ... Anne Boleyn
Daniel Polanco Daniel Polanco ... Spanish Ambassador
Emma Reade-Davies Emma Reade-Davies ... Companion To Mary
Sean Rees Sean Rees ... Ambassador Renard
Glenn Salvage ... Norfolk Noble
Aubrey Wakeling ... Duke of Norfolk
Burtie Welland Burtie Welland ... Thomas Cromwell


She was loved, she was a princess, heir to the throne - but the childhood fairytale turned to lifelong nightmare for Mary Tudor, Henry VIII's first child. When Henry divorced her mother and married Anne Boleyn, Mary became an outcast and a threat to the Protestant succession. By a twist of fate, on the death of her brother, she became queen at last in 1553, but her attempts to make England Catholic again were a disaster for her and the country. History has called her "Bloody Mary" for the burning of the Protestants, but how fair is this? This film paints another picture, of a woman true to her beliefs, pushed towards a terrible psychological disintegration. Written by Chris Barnard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

queen mary tudor | execution | See All (2) »


From Fairytale to Horror Story


Drama | History


Did You Know?


Production Timeline : Reported in English magazine and a local area newspaper as requested actors/extra's to cast within scenes recorded at Eltham Palace, upon August 18th 2005. A location used for better historical architectural accuracy, as within her birth region of Greenwich. Most likely that 'Mary Tudor', had visited Eltham Palace possibly when still travelled with the royal court of Henry VIII or briefly when his heir Edward succeeded him. See more »

User Reviews

An Underrated Gem
11 February 2011 | by ian-levine-552-849850See all my reviews

I have always been fascinated by the Tudor period of history, ever since I saw the 1970 BBC Six Wives Of Henry VIII. There has never been a film about Mary Tudor and I stumbled across this by accident. Considering the small budget, I thought they brought the 1500s to life brilliantly and with style and class and atmosphere, looking like a rich drama production, and to my mind, having production values which excelled over the BBC's first production of The Other Boleyn Girl. I would have given it 10 out of 10 but for it missing out Henry's last four queens, and not mentioning Ann Boleyn's daughter Elizabeth until the very end. But it made me think deeply about Mary's motives, was far more Tudor realistic than the hugely expensive "The Tudors" and had amazing gritty realism, such as the sores on Henry's legs, and on Edward VI. Plus the actress playing Ann Boleyn bore the most uncanny resemblance to Hans Holbein's portrait.

A film I am proud to own on DVD. It would benefit from some filmising of the video, like they do with current Doctor Who, removing alternate fields to give it a more filmic look rather than video, but trust me, this is a truly neglected gem and deserves far greater acclaim and stands as a testament to what can be done with dedication even with a minuscule budget. And Miranda French is so stunning and believable as Mary that she deserves an award.

Whoever gave this the other review here had no right to dismiss it so scathingly, and clearly missed the whole beauty and poignancy of such a stunning production. The film Avatar may have cost ultra millions but expense and gloss and special effects don't make a great story or believable drama. This stands supreme as possibly the best low budget film ever.

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Official Sites:

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English | Spanish

Release Date:

3 July 2008 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Twisted Tale of Bloody Mary See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

TV Choice Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Color (Digibeta PAL)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

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