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Virgin Queen
     

Virgin Queen

2.6 3
Director: Henry Koster

Cast: Bette Davis, Richard Todd, Joan Collins

 

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Having previously portrayed England's Queen Elizabeth I in 1939's The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, Bette Davis reprises the role in the Technicolor-and-Cinescope costumer The Virgin Queen. Harry Brown and Mindret Lord's screenplay proposes that Elizabeth's relationship with adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh (Richard Todd) was somewhat more than

Overview

Having previously portrayed England's Queen Elizabeth I in 1939's The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, Bette Davis reprises the role in the Technicolor-and-Cinescope costumer The Virgin Queen. Harry Brown and Mindret Lord's screenplay proposes that Elizabeth's relationship with adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh (Richard Todd) was somewhat more than cordial. Raleigh is depicted as a charming opportunist, who deliberate leads the Queen on in order to further his chances of heading an expedition to the New World. Complications ensue when Sir Walter falls in love with lady-in-waiting Beth Throgmorton (Joan Collins). Not to be believed for a single moment, The Virgin Queen works well on a swashbuckler level, with Davis outacting everyone in sight-even such veteran scene-stealers as Herbert Marshall, Dan O'Herlihy, and Jay "Caligula" Robinson.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
It doesn't measure up to the earlier The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, but as long as Bette Davis is on screen, The Virgin Queen commands our attention. The problem is that Queen was originally conceived not as Elizabeth's story but as that of Sir Walter Raleigh, with the Queen originally conceived of as a supporting part. When Davis came on board, that changed; but building her part up comes at the expense of the actual story. As a result, the film feels a bit lopsided structurally. Things are confused further by the fact that Davis is so damn good in her part, while Richard Todd as Raleigh and Joan Collins as his true love are only adequate. Thus, the force of Davis's performance and the relative weakness of her co-stars' tilts the film in her favor, even as structurally it continues to favor Todd. (It goes without saying, of course, that the film also sacrifices historical fact for dramatic effect at the drop of a hat.) Even with its flaws, the screenplay still provides plenty of meaty individual scenes which score big points. Henry Koster's direction is uneven, with very good segments mixed with not-so-good; the latter unfortunately includes the famous laying-down-the-coat sequence which is what many viewers remember about Raleigh today. But he wisely gives Davis plenty of room, and she doesn't disappoint, mesmerizing the viewer whenever she's around.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/08/2008
UPC:
0024543507253
Original Release:
1955
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:32:00
Sales rank:
30,629

Special Features

Closed Caption; Virgin Territory: the making of the Virgin Queen featurette; Isolate score track; Restoration comparison; Original theatrical trailer; TV spots; Interactive pressbook gallery; Poster gallery; Lobby card gallery; Still gallery

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bette Davis Elizabeth I
Richard Todd Sir Walter Raleigh
Joan Collins Beth Throgmorton
Jay Robinson Chadwick
Herbert Marshall Lord Leicester
Dan O'Herlihy Lord Derry
Robert Douglas Sir Christopher Hatton
Romney Brent French Ambassador
Marjorie Hellen Courtier
Lisa Daniels Mary
Lisa Davis Jane
Barry Bernard Patch Eye
Robert Adler Postillion Rider
Noel Drayton Tailor
Ian Murray Gentleman of the Bedchamber
Rod Taylor Cpl. Gwilym
David Thursby Landlord
Arthur E. Gould-Porter Randall the Ship Builder
John Costello Town Crier
Frank Baker Physician
Ashley Cowan Sailor
Nelson Leigh Actor
Leslie Parrish Anne

Technical Credits
Henry Koster Director
Charles Brackett Producer
Harry Brown Screenwriter
Charles G. Clarke Cinematographer
Paul S. Fox Set Decoration/Design
Bernard Freericks Sound/Sound Designer
Leland Fuller Art Director
Ray Kellogg Special Effects
Charles LeMaire Costumes/Costume Designer
Harry M. Leonard Sound/Sound Designer
Mindret Lord Screenwriter
Ben Nye Makeup
Joseph E. Richards Asst. Director
Walter Scott Set Decoration/Design
Robert L. Simpson Editor
Franz Waxman Score Composer
Perc Westmore Makeup
Lyle Wheeler Art Director
Mary Wills Costumes/Costume Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Virgin Queen
1. Main Titles [1:41]
2. The Inn [4:27]
3. Freeing the Lord's Coach [1:41]
4. A Lofty Request [1:23]
5. Court Etiquette [4:08]
6. Meeting Queen Elizabeth I [1:26]
7. Storming the Citadel Walls [1:48]
8. By Appointment [5:23]
9. The Cushion [3:52]
10. The French Ambassador [3:48]
11. Raleigh's Passion [:51]
12. The Ailling Queen [3:54]
13. A Queen's Forgiveness [5:26]
14. Sir Walter Raleigh [5:35]
15. I Question Your Honor [:52]
16. Blessing [4:09]
17. Plymouth [2:37]
18. With Child [2:07]
19. Lord Derry [2:49]
20. Great Haste, and a Bed [3:08]
21. Arrest [5:11]
22. Beth's Plea [1:19]
23. Authority of a Dead Man [5:51]
24. The Golden Falcon [6:03]

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Virgin Queen 2.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
anselmus More than 1 year ago
While this film is not one of the best films featuring Bette Davis, it is quite a bit better than one star. Although its style is a bit dated by today's standards, it is very well photographed and directed and the script is coherent and reasonably intelligent. It is definitely worth a look, but those who expect one of Bette Davis's riveting performances will probably be disappointed. It's a good performance but Davis really is a supporting player in this film. The Technicolor photography is one of the best things about this film.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was a major dissapointment to me. People have been nagging me for years to see this movie. They all told me that Bette Davis just shined on screen. I saw this movie and at some points just burst out laughing at how bad the acting is. The script sounds very witty, but Bette Davis either over acts or under acts. She can't even uphold the accent! This has to be the worst film about Elizabeth the first that I have ever seen!I would give this film no stars if I could. Definitly don't see this movie if you are expecting a wonderful depiction of Queen Elizabeth I, because you're definitly not going to get it! If you want to see a good movie about Queen Elizabeth I, see the Elizabeth R series starring Glenda Jackson, or see the more recent Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett.