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Young Bess
     

Young Bess

Director: George Sidney, Jean Simmons, Stewart Granger, Deborah Kerr

Cast: George Sidney, Jean Simmons, Stewart Granger, Deborah Kerr

 

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This costume drama was based on the historical fiction of Margaret Irwin, which embellishes the facts of the early years of England's eventual Queen Elizabeth I. It's told in flashback style, starting with the horrible day when King Henry VIII (Charles Laughton) sends away the future queen, young Bess (Jean Simmons), and executes her mother, Anne Boleyn (Elaine

Overview

This costume drama was based on the historical fiction of Margaret Irwin, which embellishes the facts of the early years of England's eventual Queen Elizabeth I. It's told in flashback style, starting with the horrible day when King Henry VIII (Charles Laughton) sends away the future queen, young Bess (Jean Simmons), and executes her mother, Anne Boleyn (Elaine Stewart). Some years and several wives later, Henry VIII invites Bess to return to the palace to live with Catherine Parr (Deborah Kerr), her new stepmother. When the king dies, Bess' young half-brother, Edward (Rex Thompson), assumes the title of regent. Bess falls in love with the Navy's top admiral, Thomas Seymour (Stewart Granger), but has her brother compel him to marry Catherine. After Catherine dies, Thomas confesses his love to Bess. But his scheming brother Ned (Guy Rolfe) finds out about Thomas' feelings and accuses him of seducing Bess. ~ Michael Betzold

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Young Bess is a fairly enjoyable "historical" drama. As a typical Hollywood film, of course, historical merely means that it takes place in the past and concerns figures that were actually alive and of some importance. Like many other films of its kind, Bess is much less interested in getting historical facts right, and more concerned with producing a story that would involve the audience, especially if it also could fill the screen with impressive sets and costumes. Certainly, Walter Plunkett's costumes do their job admirably, as does the scenery created by a quartet of art directors. And Charles Rosher Sr.'s cinematography is lovely and, when given a chance, dramatic. Unfortunately, it's Bess' contrived-for-the-screen story that falls a little short. The flashback structure is well handled, but the events that the scenarists have come up with are a little old hat. On the plus side, Bess is played by a luscious, lovely and luminous Jean Simmons, and she's a treat during the very considerable time she is on screen. Also keeping viewers happy is the effortlessly-regal Deborah Kerr and the enjoyable Charles Laughton. Stewart Granger's performance as Simmons' love interest (though eventually wed to Kerr) is unfortunately flat, but the actor certainly looks great. Bess is no great film, but it's a moderately entertaining way to pass a couple of hours.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/03/2010
UPC:
0883316270554
Original Release:
1953
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:52:00
Sales rank:
25,616

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jean Simmons Young Bess
James Stewart Thomas Seymour
Deborah Kerr Catherine Parr
Charles Laughton Henry VIII
Kay Walsh Mrs. Ashley
Guy Rolfe Ned Seymour
Cecil Kellaway Mr. Parry
Rex Thompson Edward
Robert Arthur Barnaby
Leo G. Carroll Mr. Mums
Norma Varden Lady Tyrwhitt
Alan Napier Robert Tyrwhitt
Noreen Corcoran Young Bess, Age 6
Ivan Triesault Danish Envoy
Elaine Stewart Anne Boleyn
Dawn Addams Kate Howard
Doris Lloyd Mother Jack
Lumsden Hare Archbishop Thomas Crammer
Lester Matthews Sir William Paget
David Cavendish Council Man
Sam Harris Actor
Charles R. Keane Halberdiers
Raymond Lawrence Actor
Clive Morgan Actor
Carl Saxe Executioner
John Sheffield English Officers
Reginald Sheffield Court Recorder
Ann Tyrrell Mary
Patrick Whyte Officer
Ian Wolfe Stranger
Fay Wall Woman
Frank Eldredge Actor
Kathleen Byron Anne Seymour

Technical Credits
George Sidney Director
Sidney Franklin Producer
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Arnold A. Gillespie Special Effects
Jan Lustig Screenwriter
Urie McCleary Art Director
Jack D. Moore Art Director
Warren Newcombe Special Effects
Walter Plunkett Costumes/Costume Designer
George Rhein Asst. Director
Charles Rosher Cinematographer
Miklós Rózsa Score Composer
William J. Tuttle Makeup
Edwin B. Willis Art Director
Arthur Wimperis Screenwriter
Ralph Winters Editor

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