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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Mary, Queen Of Scots (1971)

After the death of her husband, the King of France (Richard Denning), Mary of Scotland (Vanessa Redgrave) returns to Scotland to take her place as the Scottish Queen. But Queen Elizabeth I (Glenda Jackson) fearing a takeover of the English throne by her cousin takes action to subvert any such thing. Directed by Charles Jarrott (ANNE OF THE THOUSAND DAYS), John Hale's screenplay takes liberties with history for dramatic effect and the result is a grandly entertaining if historically inaccurate film. There is no evidence that Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart met in real life but when you have two great actresses like Redgrave and Jackson and they have no scenes together, you better well write one! Redgrave is all gossamer loveliness in contrast to Jackson's sturdy monarch. But as wonderful as they are, they are supported by an excellent (save one) cast. The sore thumb is Timothy Dalton as Mary's treacherous second husband , who overacts terribly. The production values are ace and there's a superb score by John Barry. With Trevor Howard, Ian Holm, Patrick McGoohan, Nigel Davenport, Daniel Massey and Andrew Keir. 

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