Mary, Queen of Scots (Dec-1971)|
Director: Charles Jarrott
Writer: John Hale
Music Composed and Conducted by: John Barry
Producer: Hal B. Wallis
Keywords: Drama, British Royalty, Biography
Review by Laura Brown (posted on 5-Aug-2007)
Breathtaking historical drama with exquisite costume design and score by John Barry. The scenes of green, misty England and the castle of Chartres in the Loire Valley are enough to make you book a plane ticket.
This is Glenda Jackson and Vanessa Redgrave at their finest. Ms Jackson, who also played Elizabeth I in a PBS Miniseries (Elizabeth R) was born to play the role... You can almost see her all-male council quaking in their boots when she gets her back hairs up.
Vaness Redgrave plays the doomed Mary sympathetically, and historical facts are glossed over quite a bit as Lord Bothwell (Nigel Davenport) is played as a rescuing hero rather than a roguish ravisher. That will be fine with female viewers; his turning point scene with Mary is akin to Rhett Butler carrying Scarlett up the grand staircase.
Patrick MacGoohan is great as James Stuart, Mary's illegitimate half-brother, who must appear to have no ambitions to the throne but does his best (or worst) all the same. Superb supporting roles by Timothly Dalton as Lord Darnely, Mary's foppish first husband, and Ian Holm as the courtly David Rizzio.
Of course, we all know how it ends, but the film keeps your attention until Mary's tragic end, and then some.
It's so good that I've been looking for it on tape for about 20 years, and was delighted to find it near release date in a DVD set with 'Anne of the Thousand Days' on Amazon.
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