Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
Elizabeth I's love for the Earl of Essex threatens to destroy her kingdom.
This period drama frames the tumultuous affair between Queen Elizabeth I and the man who would be King of England.
Michael Curtiz really did direct some cracking films back in the thirties and forties. With more than half a dozen films with Errol Flynn as well as the classic Casablanca with Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart, he set a high standard for others to follow. This fourth film in my Errol Flynn box-set features Flynn, de Havilland, and a first for me, my introduction to Bette Davis.
Hard to believe I'd never saw a Davis film before, but this has been a year of firsts with 2001 and Casablanca getting watched for the first time, so maybe it's not such a surprise after all. What I will say is that Davis dominates the screen like very few actresses can, and…
Bette Davis puts every major star under her shadow in this historic epic as Queen Elizabeth the Cougar! Even the magnificent Errol Flynn had to play second fiddle to her fragile portrayal of the aging ruler. Of course it wouldn't have been as effective had Flynn not been his sweet charming self. Olivia de Havilland was just there because you can't have a Flynn movie without her.
The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939) came in ravishing color adding to the major feel of things. Unfortunately the movie travels a little slow and not enough added dramatics between empty talk. But don't let that take away from Bette Davis's special showcase.
Bette Davis plays Queen Elizabeth as if she was born to do so.
She looks the part, all right, with the garish Technicolor and Errol Flynn as the Earl who catches her eye and then loses her favour. The part seems a little out of Flynn's range, although he is pretty good.
In smaller roles are Olivia De Havilland (Flynn's constant co-star throughout the 30s and 40s), plus Vincent Price, being sent up as the silver armoured Raleigh.
The best thing in the whole film though, is Davis. No-one else could make this Hollywood trash bring a tear to the eye with just one look into space at the end of the film. A first-rate star.
The word "turgid" springs to mind throughout this. It is a nicely designed and shot technicolor production, but everything else about it is very typical of the stagy sort of prestige picture that predominated back then. Davis is fine when at about a 6, but she spends SO much of the movie hovering around a 10, so that's frustrating. Flynn doesn't match her and his talents seem ill-suited to the role as written. Curtiz gets a few atmospheric shots in there, but seems limited by the sets and (perhaps) the technology. I just never felt the emotions or the stakes at all beyond all the histrionics and foofaraw.
"I don't love these hoes." - Queen Elizabeth I
The premise of most Errol Flynn movies is "Damn, this guy is the coolest, smartest and handsomest person in the world!" The premise of this film is "Yeah, but Bette Davis could snap him like a twig at any moment."
It's a pretty rad movie. Sweeping emotional romance and genuinely exciting political machinations that dovetail perfectly into each other. B
Bette Davis played Elizabeth I twice, once in 1955's high camp guilty pleasure "The Virgin Queen" and here, in "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex" with Errol Flynn as Essex. It comes from the same stable that gave us "The Adventures of Robin Hood" and once again teamed Flynn with Olivia De Havilland, (looking stunning thanks to Sol Polito and W Howard Greene's Technicolor photography). Flynn, too, is pretty as a picture. At this point in his career he was probably the best looking and certainly the most dashing actor in Hollywood. His double tragedy, of course, was that he couldn't act and he allowed fame to ruin him and drive him into early middle-age and a tragically early…
Bette Davis, well painted and dressed for the role of the shrewd old Queen, looks the part and gives a magnetic, tough performance, but an impossible task was set for her, since as Essex, Errol Flynn couldn't come halfway to meet her. His talents were in other directions; the role was totally outside his range, and the poor man seemed to know it. Davis's performance is bound to suffer from comparison with Glenda Jackson's multifaceted Elizabeth on television, but Davis's Elizabeth is a precursor of Jackson's--it might almost be a sketch for the Jackson portrait. Michael Curtiz directed this adaptation of the Maxwell Anderson play. With Olivia De Havilland, Henry Daniell, Leo G. Carroll, James Stephenson, Vincent Price, Donald Crisp, and Ralph Forbes. Music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Warners.
Queen Elizabeth I (Bette Davis) and the Earl of Essex (Errol Flynn) love/hate each other between war, politics and power plays in this Technicolor period drama. It's a pretty stuffy affair, but Bette's whirlwind performance and Errol's charm (and sex appeal) kept me interested enough in their private lives.
That chessboard scene is 5 stars. Errol Flynn's obviously good looking, but this is the first time he was outright sexy to me. A trifle.
A dashing extravaganza from Warner Bros. That stars Bette Davis at the prime of her career as Queen Elizabeth and her much younger lover, Earl of Essex. A soldier played by Errol Flynn as he tries to fight off a warding Spain and keep his relationship with the queen under wraps. But even with these two actors and all star cast at the time including people like, Donald Crisp, Olivia de Havilland, Henry Daniell and Vincent Price couldn't keep this from being a bore. Yes, it is expertly acted and Michael Curtiz made the film look good, but what the characters where doing and saying was so uninteresting.
It's too bad since the story, although fictional is an interesting premise…
I loved Bette in this. Flynn was fine, but Essex as a character was just obnoxious
awesome period pic and Davis & Flynn click together here
This is two sorts of film coming together. First, it is a prestige film: based on a play by Maxwell Anderson (and, as such, a companion piece to RKO’s Mary of Scotland: the story of a woman caught between duty and romance); a historical pageant with lush sets and loving colour photography; a ‘Private Lives’ format of historical importance...following on from the critical and commercially successful The Private Life of Henry VIII; and a Bette Davis film, giving Davis a role with more than prestige than normal. But it is also an Errol Flynn movie and it continues the line of Flynn-Warner Bros adventure stories: the same director (Michael Curtiz), same photographer (Sol Polito), same composer (Erich Wolfgang Korngold...who gets…
Way too stuffy and stagy. I still think Flynn is boring. Davis is too mannered and it feels like she is in a different movie from the rest of the actors. Very low in the Curtiz filmography based on what I have seen.
It's Michael Curtiz, it's Errol Flynn & Olivia de Havilland, it's shot in glorious Technicolor, chances are it's right up my alley. Add in an amazing portrayal of Queen Elizabeth by Bette Davis and you've got a winner here.
The film follows Queen Elizabeth and her love/hate relationship with Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex. She loves him, she loves him not. This back and forth is the crux of the film, and although Davis disliked Flynn very much, you couldn't really tell it by the performance she gave. In fact, it's hard for me to even tell that's Bette Davis beneath all that makeup. Does each of them love the other more than their love for England?
As a Technicolor costume…
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