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Mary, Queen of Scots

UK, English, 128 mins

  • Director: Charles Jarrott
  • Writer: John Hale
  • Producer: Hal B. Wallis

CGiii Comment

Squeezing this amount of complex history into 120 minutes is a monumental task...and, it is not wholly successful.

Redgrave's performance is a little overbearing in places, too earnest, erratic and implausible...making Mary into a neurotic man-eating mess.

Dalton's bisexual Lord-cum-King, going from the affable effeminate to a Gorgon-esque grotesque in less than 1 minute is head-spinning.

The direction is limited...it tells the story with neither imagination nor emotion and is almost flippant in its execution.

It's not a complete failure...Jackson steals the show - Elizabeth stealing the glory from Mary...ooooh it could make the blood boil!


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The(ir) Blurb...

Mary Stuart, who was named Queen of Scotland when she was only six days old, is the last Roman Catholic ruler of Scotland. She is imprisoned at he age of 23 by her cousin Elizabeth Tudor, the English Queen and her arch adversary. Nineteen years later the life of Mary is to be ended on the scaffold and with her execution the last threat to Elizabeth's throne has been removed. The two Queens with their contrasting personalities make a dramatic counterpoint to history.

Cast & Characters

Vanessa Redgrave as Mary, Queen of Scots;
Glenda Jackson as Queen Elizabeth;
Patrick McGoohan as James Stuart;
Timothy Dalton as Henry - Lord Darnley;
Nigel Davenport as Lord Bothwell;
Trevor Howard as William Cecil;
Daniel Massey as Robert Dudley;
Ian Holm as David Riccio;
Andrew Keir as Ruthven;
Tom Fleming as Father Ballard;
Katherine Kath as Catherine De Medici;
Beth Harris as Mary Seton;
Frances White as Mary Fleming;
Bruce Purchase as Morton;
Brian Coburn as Huntly

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