Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => The Stuarts of Scotland => Topic started by: BobAtchison on January 07, 2005, 09:58:06 AM

Title: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of Scot
Post by: BobAtchison on January 07, 2005, 09:58:06 AM
I loved that love with Vanessa Redgrave - especially the scene where she lands on the beach in her beautiful white gown.  I have always wondered how accurate that movie was - can anyone comment?

Bob
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 07, 2005, 10:15:03 AM
Quote
I loved that love with Vanessa Redgrave - especially the scene where she lands on the beach in her beautiful white gown.  I have always wondered how accurate that movie was - can anyone comment?

Bob
 Well, just based on the "Elizabeth meeting Mary in the woods for a chat" scene, I would say not very  ;).  But it's not really fair to judge the whole movie by one scene... I just happen to be very picky about that kind of stuff  ::)
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Silja on January 07, 2005, 11:39:38 AM
There are a couple of other things in it which aren't accurate - for instance, as far as I know Mary was not given the choice by her brother to either stand trial or be exiled. In reality she was put under arrest and then escaped. But I quite like the film for the excellent actors and the atmosphere.
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: BobAtchison on January 07, 2005, 05:33:51 PM
Ian Holm is in it as Rizzio he is so young - Glenda Jackson looks even better as Elizabeth in MQofS than she did in the ElizabethR series.  Vanessa looks breathtakingly beautiful.  She was great in Isadora as well.
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: ChristineM on January 07, 2005, 06:11:32 PM
'Mary Queen of Scots the Movie' I am sorry to say was, for me, a disappointment.   There is no doubt about the calibre of the cast.   The visuals, though beautiful, could have been much more dramatic, the script was mediocre, but it was the staged meeting of Mary and Elizabeth that completely ruined it for me.  

I fail to understand a film Director's need to leave some kind of personal mark on such a movie.   The two women never met - indeed this fact heightened the fascination the one had for the other.

When the (hi)story is great enough, what right has anyone, three and a half centuries later, to change it for the sake of what - a personal notion or fantasy?

It is sad to think that hundreds, perhaps thousands of people watched that film and because of somebody's whim, believe in an event which never took place.  

What makes it worse, is that the meeting never having taken place was critical to the outcome.   Would Elizabeth really have managed to delude herself into believing that she was not signing Mary's death warrant, had the two 'beloved cousins' actually met?    How different might have been the course of Scottish/English/British history?  

Helen, you are not 'being picky'.    You, like me, only wanted historical accuracy.

tsaria    
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 07, 2005, 06:23:17 PM
Quote

What makes it worse, is that the meeting never having taken place was critical to the outcome.   Would Elizabeth really have managed to delude herself into believing that she was not signing Mary's death warrant, had the two 'beloved cousins' actually met?    How different might have been the course of Scottish/English/British history?  

Helen, you are not 'being picky'.    You, like me, only wanted historical accuracy.

tsaria    


tsaria, it's interesting that you said that because earlier, on the "Finally!" thread where were also discussing this film, I made this posting:

"...I think in real life, Elizabeth purposely avoided meeting her cousin in person because she may have had a feeling that eventually she would "have to do what she must" and it would be easier for her to deal with it if she never actually met her... "

I agree that had Elizabeth actually met Mary she may not have been able to bring herself to execute her and the course of British history would have gone in a different direction perhaps. On the other hand, Elizabeth was able to order the execution of Essex, her favourite, so maybe she still would have done it with Mary, even if she met her... We just don't know....
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Martyn on January 08, 2005, 09:32:28 AM
I don't think that this film can really be viewed any more seriously than a piece of entertainment.  As is so often the case with film, fact is manipulated or indeed substituted with fiction for dramatic effect.
The meeting of the two queens is something that every fan of either, wishes had taken place.  It didn't.
I liked Vanessa Redgrave in this role as I think that she suggested Mary's mercurial nature quite well, in addition to having the right kind of look physically.  
Quite recently we had a 2 part TV dramatisation of Mary's life and that of her son James I and VI that was shown on BBC 2, and I think was written by Jimmy McGovern.  If I recall correctly it was called 'Gunpowder, Treason and Plot' or somethinhg like it.  It should have been called 'Nonsense, Rubbish and Tripe' because that is what it was, despite having the excellent Robert Carlyle as James.  Looked cheap and was silly in the extreme - a total waste of TV time.  If it comes your way, don't bother....
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: ChristineM on January 08, 2005, 11:05:33 AM
Dear Helen

My apologies for missing your point.   Happily we are in agreement.   It belongs to one of the great imponderables of history 'If''.

Dear Martyn

I agree with your comments re Vanessa Redgrave.   The film was well cast, pity about its lack of substance.

The excruciable 'Gunpowder, Treason and Plot' I thought was unviewable.   Although, I have to say I am pleased to read your remarks about Robert Carlyle - he is my neighbour.

tsaria
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Silja on January 08, 2005, 12:19:38 PM
But compared with "Mary of Scotland" from the 30s with Katharine Hepburn "Mary Queen of Scots" is still quite good  ::). Has anyone seen "Mary of Scotland"? Reminds me a bit of "Rasputin and the Empress". No historical accuracy at all  :o  
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 08, 2005, 12:20:46 PM
Quote
But compared with "Mary of Scotland" from the 30s with Katharine Hepburn "Mary Queen of Scots" is still quite good  ::). Has anyone seen "Mary of Scotland"? Reminds me a bit of "Rasputin and the Empress". No historical accuracy at all  :o  


I didn't even know Katherine Hepburn ever played Mary Stuart! It's too bad it sounds so hockie  :(.
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Silja on January 08, 2005, 12:22:25 PM
It's still interesting to watch  ;)
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 08, 2005, 12:25:40 PM
I don't think I could deal with it if it's anything like 'Rasputin and the Empress'.... Kate Hepburn or no  ;)
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Silja on January 08, 2005, 12:27:59 PM
Ha ha ;D
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Martyn on January 10, 2005, 10:58:13 AM
Quote
Dear Helen

My apologies for missing your point.   Happily we are in agreement.   It belongs to one of the great imponderables of history 'If''.

Dear Martyn

I agree with your comments re Vanessa Redgrave.   The film was well cast, pity about its lack of substance.

The excruciable 'Gunpowder, Treason and Plot' I thought was unviewable.   Although, I have to say I am pleased to read your remarks about Robert Carlyle - he is my neighbour.

tsaria


Tsaria, he is your neighbour!  Goodness me, I had no idea that you kept such exalted company!  He is such a fine actor and he really laboured as James I.  I particularly loved the scene where the Royal family arrived for the Coronation in an open top carriage (such a thing did not exist) that looked like it had escaped from the wonderful world of Barbie!  I thought that I would die laughing!  It truly was appalling and written from the most curious point of view; I had the feeling that Jimmy McGovern had a few Scottish Nationalist axes to grind.  So be it, politics apart, it looked appalling and every inch the scaled down lame excuse of a venture that it was.  Ridiculous.
I've never seen the Katherine Hepburn version, must be from the thirties - too butch for Mary, who was the personification of french womanhood...........
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Elisabeth on January 15, 2005, 07:57:41 AM
One of the major inaccuracies in this movie was the portrayal of Mary's relationship with Bothwell. In the movie Bothwell is supposedly the love of Mary's life, whereas in reality, there's no historical evidence that she ever loved him, and a lot of proof to the contrary, in so far as she never once mentioned his name or inquired after his fate (also tragic) during all her years of captivity in England.

I still have a sentimental attachment to this film, however, because I first saw it as a little girl and was overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the opening scenes of Mary in France. The sets and costumes were gorgeous, and Vanessa Redgrave was an excellent choice to play Mary.

I love Glenda Jackson as Elizabeth, although I'm probably alone in wishing that here she had kept on that false nose she wore in "Elizabeth R" - I just have a little trouble suspending  my disbelief when Good Queen Bess sports a snub nose! All in all, I think "Elizabeth R" was  a much better production, despite the fact that it had much less money and resources spent on it.    
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 15, 2005, 08:14:56 AM
Quote
... I think "Elizabeth R" was  a much better production, despite the fact that it had much less money and resources spent on it.    
Yes, absolutely!
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: ChristineM on January 15, 2005, 01:02:58 PM
Dear Elizabeth

The difference in budget between 'Elizabeth R' and the movie 'Mary, Queen of Scots was the equivalent of a Queen's ransom.  

'Elizabeth R' - a jewel in the BBC's crown - an organisation for which, once upon a time, I was very proud to work - you know, in those good old days before it was overtaken by a diet of, firstly, cookery programmes replaced with a jaded menu of house buying, house building, house restoration, house renovation, house decorating and house furnishing.   Is there anything I've left out?  Yes, I've just remembered - (questionable) gardening.  The good news is, that in advance of the renewal of the Charter, the new Chairman of the Board of Governors and the Management have announced a return to the core of that Charter -  'To Educate, To Inform and To Entertain'.   However, I wouldn't hold my breath.

(Sorry FA for slipping - slightly -  'off-thread' but as I am a Moderator! on this subject, that probably entitles you to be specially firm with me).

tsaria

Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Glebb on January 15, 2005, 01:13:39 PM
Loved the movie Mary Queen of Scots.
I can't say much more about accuracy than has already been said.  I do think it's important  to know that though in the film the cousins met twice, in reality they never met face to face.

I adore ELIZABETH R.  I also love SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII and I CLAUDIUS.  

Now if only I could get my hands on BBC's REBECCA!
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 15, 2005, 03:16:00 PM
Quote

 I also love SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII and I CLAUDIUS.  
 

Ditto!!!
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: ChristineM on January 15, 2005, 03:22:38 PM
WARNING - off topic - SORRY - but there's no other place and its only a comment.

We tried for years to get the BBC to repeat 'Fall of Eagles'.   We were told it was not possible because of residuals (percentage of original fees for the actors).   Now it is available on DVD.  

Sadly, I have to tell you that in days gone by everything was much bulkier - separate tracks for sound and film, endless cans and so on, therefore due to lack of space, a lot had to be destroyed.   Its heartbreaking, but a lot of what was taken for granted is now looked back upon as being works of merit.

tsaria
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 15, 2005, 05:53:37 PM
Quote
We tried for years to get the BBC to repeat 'Fall of Eagles'.   We were told it was not possible because of residuals (percentage of original fees for the actors).   Now it is available on DVD.  

Another great production, definitely up there with the others mentioned. There is thread about it under the "Films" topic. http://hydrogen.pallasweb.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=films_cat;action=display;num=1091088866
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Martyn on January 16, 2005, 06:18:42 AM
Quote
Dear Elizabeth

The difference in budget between 'Elizabeth R' and the movie 'Mary, Queen of Scots was the equivalent of a Queen's ransom.  

'Elizabeth R' - a jewel in the BBC's crown - an organisation for which, once upon a time, I was very proud to work - you know, in those good old days before it was overtaken by a diet of, firstly, cookery programmes replaced with a jaded menu of house buying, house building, house restoration, house renovation, house decorating and house furnishing.   Is there anything I've left out?  Yes, I've just remembered - (questionable) gardening.  The good news is, that in advance of the renewal of the Charter, the new Chairman of the Board of Governors and the Management have announced a return to the core of that Charter -  'To Educate, To Inform and To Entertain'.   However, I wouldn't hold my breath.

(Sorry FA for slipping - slightly -  'off-thread' but as I am a Moderator! on this subject, that probably entitles you to be specially firm with me).

tsaria



Absolutely.  The BBC does still manage to produce some good contemporary and costume drama (not enough of the latter for my taste).
The 'Mary' film did have a lovely romantic feel to it, although I am not sure that Dauphin and Dauphine ever lived at Chenonceux, the beautiful château that had belonged to Diane de Poitiers.  
It is interesting to read Jean Hunnisett's comments about the costumes for 'Elizabeth R'; although the historical accuracy of the excecution was unquestionable, the use of materials was imaginative and cheap.  I don't imagine that the same considerations were applied to the film.
Glebb, which 'Rebecca' was that?  I vaguely remember seeing it and being utterly disappointed that it had none of the glamour of the Hitchcock (and before you say it, yes I know that there was a surfeit of glamour in that film and it may not have been appropriate - I still love it!)
How about 'the Pallisers' and 'Barchester Chronicles'.  'The Buccaneers', anyone?
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Elisabeth on January 16, 2005, 07:35:29 AM
I never had the opportunity to see "Barchester Towers," but oh, "The Pallisers" and "The Buccaneers"! Great series, both of them. They're both available on DVD now, are they not? And while we're mentioning great BBC series, how about "Upstairs, Downstairs"? Remember the dinner party the Bellamys gave for Edward VII?
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: ChristineM on January 16, 2005, 04:36:12 PM
Martyn, according to references read years ago and  to literature at Chenonceux, they did visit.   So did I, just to see it.   It is marvellous.

tsaria
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Martyn on January 17, 2005, 08:23:08 AM
Quote
Martyn, according to references read years ago and  to literature at Chenonceux, they did visit.   So did I, just to see it.   It is marvellous.

tsaria


Aologies. They did.  I think that Diane de Poitiers was obliged to cede the château to the crown (along with most of her jewels) after the death of Henri II, by which I mean that she was obliged to hand them over to appease Catherine de Médecis.  Apparently she was given the Château of Chaumont instead (not such a bad deal perhaps?).  Apparently Catherine had wild parties in the gallery over the river and Mary and her young husband spent some time there before his untimely death.
How lucky you are to have been there Tsaria.  For me this château epitomises the glamour and beauty of the Loire châteaux - its connection with Mary makes it doubly romantic!
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Silja on January 17, 2005, 11:08:08 AM
Quote
And while we're mentioning great BBC series, how about "Upstairs, Downstairs"? Remember the dinner party the Bellamys gave for Edward VII?


I love Upstairs, Downstairs!!!

By the way, there hasn't been a DVD release of Elizabeth R yet, has there?
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: bluetoria on January 17, 2005, 11:29:23 AM
 :D "Upstairs Downstairs"!!! James Bellamy was my childhood heart throb....I went to see the actor (Simon Williams) open a shop in Leeds & was really disappointed because he wouldn't autograph my book as James Bellamy.
I saw the programme again recently and though I still love it, I couldn't help wondering what I saw in him! Still, the errors of youth ;)
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 17, 2005, 11:46:04 AM
Quote

By the way, there hasn't been a DVD release of Elizabeth R yet, has there?

Oh yes, it has been released on DVD a while ago:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00005LC1D/qid=1105983883/sr=8-1/ref=pd_csp_1/102-5938011-3011318?v=glance&s=dvd&n=507846
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Silja on January 17, 2005, 11:59:13 AM
No, I actually  meant the region 2 DVD, but thanks anyway.
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: KatieAnn on January 21, 2005, 10:26:33 AM
Mary, Queen of Scots - the Kate Hepburn version is a scream.  It's completely unintentional of course - but the back projection of the day is laughable, the dialogue is dreadful and even the blessed Kate comes across as a bit wooden.  Mary, Queen of Scots - the Vanessa Redgrave version - is all froth and no substance.  Think "Braveheart" with frocks and you've got it right.  I'm behind an earlier correspondent who asked why Hollywood tinkers with history.  I've got no valid explanation - but it puts b*ms on cinema seats - and that's what seems to count.

When it comes to remembering cinema - remember to forget - forget the fact that Mary and Elizabeth never met; forget the fact that in Braveheart the Princess who alleges she's pregnant with Wallace's child would have been about 3 in real life; forget also that the American's didn't grab the submarine and break the Enigma code (U571)- and the list goes on.  Cinema has always skirted issues: who was it that said the truth shouldn't get in the way of a good story?  Goldwyn??

Fall of Eagles was a brilliant series.  Ditto for Upstairs Downstairs, I Claudius (my total favourite), The Six Wives of Henry VIII.  The recently shown (on cable) Mary and Elizabeth (hosted and written by David Starkey) was great - hope everyone gets to see that too.  He's also done programmes on Mary and Edward Tudor - again, brilliant.

If you want accuracy - go for the history books.  So far they've laid off the Romanovs - though I do remember seeing an Anastasia film with Amy Irving that was dire - and of course the cartoon version too.  While the Bergman film's not accurate - I thought it was well done, beautifully acted, and quite well written.

So, in case you haven't already guessed tinkering with history is a pet peeve of mine.  Now, as it's Friday afternoon and the weekend beckons, it's time for me to get off my soapbox and head home!  Have a good weekend everyone.
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 21, 2005, 10:42:37 AM
Quote
 The recently shown (on cable) Mary and Elizabeth (hosted and written by David Starkey) was great - hope everyone gets to see that too.  He's also done programmes on Mary and Edward Tudor - again, brilliant.

 Katieann, do you know if these programs can be purchased on VHS or DVD? I caught the "Elizabeth" alone program with David Starkey but not the "Mary and Elizabeth" and not "Mary and Edward", didn't even know they were on, but would love to see them!
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Martyn on January 22, 2005, 11:47:33 AM
The David Starkey programemes were okaybut had one flaw - David Starkey.  Can't abide the man.  Puts too much personal spin on history and spits venom like a wildcat.  There is only one TV historian who is worse - Simon Schama, utterly utterly boring with a dreadful voice and a delivery that he imagines is interestingly intellectual - oh it is enough to induce a coma!
If we are going to have history on TV, why would anyone want to look at the distinctly unappealing likes of David Starkey or Simon Schama?  Get the thing written by historians and get some dishy actor/gorgeous actress with integrity to front or narrate.  That way we get accuracy and eye candy - who can complain about that?
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: bluetoria on January 22, 2005, 11:51:12 AM
Martyn, have you seen 'Deadringers' version of Simon Schama? Absolutely spot on!  
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 22, 2005, 03:05:56 PM
Quote
 

... why would anyone want to look at the distinctly unappealing likes of David Starkey or Simon Schama?  
 

I always get those two confused!  ;D They have kind of a similar affect ... Oh, I don't really mind them that much, as long as I am interested in the subject matter.
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: KatieAnn on January 24, 2005, 08:52:08 AM
Helen

David Starkey's written/narrated a couple of other "Royal" programmes:  The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and one called Monarchy which goes through some of the well-knows (or notorious) Royals through the ages.  they're all available from Amazon UK on DVD format.  Don't know about Edward and Mary though - haven't seen anything about a release for those programmes.

I also agree with Martyn though - Both Simon Sharma and David Starkey leave a lot to be desired in the delivery of the programme.  WHAT they said was interesting, but HOW they said it ... blah!!  Maybe if the programmes were narrated by Kenneth Branagh or Patrick Stewart; or Jane Lapotaire or Judi Dench it would have been much better - but these guys made me want to sit up straight, face front, and take notes for the quiz that would surely follow!
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 24, 2005, 09:05:52 AM
Quote
 Maybe if the programmes were narrated by... Patrick Stewart !


YES!!!  ;D
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Martyn on January 24, 2005, 01:11:14 PM
Quote
Martyn, have you seen 'Deadringers' version of Simon Schama? Absolutely spot on!  


I haven't seen that but I can well imagine.  Simon Schama and David Starkey have very differing approaches to the presentation of history.  The latter presents it like some bitter old dowager relating the latest society gossip; the former like some antiquated University tutor who once was trendy about twenty years ago.....If I am not mistaken Simon Schama's 'The History of Britain' scarcely covered the reign of Elizabeth I, for some unknown reason......
I would prefer all history programmes to be narrated by Sam West (son of Timothy West and Prunella Scales) as his voice is like liquid gold.....
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: AGRBear on January 24, 2005, 02:35:41 PM
Looks like everyone is drifting away from the movie "Mary Queen of Scots" ....   I think a movie should be listed as being historical accurate or inaccurate.  I find it annoying when I have to explain to my grandchildren what really happened.  Trouble is,  I'm not sure how one would accomplish a list.  Look at us here on this thread how we disagree on many subjects.  Oh well,  guess I'll just keep on explaining how I precieve the history of Mary Queen of Scots should be and let the artist, writter and directors continue as they have been.....  

AGRBear
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Martyn on January 24, 2005, 02:49:12 PM
Quote
Looks like everyone is drifting away from the movie "Mary Queen of Scots" ....   I think a movie should be listed as being historical accurate nor inaccurate.  I find it annoying when I have to explain to my grandchildren what really happened.  Trouble is,  I'm not sure how one would accomplish a list.  Look at us here on this thread how we disagree on many subjects.  Oh well,  guess I'll just keep on explaining how I precieve the history of Mary Queen of Scots should be and let the artist, writter and directors continue as they have been.....  

AGRBear



I don't understand what you mean 'a movie should be listed as being historical accurate nor inaccurate'....Who would supply this definition anyway?
Let's talk about David Starkey some more - I really can't stand him...!
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Robert_Hall on January 24, 2005, 03:23:22 PM
Unless a film is presented as a documentary- why should it be listed as anything other than it was intended to be ? Entertainment and perhaps artistic expression. People who expect more from that media should probably stay with libraries and find their "truths" there rather than rely on stage or screen.
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Janet_W. on January 24, 2005, 03:28:58 PM
I saw one installment of the David Starkey series at a friend's home (haven't had TV reception at my own place for four years) and while I found the subject fascinating--of course!--and the treatment of interest, I also found Starkey annoying. Alistar Cooke was wonderful at providing ironic narrative, and I've also appreciated Janet Suzman's voiceovers. Judi Dench? Another great voice and non-annoying presence.  But Starkey reminded me of David Frost, who has always reminded me of Charles Dickens' Uriah Heep.

Katharine Hepburn hated playing the role of Mary Stuart and frequently stated in later years that she found Mary to have been a dunce. I found the film of interest, both for its subject and star, but far prefer most of Hepburn's other films to Mary of Scotland. The Vanessa Redgrave film I enjoyed very much, but not for accuracy . . . for the wild romanticism of the thing. Glenda Jackson at the time admitted that her original Elizabeth R was being "prettied up" for film, and of course she was right. As for the meeting that supposedly occurs between these two women? Well, I've never had a problem with it. This is, after all, drama. And the screenwriter has found it intriguing to bring them together--a sort of "what if" that many of us on this discussion board have played with the Romanovs. Most people who care about history know that the meeting never took place--or that it was exceptionally unlikely  ;)--and if they don't already know, they'll read about the truth in their independent research. But this type of thing is a sort of exercise, and for those of us who are interested in the personalities involved . . . well, why not? Elizabeth and Mary were fascinated with each other, shared ancestors, and were charismatic women who could rally powerful support. Plus, the film's  end is also the historically correct end: Mary is executed. Now, if the film had decided to put Mary on a ship on its way to America, where she ended up becoming Pochantas's best friend, and then the two of them traveled across the Louisiana Purchase and wrote journals about seeing the Pacific Ocean . . . now, that I might object to!  ;D
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Elisabeth on January 24, 2005, 03:30:53 PM
I have to agree with Robert and Janet. Artists should be allowed some poetic license. Otherwise think of all the great art that would never have been created - for example, all of Shakespeare's historical plays.
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: AGRBear on January 24, 2005, 07:09:31 PM
I am the last person who wants  "historical police".  All I meant   was,  it's too bad the movies can't be given a gold star for being "historicaly accurate".  One can be creative with the truth of history.   And give a "yellow star" to a movie that is not "historical accurate" and if it deserves, then give it all the Oscars for best acting, best script, best wardrobe,  because it was GREAT entertainment.  So,  please,  ease up on me people.   ;D.

{Sigh

Back to the movie Mary Queen of Scot.

AGRBear

PS  I wish they sold honey pots in movie lobbies but I'll never get that wish either.... :-[
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Martyn on January 25, 2005, 07:00:01 AM
Quote
I am the last person who wants  "historical police".  All I meant   was,  it's too bad the movies can't be given a gold star for being "historicaly accurate".  One can be creative with the truth of history.   And give a "yellow star" to a movie that is not "historical accurate" and if it deserves, then give it all the Oscars for best acting, best script, best wardrobe,  because it was GREAT entertainment.  So,  please,  ease up on me people.   ;D.

{Sigh

Back to the movie Mary Queen of Scot.

AGRBear

PS  I wish they sold honey pots in movie lobbies but I'll never get that wish either.... :-[


Honestly, do we have to put everything in categories?  Besides which can you imagine the rows about deciding whether something was historically accurate or not?  Its bad enough on here....And what if someone were to make a film that dealt with a theory that the IF had escaped death in Ekaterinburg - imagine the performance over the way that would be categorised!
As for selling honey in cinemas - make do with popcorn like the rest of us!
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: KatieAnn on January 25, 2005, 10:11:13 AM
Chipping in my tuppence worth here.  I think historical movies SHOULD be accurate.  Why not?  Why make a movie about Mary, Elizabeth, Nicholas II, the Kaiser, American Civil War, the Moon Landings etc and not tell the truth about them - is it because they (without the spice from Hollywood) would be too dull?  You have no idea how some sections of the Press in the UK reacted to the film U571.  They were practically calling for heads to roll - particularly as a few of the men who DID grab the Enigma machine from the German sub and got it back to land along with its code books were still very much alive at the time.

If you're going to make an historical film - make it accurate.  Elizabeth didn't meet Mary in real life - so what could be added by making it happen on celluloid?  Mary's life (and Elizabeth's) were interesting and detailed enough without adding dollops of fiction to it.

As I said in an earlier post, this is a pet peeve of mine, and I'm sorry to go on at length but it is something I feel strongly about.  I'm British (Scots by birth) and I get really annoyed when someone starts retelling MY history the way THEY want it done!!!
:)
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Robert_Hall on January 25, 2005, 11:17:58 AM
The entertainment business is just that- an industry. Theyare not in it for our personal edification. If a film- or play were to be  historically accurate it would of neccesity be very long, dry and boring. The players would not be nearly as interesting if they depicted the real personalities. Let's face it, all these people we are interested in led rather ordinary lives, it was the circumstances that made them interesting. And the egos of all those involved would not be satisfied- actors, designers, producers, et al. No one would pay to see it. That would defeat the whole intent of producing the thing.
Without dramatic license, there is no product.
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Janet_W. on January 25, 2005, 12:14:28 PM
I, too, prefer historical accuracy. However, the story of Mary Stuart has long been influenced by romantic mythology. Therefore, as long as the screenwriter did not alter the basic factual outline of his subject's life and the outcome of her long political quest, I did not--and do not--see a problem with a "secret meeting" between Mary Stuart and Elizabeth Tudor in that particular film. The romantic tone of Mary Queen of Scots is well-established within the first few scenes; just by virtue of being in a theater we know we are watching an interpretation of Mary's actual life, which was for the most part dreary and very sad.

Mary and Elizabeth have been portrayed on stage and screen by many distinguished actresses, and many highly competent dramatists have written stage plays and screenplays based on their lives.  Drama is just that: A heightened portrayal of reality. While I believe that dramatists should not take gross liberties with historical events and the persons who participated in and/or shaped these historical events, I realize there is also a need to shape a story into an experience that will work within a dramatic framework.  

The difference, I think, can be shown in comparing Rasputin and the Empress to Nicholas and Alexandra. Allowing for the considerable gap in time and therefore technical quality, I continue to maintain that the latter is far superior to the former because it makes a sincere attempt to be accurate to the spirit and tone of the basic story. On the other hand, Rasputin and the Empress has a slapdash look to it. The script is generally ludicrous and the characterizations generally out of sync with what we have read in many, many memoirs. Nicholas and Alexandra--for whatever its faults--is based on a well-researched biography, and it is obvious that a conscious and conscientious effort has been made to adhere to that primary source.

While Mary, Queen of Scots is far from my favorite fiilm re: royals and, yes, features that highly questionable meeting between the royal cousins, I would recommend it--with a few cautionary comments! ;) --to anyone interested in the story of Mary Stuart.
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Elisabeth on January 25, 2005, 01:37:49 PM
As usual I'm in total agreement with Janet on this one. Although I like a bit of "over the top," if the artist is sublime - who wants to give up Laurence Olivier's Richard III? He's deliberately hamming through that entire role.

But I guess I don't understand why everyone dislikes Starkey and Schama so much.

Quote

I haven't seen that but I can well imagine.  Simon Schama and David Starkey have very differing approaches to the presentation of history.  The latter presents it like some bitter old dowager relating the latest society gossip; the former like some antiquated University tutor who once was trendy about twenty years ago.....If I am not mistaken Simon Schama's 'The History of Britain' scarcely covered the reign of Elizabeth I, for some unknown reason......


Starkey and Schama are doing TV documentaries for the money. There's no money in being a college professor (take it from me!). So why watch these TV documentaries in the first place, when they're clearly designed as introductory courses for people who prefer the History Lite version? I have got a lot of enjoyment out of Starkey and Schama's books. They can do a million bad documentaries, as far as I'm concerned, as long as they keep churning out books like Citizens and Elizabeth: The Struggle for the Throne. In particular, Schama, whatever you say, proved with his first few books that he is a genius. "Trendy 20 years ago"... reminder: trends don't last, but certain public intellectuals do! So he's not a TV personality. So who cares?!?  
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Silja on January 26, 2005, 03:13:14 PM
Films are about giving a certain view of events and characters. Directors, like playwrights, have their personal interest in certain historical characters and events, and they should have a right to convey this interest in the dramatic way they choose. I also prefer historical accuracy but ultimately a film is a work of art and it should be discussed according to whether it achieves what it sets out to achieve and whether the "message" is of any relevance to the viewer.

Schiller's play Maria Stuart, for instance, is highly inaccurate historically, and personally, I don't like his interpretation very much. But it is nevertheless a fabulous play. I like it as a play about two female rulers, not as a play about Elizabeth Tudor and Mary Stuart. One interest of the play might be to show the ultimate isolation of the powerful.

Or Shekhar Kapur (?)'s Elizabeth. I didn't like it precisely for the lack of accuracy, but the director had said himself that historical accuracy hadn't at all been his aim. As a portrayal of the atmosphere  of a certain age it is quite brilliant.  
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 26, 2005, 03:19:29 PM
 I wish I could be more tolerant of historical inaccuracies in movies and plays and just enjoy them, but for some weird reason I can't be! I get so pissed off at them!  ;D.  For this reason, I really hated 'Elizabeth" with Cate Blanchett, even though the general "look" of the film was fabulous.
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Janet_W. on January 26, 2005, 03:24:14 PM
Helen, when you have the chance, what was it that specifically bothered you about the Cate Blanchett film of Elizabeth? I agree that the look and design of the film was marvelous--and I also admired the performances--but since I've been more focused on Romanovs than Tudors for some time, I didn't have as many objections to the script as I might have, say, ten years ago.
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Silja on January 26, 2005, 03:36:23 PM
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I wish I could be more tolerant of historical inaccuracies in movies and plays and just enjoy them, but for some weird reason I can't be! I get so pissed off at them!  ;D.  For this reason, I really hated 'Elizabeth" with Cate Blanchett, even though the general "look" of the film was fabulous.


So did I, but I know that my judgement of the film is biased  simply because of my somewhat being obsessed with historical facts  ;D  8)
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Silja on January 26, 2005, 03:48:38 PM
I'm not Helen, but the inaccuracy that especially bothered ME was the one about Leicester's betrayal of the queen. He was never involved in a political plot against her and did not commit treason.
But there were so many, many other  inaccuracies in it  . . .
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 26, 2005, 04:25:48 PM
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 Helen, when you have the chance, what was it that specifically bothered you about the Cate Blanchett film of Elizabeth? I agree that the look and design of the film was marvelous--and I also admired the performances--but since I've been more focused on Romanovs than Tudors for some time, I didn't have as many objections to the script as I might have, say, ten years ago.


Yes, there were many issues, but an obvious one that comes to my mind was the way they portrayed the relationship between Elizabeth and Leicester - as being hot and heavy and definitely sexual. For one thing, we don't know if the relationship ever became sexual in a literal sense, I tend to think that it didn't, although they were probably in love with each other. A very important aspect about Elizabeth's personality was that she felt that marriage (or sexual consummation for that matter) would take away her superior position (psychologically speaking) and put it in the hands of the man. So she would allow things to go just so far, lots of flirtation, lots of implication, but no farther (remember her mother, Anne Boleyn? She was very skilled at this exact thing, so why not her daughter too!).

Of course we don't know for sure what happened between Robert Dudley and Elizabeth, but to me it seems that they never consumated their relationship because Elizabeth would not allow it. She always seemed terrified of the whole thing, not the physical aspect per say, but because of the psychological ones. This is also why she refused to marry, although she toyed with the idea a little. As far as Dudley (Leicester), Elizabeth always used to say that he and she were never completely alone, always one of her women was present. Whether this is true or not, we don't know. But to assume that this relationship was sexual would be denying some very important aspects of E's personality and psyche. Historians disagree among themselves about this, but I think most lean towards the idea that this relationship never became sexual in a literal sense. Hence, the film should have been more vague about this part, at the very least, instead they just went full force in their blatant potrayal of it as if they were 100% sure about that, that this was a fact instead of a theory (I suspect in order to appeal to a wider audience). That really bothered me because it felt almost like exploitation  of history.  I think that "Elizabeth R" did a MUCH better job with this, and everything else for that matter.

In general, I found this movie kind of confusing. Even though I knew the story well, I found myself more than once thinking, who is this person supposed to be? Or I often wasn't sure what was supposed to be going on. I think in the case of this film, having a lot of knowledge about the subject went against you, since they really changed the story a lot!
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Silja on January 26, 2005, 04:43:52 PM
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Yes, there were many issues, but an obvious one that comes to my mind was the way they portrayed the relationship between Elizabeth and Leicester - as being hot and heavy and definitely sexual. For one thing, we don't know if the relationship ever became sexual in a literal sense, I tend to think that it didn't, although they were probably in love with each other.


Of course we don't know for sure what happened between Robert Dudley and Elizabeth, but to me it seems that they never consumated their relationship because Elizabeth would not allow it. She always seemed terrified of the whole thing, not the physical aspect per say, but because of the psychological ones.

to assume that this relationship was sexual would be denying some very important aspects of E's personality and psyche.

, the film should have been more vague about this part, at the very least,

 


I very much agree!

I think they made the relationship "hot and heavy and definitely sexual" to underline the blow of the subsequent betrayal. I think one of the main aims of the film is to show that in that particular "society" you couldn't trust anybody completely, not even your lover, that you were always in danger, that you were permanently surrounded by conspiracy.
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Janet_W. on January 26, 2005, 04:52:05 PM
I watched it via DVD, and after seeing it through "straight" watched it with the director's commentary. He admitted to having some viewpoints which might conflict with previously held concepts, as well as to some tweaking of history.  :(

I found the scene in which Elizabeth and Dudley consummate their relationship, with a number of her ladies looking on through transparent draperies, historically startling to say the least!  :o  The whole film had a different look and tone than more traditionally approached Tudor/Stuart films such as A Man for All Seasons and Anne of the Thousand Days.  I thought it did breathe some rigorous new life into the genre, though, and I certainly found Cate Blanchett's portrayal of Elizabeth worthy to stand alongside the likes of Bette Davis, Glenda Jackson and Judi Dench. The scene in which she dismisses the French suitor amused me a great deal; I'm sure the actual Elizabeth frequently thought, to quote a later line from Shakespeare, "What fools these mortals be"!
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 26, 2005, 05:04:49 PM
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  I certainly found Cate Blanchett's portrayal of Elizabeth worthy to stand alongside the likes of Bette Davis, Glenda Jackson and Judi Dench.
I thought she was good too, it was the script I had a problem with, not the acting!  ;)
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Mgmstl on January 27, 2005, 01:02:30 AM
I definitely liked Elizabeth, BUT, was terribly disappointed with the liberties taken with the film.
I know Mary Of Guise was a minor character in the film,
but to have her sexually cavorting with the Duc de Anjou, was totally out of place.  Along with the fact that
the Guise's and the family of Catherine de Medici were
enemies, if I remember my history, didn't they kill a couple of Mary of Guise's brothers.  Also she died of dropsy not poisoning by Walsingham.

Also the liberties taken with historical events, and the way the had Mary Tudor portrayed, was a bit over the top.  Not the religious fanaticism, but  the actress, Mary wasn't  that repulsive, from the portraits I have seen.

Cate Blanchett's performance was outstanding & it was worthy of an Oscar.  Like Glenda Jackson she became  Elizabeth, but the scriptwriters, producers & directors should have been executed for what they did....
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 27, 2005, 09:08:44 AM
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I know Mary Of Guise was a minor character in the film,
but to have her sexually cavorting with the Duc de Anjou, was totally out of place.  Along with the fact that
the Guise's and the family of Catherine de Medici were
enemies, if I remember my history, didn't they kill a couple of Mary of Guise's brothers.  Also she died of dropsy not poisoning by Walsingham.
Also the liberties taken with historical events, and the way the had Mary Tudor portrayed, was a bit over the top.  Not the religious fanaticism, but  the actress, Mary wasn't  that repulsive, from the portraits I have seen.
 


I think this is why I spent much of the time while watching this movie trying to figure out what was going on, I never heard about some of things they had in the film and it was very confusing!
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Mgmstl on January 27, 2005, 10:00:57 AM
I know it seems that they take liberties or license with history and portray it falsely to millions who watch the movies.  

Although I was mesmerized by Cate's performance, it was more than worthy, the film was lessened in my opinion by it' historical inaccuracies.  

There is another thing that bothers me, they went to the effort of getting Elizabeth's wardrobe accurate, such as her coronation gown, pattern, material, etc.  Why go to such painstaking detail & then flout historical fact, I
just don't understand it.

I think Margaret of Scotland, Mary's grandmother would make a much more interesting story.  A Tudor princess sent to Scotland, a life of turmoil.  If Hollywood could do it right.   Even the biographical pictures of the 1950's they couldn't even do the wardrobes correctly, so I guess what could be said if you want accuracy you have to sacrifice fact or vice versa.
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 27, 2005, 11:18:40 AM
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...they went to the effort of getting Elizabeth's wardrobe accurate, such as her coronation gown, pattern, material, etc.  Why go to such painstaking detail & then flout historical fact, I
just don't understand it...


Because it's Hollywood  ;)!
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Janet_W. on January 27, 2005, 11:35:07 AM
Unfortunately, from what I have read Mary Tudor was rather repulsive (an unfortunate but reasonably accurate descriptor :-[) toward the end of her life. Most records indicate that she had been a happy and comely child--there was still the promise of sons, so why shouldn't she be the much-loved apple of her father's eye?--but subsequent years of strain and bitterness contributed in no small way to her appearance. I think most of us can empathize with her re: her father's shunning of both Mary and her mother; her displacement, first by an attractive little sister, and next by a much-celebrated brother; her loveless relationship with Phillip; and her much desired pregnancy gone horribly wrong. All the same, these situations, plus her never robust health, could not have added up to an attractive middle-aged woman. (And, of course, what we would consider middle-aged, the folks back then considered close to elderly.)

Elizabeth, on the other hand, was growing up into a radiantly stunning young woman, accent on the young. Not to mention a clever, live-by-her-wits sort of individual, and--unlike Mary--ready to learn all manner of survival skills from The School of Hard Knocks. In sad contrast, Mary was dour and disliked, and continued to cling to a faith to which many of her subjects were now indifferent. Not an especially pleasant Tale of Two Sisters, but then--as we all know--who ever said Life was fair . . .   :(
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Mgmstl on January 27, 2005, 11:37:19 AM
Also Diane de Poitieres & Catherine de Medici would make a great movie or miniseries if it was done right.
I see Catherine a bit more physically like Mary Tudor was portrayed in Elizabeth, yet malicious, evil, and reliant on her religion for her salvation in her misdeeds. A totally horrible woman.  No redeeming virtues at all.
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Robert_Hall on January 27, 2005, 11:50:52 AM
Which brings me back to my original point: it is a business making a product that they hope people will buy. There is no profit to be made in spending millions making a film just to satisfy  a few historical purists. Drama, sets, costumes, as well as the players and script, everything goes into making something that a great many people will pay to see.
I notice the inaccuracies as well, but I just find them amusing more than irritating.  It is supposed to be entertainment, after all.
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Janet_W. on January 27, 2005, 11:51:56 AM
P.S. Not that I mean to be a defender of Elizabeth--for one thing, I'm not a stockholder! :D  :'(--but it has been a bit of time since I watched it, so when possible I'll take another look and listen again to the director's commentary, keeping in mind all recent comments made here.
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 27, 2005, 12:06:16 PM
Quote
I think Margaret of Scotland, Mary's grandmother would make a much more interesting story.  A Tudor princess sent to Scotland, a life of turmoil.  


Quote
Unfortunately, from what I have read Mary Tudor was rather repulsive (an unfortunate but reasonably accurate descriptor :-[) toward the end of her life.


Michael, didn't you mean Margaret Tudor, the eldest daughter of Henry VII and sister of Henry VIII, not Mary Tudor, the eldest daughter of Henry VIII?
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 27, 2005, 12:11:05 PM
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Unfortunately, from what I have read Mary Tudor was rather repulsive (an unfortunate but reasonably accurate descriptor :-[) toward the end of her life. Most records indicate that she had been a happy and comely child--there was still the promise of sons, so why shouldn't she be the much-loved apple of her father's eye?--but subsequent years of strain and bitterness contributed in no small way to her appearance. I think most of us can empathize with her re: her father's shunning of both Mary and her mother; her displacement, first by an attractive little sister, and next by a much-celebrated brother; her loveless relationship with Phillip; and her much desired pregnancy gone horribly wrong. All the same, these situations, plus her never robust health, could not have added up to an attractive middle-aged woman. (And, of course, what we would consider middle-aged, the folks back then considered close to elderly.)

Elizabeth, on the other hand, was growing up into a radiantly stunning young woman, accent on the young. Not to mention a clever, live-by-her-wits sort of individual, and--unlike Mary--ready to learn all manner of survival skills from The School of Hard Knocks. In sad contrast, Mary was dour and disliked, and continued to cling to a faith to which many of her subjects were now indifferent. Not an especially pleasant Tale of Two Sisters, but then--as we all know--who ever said Life was fair . . .   :(



Janet, these are all really good points about Mary Tudor, and often when she is portrayed in films, her character is not sympathetic at all, but rarely does anyone bother to explain why she came to be so. I think it would be interesting to see a film made that concentrates on her life before she became religiously fanatical Bloody Mary. Is there a movie about her life, BTW?
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Mgmstl on January 27, 2005, 12:13:15 PM
Janet actually Elizabeth was a good movie, outside of the historical inaccuracies.

I think those of us interested in history genealogy, strive for fact & accuracy for the most part, and find it frustrating when others take liberty with it.

Especially those in Hollywood.  Another example was that HBO special about Rasputin with Greta Saacchi, Ian McKellan, narrated by the character Alexi, and filmed in the Catherine Palace.  Found it great to watch for the interiors alone, but the content was so BS I found it hard to watch.  Especially knowing the family did not live at Catherine, and used it only for ceremonial purposes.

There was an A&E special "The Last King" about Charles II which I found good, done well, of course you can't take much license with Charles, his life was a sexual exploit..lol, except I did think Diana Rigg's portrayl of Henrietta Maria very good.
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 27, 2005, 12:15:38 PM
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P.S. Not that I mean to be a defender of Elizabeth--for one thing, I'm not a stockholder! :D  :'(--but it has been a bit of time since I watched it, so when possible I'll take another look and listen again to the director's commentary, keeping in mind all recent comments made here.


The first time I saw it was when it first came out in the movie theater, and that's when I hated the content. Several years later I started thinking about it and realized that I forgot exactly why I hated it, so decided to rent it and give it another shot, thinking maybe I will like it more now that I know what to expect. I hated it just as much!  ;) As I said, I am very picky about stuff like that! I have no problem with fiction as long as it is presented as such, but it really bothers me when fiction is presented as historical fact and pretends to convey "knowledge"!  :P  :P  ;D
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 27, 2005, 12:18:05 PM
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... you can't take much license with Charles, his life was a sexual exploit...


Oh yes, Charlie was Hollywood's dream subject! And they didn't even have to embellish much  ;)  ;D
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Robert_Hall on January 27, 2005, 12:45:08 PM
Well, I too take issue with some of the junque that Discovery, History Channel, et al slap together as "documentaries".  But you will notice the disclaimers that are on every commercial film released as general entertainment, releasing the producers of any historical liability. In other words, it "my money, my movie & I'll say anything I wish [and hope to make a few millions saying it]"".
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 27, 2005, 12:51:51 PM
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But you will notice the disclaimers that are on every commercial film released as general entertainment, releasing the producers of any historical liability. In other words, it "my money, my movie & I'll say anything I wish [and hope to make a few millions saying it]"".


Yeah, yeah, but who ever reads those disclaimers! Not me ;)
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Silja on January 27, 2005, 03:47:49 PM
Quote


Janet, these are all really good points about Mary Tudor, and often when she is portrayed in films, her character is not sympathetic at all, but rarely does anyone bother to explain why she came to be so. I think it would be interesting to see a film made that concentrates on her life before she became religiously fanatical Bloody Mary. Is there a movie about her life, BTW?


I don't think she was that repulsive. And neither in Elizabeth R nor in Lady Jane Grey (Jane Lapotaire as Mary) does she come across as being repulsive.
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 27, 2005, 03:57:30 PM
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I don't think she was that repulsive. And neither in Elizabeth R nor in Lady Jane Grey (Jane Lapotaire as Mary) does she come across as being repulsive.


I didn't say she was "repulsive", I said "unsympathetic. I think you are confusing my post with someone else's.
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Mgmstl on January 27, 2005, 04:42:31 PM
I stated that the way Mary Tudor was portrayed in Elizabeth, she was repulsive.  I know portraits from those days can be deceiving, such as Anne Of Cleves by Holbein, BUT, the ones I saw of Mary were not so bad.

However in Elizabeth all that religious, fanaticism & the actress who played her (who I have seen in AB FAB and several other Britcoms) was a bit repulsive.  As portrayed in Elizabeth R or in Lady Jane, she is potrayed as an elegant woman of the time.

What is interesting about Mary is that she never put Elizabeth to death, even though she had several chances and Elizabeth was not involved in the death plots.
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Silja on January 27, 2005, 04:55:22 PM
Quote

I didn't say she was "repulsive", I said "unsympathetic. I think you are confusing my post with someone else's.


It seems so, yes. Never mind  8)
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 27, 2005, 08:12:26 PM
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What is interesting about Mary is that she never put Elizabeth to death, even though she had several chances and Elizabeth was not involved in the death plots.


They actually tried to implicate Elizabeth in plots during Mary's reign, Mary really did want her out of the way, but they could never prove anything against Elizabeth and couldn't just kill her without any proof of this because the people were very fond of her. There was one time when they came for her in the Tower with a warrant to take to her to her death (she knew), but she found a glitch with the signature and refused to go until Mary herself signed the warrant, which she ended up not doing. Also Philip, Mary husband, had persuaded Mary to go easy on her sister, he thought that she should just be married off to one of his own "cronies" and  thus neutralized. When he saw that Mary was not going to live too much longer, Philip even had plans of marrying Elizabeth and rule England through her, as he tried to do through Mary. But of course Elizabeth was not about to marry him...
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: TampaBay on July 02, 2005, 12:28:05 PM
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They actually tried to implicate Elizabeth in plots during Mary's reign, Mary really did want her out of the way, but they could never prove anything against Elizabeth and couldn't just kill her without any proof of this because the people were very fond of her. There was one time when they came for her in the Tower with a warrant to take to her to her death (she knew), but she found a glitch with the signature and refused to go until Mary herself signed the warrant, which she ended up not doing. Also Philip, Mary husband, had persuaded Mary to go easy on her sister, he thought that she should just be married off to one of his own "cronies" and  thus neutralized. When he saw that Mary was not going to live too much longer, Philip even had plans of marrying Elizabeth and rule England through her, as he tried to do through Mary. But of course Elizabeth was not about to marry him...


Or anyone else!

TampaBay
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: umigon on July 02, 2005, 02:12:32 PM


Well, the idea of marrying Philip was not a stupid one. Of course Elizabeth would have never went through a Catholic conversion but Philip's lack of OFFICIAL control of England's affairs had been proved during his marriage to Mary, in which he signed a contract not to interfere in politics, although he did it.


At first Philip didn't have wanted to marry Mary and asked her father to marry the Queen himself, but Charles refused. It was then when Philip developped an ambition towards the English Crown.


Elizabeth, years later, would be near to marrying another Royal, Prince Hercule François de Valois, Duke of Alençon and brother of King Henry III of France. He was 22 years younger than she was and the marriage didn't take place in the end.
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: bluetoria on July 02, 2005, 02:15:31 PM
Do you not think that Elizabeth was 'always close to marrying someone' as long as it suited English diplomatic interests? She kept her 'suitors' hanging around at court for as long aswas necessary to cement treaties etc. but I doubt she had any real intention of marrying any of them....
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: elena_maria_vidal on November 16, 2005, 06:19:16 PM
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Yes, there were many issues, but an obvious one that comes to my mind was the way they portrayed the relationship between Elizabeth and Leicester - as being hot and heavy and definitely sexual. For one thing, we don't know if the relationship ever became sexual in a literal sense, I tend to think that it didn't, although they were probably in love with each other. A very important aspect about Elizabeth's personality was that she felt that marriage (or sexual consummation for that matter) would take away her superior position (psychologically speaking) and put it in the hands of the man. So she would allow things to go just so far, lots of flirtation, lots of implication, but no farther (remember her mother, Anne Boleyn? She was very skilled at this exact thing, so why not her daughter too!).

Of course we don't know for sure what happened between Robert Dudley and Elizabeth, but to me it seems that they never consumated their relationship because Elizabeth would not allow it. She always seemed terrified of the whole thing, not the physical aspect per say, but because of the psychological ones. This is also why she refused to marry, although she toyed with the idea a little. As far as Dudley (Leicester), Elizabeth always used to say that he and she were never completely alone, always one of her women was present. Whether this is true or not, we don't know. But to assume that this relationship was sexual would be denying some very important aspects of E's personality and psyche. Historians disagree among themselves about this, but I think most lean towards the idea that this relationship never became sexual in a literal sense. Hence, the film should have been more vague about this part, at the very least, instead they just went full force in their blatant potrayal of it as if they were 100% sure about that, that this was a fact instead of a theory (I suspect in order to appeal to a wider audience). That really bothered me because it felt almost like exploitation  of history.  I think that "Elizabeth R" did a MUCH better job with this, and everything else for that matter.

In general, I found this movie kind of confusing. Even though I knew the story well, I found myself more than once thinking, who is this person supposed to be? Or I often wasn't sure what was supposed to be going on. I think in the case of this film, having a lot of knowledge about the subject went against you, since they really changed the story a lot!


I completely agree with you, Helen and you put into words exactly what I thought about the Cate Blanchett "Elizabeth."
Title: Re: How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of
Post by: elena_maria_vidal on November 16, 2005, 07:49:38 PM
I enjoyed the Vanessa Redgrave "Mary, Queen of Scots" very much up until she gets involved with Bothwell. The movie went downhill after that for me. But then I read later that she never really loved Bothwell the way it was potrayed in the movie. Vanessa made a good Mary, however.  And Timothy Dalton made a great Darnley.