|Mary, Queen of Scots|
Original theatrical poster
|Directed by||Charles Jarrott|
|Produced by||Hal B. Wallis|
|Written by||John Hale|
|Music by||John Barry|
|Edited by||Richard Marden|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
Mary, Queen of Scots is a 1971 British-American biographical film based on the life of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland, written by John Hale and directed by Charles Jarrott. Leading an all-star cast are Vanessa Redgrave as the title character and Glenda Jackson as Elizabeth I. Jackson had previously played the part of Elizabeth in the BBC TV drama Elizabeth R , screened in February and March 1971, the first episode of which was also written by Hale.
The screenplay was written by John Hale and the film directed by Charles Jarrott. Like the play by Friedrich Schiller and the opera by Gaetano Donizetti, it takes considerable liberties with history in order to achieve increased dramatic effect, in particular two fictitious face-to-face encounters between the two queens (who never met in real life). The film received mixed reviews from the critics with criticism drawn towards the screenplay, running length and historical inaccuracies however it received praise for the performances of the leading ladies production values and musical score. At the 44th Academy Awards including; Best Actress (for Redgrave).
Following the death of her husband Francis II of France in 1560, Mary, Queen of Scots (Vanessa Redgrave) returns to her native land. Though fearless, unselfish, and very beautiful, the young queen faces many challenges. As in neighbouring England, the Protestant faith has been embraced by many nobles of Scotland; in addition, the Catholic Mary has to deal with her half-brother James Stewart, Lord Moray's (Patrick McGoohan) ambitions for rule. He suggests that Mary enjoy herself in Scotland, and pass the time with dancing and feasting. Moray wants to rule Scotland while the lovely but inexperienced Mary becomes a figurehead.
Fearing that Mary has ambitions for England's throne, Elizabeth I of England (Glenda Jackson) decides to weaken her claim by sending her favourite, the ambitious Robert Dudley (Daniel Massey), to woo and marry Mary. She promises that Mary will become her heir if she agrees to the marriage. Sly Elizabeth also sends the younger, dashing but weak and spoiled Lord Darnley (Timothy Dalton) from a powerful Catholic family. Tempted by the handsome Darnley, Mary impulsively chooses him for marriage. Lord Moray, a Protestant, opposes the marriage, but Mary ignores him. She exiles Moray to strengthen her own authority. Elizabeth is satisfied that reckless, passionate Mary's romantic misadventures will keep her busy in Scotland and give shrewd, practical Elizabeth less to worry about.
Soon after the wedding, spoiled brat Darnley throws a childish temper tantrum, complaining that he has no real power and is merely Mary's king consort. A disillusioned Mary soon banishes Darnley from her bed and frequently consults with the gentle, soft-spoken Italian courtier David Riccio (Ian Holm). Darnley previously had him as a lover and accuses him of fathering Mary's expected child.
A group of Scottish lords persuade Darnley to help get rid of Riccio, whom they murder in Mary's presence. To escape, she persuades Darnley that the plotters will turn against him, and they flee to the safety of Lord Bothwell (Nigel Davenport). He has been an ally of Mary since her arrival in Scotland. After he defeats the plotters, Mary forces a truce among their leader Moray, Darnley and Bothwell. Mary gives birth to a son, James, who is expected to succeed both Mary and the unmarried, childless Elizabeth.
The peace is short-lived. The weak, selfish Darnley still wants power, though by now he is hideously scarred and already dying of syphilis (the pox). Mary pities him, but finds herself falling in love with the rough but loyal Bothwell. With Moray's help, they arrange for Darnley to be killed in a gunpowder explosion at his manor; Darnley escapes before the blast but is strangled. Bothwell marries Mary, and their few brief nights together are blissful. But Moray rejoins the Scottish lords and leads a rebellion against them. He forces Mary to abdicate, and she and her husband are driven into exile, Mary to England and Bothwell to Denmark. Mary's young son James is to be crowned king of Scotland (although Moray will effectively rule for years) and raised as a Protestant.
In England, Mary begs Elizabeth for money and an army to regain her throne. Instead Elizabeth takes her prisoner, keeping her locked away in luxurious captivity in a remote castle. Elizabeth's closest advisor, Sir William Cecil (Trevor Howard), is anxious to get rid of Mary, but Elizabeth fears to set a precedent by putting an anointed monarch to death. She also fears that Mary's death might spark a rebellion by her Catholic subjects and cause problems with powerful France and Spain. As a result, Mary is doomed to an open-ended captivity. Over time, the once proud queen of Scots succumbs to an empty routine, plotting half-heartedly to escape but growing increasingly comfortable in her luxurious seclusion. She occupies herself with a lazy daily schedule of cards, embroidery and gossip, talking vaguely of escape yet sleeping later and later each morning. Yet while the helpless imprisoned queen has lost all will to harm her enemies, they continue to plot her final destruction.
With the help of his associate Walsingham (Richard Warner), Cecil finds evidence of Mary's involvement in the conspiracy to assassinate Elizabeth known as the Babington Plot. Finally Elizabeth confronts Mary, who regains her royal pride and behaves defiantly at their secret meeting. Although Elizabeth offers her mercy if she begs for forgiveness, Mary will not beg for mercy in public. She endures the trial, conviction and execution. She knows her son James will ultimately succeed to the English throne.
For dramatic effect, the film presents two meetings between the queens, although they never met in life. Moreover, the film depicts Mary as enjoying a late-morning cup of hot chocolate in bed (and even requesting it when she is a prisoner) when this was not a popular drink in the British Isles until well into the 18th century[ citation needed ].
The film also implies a homosexual liaison between Darnley and Riccio. The confrontation at Bothwell's Hermitage Castle seems loosely based on an actual incident at Carberry, and it misses out the decisive Battle of Langside.
James VI and I was born in Edinburgh Castle, not Hermitage Castle, as depicted in the film.
The film was shot in France (Château de Chenonceau), Hermitage Castle, Scotland; Alnwick Castle, England, Bamburgh Castle, England, Parham Park, England, and Chiltern Open Air Museum in Buckinghamshire, England. The song in the opening sequence, "Vivre et Mourir," is sung by Redgrave.The lyrics are taken from a sonnet written by Mary, Queen of Scots.
Vincent Canby had little good to write about the film in the New York Times of 4 February 1972, describing it as "a loveless, passionless costume drama". He wrote "Unfortunately there is no excitement whatsoever in what Charles Jarrott, the director, and John Hale, the author of the original screenplay, have put together...Mary, Queen of Scots intends, I assume, to illuminate history...yet all it's really doing is touching bases, like a dull, dutiful student...Because both Miss Redgrave and Miss Jackson possess identifiable intelligence, [the film] is not as difficult to sit through as some bad movies I can think of. It's just solemn, well-groomed and dumb."
Roger Ebert gave the film three stars and lauded the interpretation of Redgrave and Jackson stating "Vanessa Redgrave is a tall, straight-backed, finely spirited Mary, and Glenda Jackson makes a perfectly shrewish, wise Elizabeth."
Mary, Queen of Scots received five nominations at the 44th Academy Awards; Best Actress (Redgrave), Best Production Design (Terence Marsh, Robert Cartwright, Peter Howitt), Best Costume Design (Margaret Furse), Best Original Dramatic Score, (John Barry), and Best Sound (Bob Jones, John Aldred).
It also received five nominations at the 29th Golden Globe Awards; Best Motion Picture - Drama, Best Motion Picture Actress - Drama (Redgrave & Jackson), Best Screenplay (John Hale), and Best Original Score (John Barry).
Mary, Queen of Scots, also known as Mary Stuart or Mary I of Scotland, reigned over Scotland from 14 December 1542 to 24 July 1567.
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley was the second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots. From his marriage in 1565, he was king consort of Scotland. He was created Duke of Albany shortly before his marriage. Less than a year after the birth of his and Mary's only child, King James VI of Scotland and I of England, Darnley was murdered at Kirk o' Field in 1567. Many contemporary narratives describing his life and death refer to him as Lord Darnley, his title as heir apparent to the Earldom of Lennox, and it is by this appellation that he is known in history. On his mother's side he was a great-grandson of King Henry VII of England.
James Hepburn, 1st Duke of Orkney and 4th Earl of Bothwell, was a prominent Scottish nobleman. He was known for his association with, abduction of, and marriage to Mary, Queen of Scots, as her third and final husband. He was accused of the murder of Mary's second husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, a charge of which he was acquitted. His marriage to Mary was controversial and divided the country; when he fled the growing rebellion to Scandinavia he was arrested in Norway and lived the rest of his life imprisoned in Denmark.
David Rizzio, sometimes written as David Riccio or David Rizzo, was an Italian courtier, born close to Turin, a descendant of an ancient and noble family still living in Piedmont, the Riccio Counts di San Paolo e Solbrito, who rose to become the private secretary of Mary, Queen of Scots. Mary's husband, Lord Darnley, is said to have been jealous of their friendship, because of rumours that he had impregnated Mary, and joined in a conspiracy of Protestant nobles, led by Patrick Ruthven, 3rd Lord Ruthven, to murder him. The murder was the catalyst for the downfall of Darnley, and it had serious consequences for Mary's subsequent reign. Mary was having dinner with Rizzio and a few ladies-in-waiting when Darnley joined them, accused his wife of adultery and then had a group of knaves murder Rizzio, who was hiding behind Mary. Mary was held at gunpoint and Rizzio was stabbed numerous times. His body took 57 dagger wounds.
James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray, a member of the House of Stewart as the illegitimate son of King James V, was the Regent of Scotland for his half-nephew, the infant King James VI.
George Gordon, 5th Earl of Huntly, was Lord Chancellor of Scotland and major conspirator of his time.
The Chaseabout Raid was a rebellion by James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray against his half sister, Mary, Queen of Scots, on 26 August 1565, over her marriage to Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. The rebels also claimed to be acting over other causes including bad governance, and religion in the name of the Scottish Reformation. As the government and rebel forces moved back and forth across Scotland without fighting, the conflict became known as the "chase about raid." Queen Mary's forces were superior and the rebel lords fled to England where Queen Elizabeth censured the leader.
The Casket letters were eight letters and some sonnets said to have been written by Mary, Queen of Scots, to the Earl of Bothwell, between January and April 1567. They were produced as evidence against Queen Mary by the Scottish lords who opposed her rule. In particular, the text of the letters was taken to imply that Queen Mary colluded with Bothwell in the murder of her husband, Lord Darnley. Mary's contemporary supporters, including Adam Blackwood, dismissed them as complete forgeries or letters written by the Queen's servant Mary Beaton. The authenticity of the letters, now known only by copies, continues to be debated. Some historians argue that they were forgeries concocted in order to discredit Queen Mary and ensure that Queen Elizabeth I supported the kingship of the infant James VI of Scotland, rather than his mother. The historian John Hungerford Pollen, in 1901, by comparing two genuine letters drafted by Mary, presented a subtle argument that the various surviving copies and translations of the casket letters could not be used as evidence of their original authorship by Mary.
Archibald Douglas, Parson of Douglas, was also Parson of Glasgow, a Senator of the College of Justice, Ambassador to Queen Elizabeth I of England, and a notorious intriguer.
Gunpowder, Treason & Plot is a 2004 BBC miniseries based upon the lives of Mary, Queen of Scots and her son James VI of Scotland. The writer Jimmy McGovern tells the story behind the Gunpowder Plot in two parts, each centred on one of the monarchs.
Kirk o' Field in Edinburgh, Scotland, is best known as the site of the murder on 10 February 1567 of Lord Darnley, second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, and father of King James VI. The site was occupied by the collegiate church of St Mary in the Fields, or the Kirk o' Field. It was approximately ten minutes' walk from Holyrood Palace, adjacent to the city wall, near to the Cowgate. The site is close to the location of the National Museum of Scotland.
The Battle of Carberry Hill took place on 15 June 1567, near Musselburgh, East Lothian, a few miles east of Edinburgh, Scotland. A number of Scottish lords objected to the rule of Mary, Queen of Scots after she had married the Earl of Bothwell, who was widely believed to have murdered her previous husband Lord Darnley. The Lords were intent to avenge Darnley's death. However, Bothwell escaped from the stand-off at Carberry while Queen Mary surrendered. Mary abdicated, escaped from prison, and was defeated at the battle of Langside. She went to exile in England while her supporters continued a civil war in Scotland.
Anna Tronds, known in English as Anna Throndsen and posthumously as Anna Rustung, was a Dano-Norwegian noblewoman. In English and Scots history, Anna Throndsen is best known for her marriage to James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell (which later earned her the nickname Skottefruen, a man who later married Mary, Queen of Scots. Anna Throndsen is also known for her possible but much debated and disputed involvement in drafting some of the famous Casket Letters; these letters being the principal evidence against Mary.
Jean Gordon, Countess of Bothwell was a wealthy Scottish noblewoman and the second wife of James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell. He became, after his divorce from Lady Jean, the third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots. Lady Jean herself had a total of three husbands. Upon her second marriage, she became the Countess of Sutherland.
Jean Hepburn, Lady Darnley, Mistress of Caithness, Lady Morham was a Scottish noblewoman and a member of the Border clan of Hepburn. Her brother was James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, the third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots. Jean's first husband was John Stewart, 1st Lord Darnley, an illegitimate half-brother of Queen Mary, which made Jean a double sister-in-law of the queen. Jean married three times. She was also Lady of Morham, having received in 1573 the barony of Morham and lands which had belonged to her mother, Lady Agnes Sinclair and was forfeited to the Crown subsequent to her brother, the Earl of Bothwell's attainder for treason.
Das Herz der Königin is a 1940 German historical film, making selective use of the life story of Mary, Queen of Scots and her execution by Queen Elizabeth I for anti-English and pro-Scottish propaganda purposes, in the context of the Second World War going on at the time.
Whittingehame Tower, or Whittingehame Castle, is a fifteenth-century tower house about 2.5 miles (4.0 km) south of East Linton, on the west bank of Whittinghame Water in East Lothian, Scotland.
Mary Queen of Scots is a 2013 Swiss period drama directed by Thomas Imbach. It is his first film in English and French language starring the bilingual French actress Camille Rutherford. The film portrays the inner life of Mary, the Queen of Scotland. The film is based on Austrian novelist Stefan Zweig's 1935 biography, Mary Stuart, a long-term bestseller in Germany and France but out of print in the UK and the US for decades until 2010. The film was first screened at the 2013 International Film Festival Locarno and was later shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.
Mary, Queen of Scots is an opera in three acts composed by Thea Musgrave. Musgrave also wrote the libretto based on Amalia Elguera's play Moray. It focuses on events in the life of Mary, Queen of Scots, from her return to Scotland in 1561 until 1568 when she was forced to flee to England. The opera premiered on 6 September 1977 at the King's Theatre in Edinburgh performed by Scottish Opera. It has subsequently had multiple performances in the UK, US, and Germany. A chamber version, produced by Musgrave in 2016, also exists.
Mary Queen of Scots is a 2018 historical drama film directed by Josie Rourke and written by Beau Willimon, based on John Guy's 2004 biography Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart. The film stars Saoirse Ronan as Mary, Queen of Scots and Margot Robbie as her cousin Queen Elizabeth I, and chronicles the 1569 conflict between their two countries. Jack Lowden, Joe Alwyn, David Tennant, and Guy Pearce also star in supporting roles.