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Wednesday, 13 June 2012

The Virgin Queen (1955)

Star Birthday - Richard Todd & Spotlight on Royalty on Film




Star Birthday - Richard Todd 


Richard Todd was born on 11 June 1919 in Dublin, Ireland, and began his career on the stage before transitioning to film. Todd died on 3 December 2009 after  a battle with cancer. 


Recommended viewing










The Virgin Queen (1955)

The Virgin Queen (1955), is the historically inaccurate story of the relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and Sir. Walter Raleigh. The film stars Bette Davis, Richard Todd and the seductive Joan Collins in an early film role.

This was the second of two films where Bette Davis starred as Queen Elizabeth I - Davis had first played Queen Elizabeth in the more superior film The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939), which tells the complicated and furious love affair Queen Elizabeth had with Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex

The film is notable for being the first American film for Australian actor Rod Taylor.

Queen Elizabeth I

Queen Elizabeth I was the daughter of King Henry VIII (the one who beheaded his 6 wives), and Anne Boleyn, who her father had beheaded when Elizabeth was just two years old. Elizabeth was known as The Virgin Queen, due to her never being married or having children. Despite her inability to bare children, I would question how virginal she really was considering the number of young men she had floating around her palace. She was one of the first powerful female leaders, and is even referred to in the film as "a king in petticoats".





The role of Queen Elizabeth is one of the most sought after roles for an actress to play, having also been played by actresses including Cate BlanchettDame Judi DenchGlenda JacksonAgnes MooreheadJean Simmons Helen Mirren and Vanessa Redgrave, just to name a few. Despite being played by such brilliant and celebrated actors, no one in my opinion has played her quite like Bette Davis.  Bette Davis has a natural commanding presence, which presents an assertive, powerful and 
authentic portrayal.


Concluding Remarks
This is an average and watchable film portraying Queen Elizabeth I. I would recommend this film to fans of Bette Davis and Joan Collins, and to those who have an interest in the royal family. For all others, I would strongly recommend watching the much superior The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939).

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