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Anne of the Thousand Days/Mary Queen of Scots (1969)

Cast: Richard Burton, Richard Burton, Geneviève Bujold, more...
Director: Charles Jarrott, Charles Jarrott
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Universal Studios
Genre: Drama, Romance, Costume Drama/Period Piece, British Drama
Languages: English
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Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)
Anne of the Thousand Days is the belated film adaptation of Maxwell Anderson's 1948 stage play. The story concentrates on the romance between Britain's King Henry VIII (Richard Burton) and his ill-fated second wife Anne Boleyn (Genevieve Bujold). After holding out for marriage rather than an illegitimate union, Anne marries Henry after he sheds himself of Katherine of Aragon -- causing a rift between the Crown and the Church in the process. Anne's inability to produce a male heir leads Henry to look about for other suitable mates. Henry's sinister right-hand man Cromwell (John Colicos) arranges for Anne to be condemned on a charge of adultery. She is beheaded, while Henry disconsolately sits in Windsor Castle, regretting this callous example of political expediency. Richard Burton is ideally cast in Anne of the Thousand Days, but it is Genevieve Bujold who delivers the best, most complex performance in the film. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Mary Queen of Scots (1969)
Vanessa Redgrave stars as Mary Stuart of Scotland, with Glenda Jackson co-starring as Queen Elizabeth I. As with the earlier Maxwell Anderson play Mary of Scotland, the film sympathizes with Mary, and there are two fictionalized face-to-face confrontations between the two queens (who never met in real life). With this film, old-line Hollywood producer Hal Wallis continued his trademark of showcasing dynamic stars within a period milieu.

GreenCine Member Ratings

Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)
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4.00 (2 votes)
Mary Queen of Scots (1969)
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6.60 (5 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

First-rate historical drama by Texan99 September 4, 2010 - 11:37 AM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
Critical details in the stormy life of Mary, Queen of Scots, may never be resolved by historians, but the indisputable story line is as dramatic as anyone could wish. Mary became queen when she was only a few days old, in 1542. Henry VIII, then King of England, wanted to marry her to his son, the sickly boy who would later reign for a few years as Edward VI of England. Mary's mother resisted attempts to impose this marriage by military force, instead cementing an alliance between Scotland and France by wedding 16-year-old Mary to the 14-year-old heir to the French throne, who within a couple of years had not only ascended to the throne but also left his young wife a widow. The following year, Mary's mother-in-law, Catherine de Medici, packs her off to Scotland as its 19-year-old monarch, and it is at this point that the movie largely begins. Gently raised as a Catholic in France, Mary is wholly unprepared for the brutal world of 16th century English and Scottish politics. Her uncertain claim to the English throne is a constant irritation to her much more cunning and ruthless Protestant cousin, Elizabeth I, who has since attained the crown under a cloud of illegitimacy arising from the same controversy that caused Henry VIII to form the Church of England. Mary's entire adult life, from her return to Scotland until her beheading in England at the age of 45, was a series of political marriages, religious schisms, murders, insurrections, and imprisonments in which she proved herself no match even for her subjects, let alone for the incomparable Elizabeth. This 1971 historical drama tells the sad story in the lush style of its period, with an intelligent screenplay and a fine cast. Vanessa Redgrave is Mary; the sublime Glenda Jackson is Elizabeth; Patrick McGoohan is Mary's Protestant half-brother James Stewart; Trevor Howard is Elizabeth's wily minister Sir William Cecil; and Ian Holm, Timothy Dalton, and Nigel Davenport are the other men in Mary's life.

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