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Friday, 25 February 2022


Montagu Events - MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS @ Wahnfried
Movie at Wahnfried, McGregor
On Friday 25th at 5pm we have the film MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS (2h5mins) starring Vanessa Redgrave and Glenda Jackson.

Like the play by Friedrich Schiller (Maria Stuart, 1800) and the opera by Gaetano Donizetti (Maria Stuarda, 1835), 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).

Mary Stuart, named Queen of Scotland when she was six days old, is the last Roman Catholic ruler of Scotland. Her cousin Elizabeth Tudor, Queen of England, and her arch adversary, has her imprisoned at age twenty-three. Nineteen years later, Mary is executed, removing the last threat to Elizabeth's throne. The two Queens' contrasting personalities make a dramatic counterpoint to history.

‘’ Superbly Acted Elizabethan Era Drama.
The endless fascination with the time of King Henry VIII, his immediate predecessors and successors, owes much to William Shakespeare whose history plays are mainly devoted to the former. The long, conflict - filled rule of Queen Elizabeth I, Henry's daughter by Anne Boleyn, is the centrepiece of the succession. Mary, Queen of Scots falls neatly into this profuse dramatic line, telling the story of the rivalry between Mary (Vanessa Redgrave) and Elizabeth I (Glenda Jackson). It is difficult to think of a movie or play dominated by two such powerful and splendid actresses, and there's no point to arguing who is better in this film because each dominates the scene when alone and the sparks when the two appear together are like fireworks in the sky. The bitter and deadly rivalry between the Catholics and the Protestants dominates this story. Mary is the hope of the Church of Rome; Elizabeth defends the faith established in her father's reign to permit the divorce from his Spanish Queen to marry Elizabeth's mother. The historicity of the script is questionable but the rivalry between Mary and Elizabeth was real and the successful plot to dethrone Mary by her bastard brother, James Stuart (Patrick McGoohan), is likewise accurate. The film portrays Mary as devout, love-starved, soft-hearted and put upon, Elizabeth as a steely minded monarch who, though not without feelings, never allowed the personal to prevail over her resolve to protect her kingdom against all enemies. Although Elizabeth I has been portrayed many times in recent years by many great actresses, Glenda Jackson more than holds her own in the role. Mary is more rarely seen on screen or stage but it is impossible to believe that anyone could do it better than Redgrave did almost 40 years ago. It was, of course, Mary's son by her second husband (the young Timothy Dalton), raised as a Protestant by her scheming uncle, who eventually succeeds to the British throne as James I and to the Scottish throne as James VI.’’ IMDb reviewer

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