The Private Lives Of Elizabeth And Essex (Essex And Elizabeth)


(out of 5)

The volatile love affair between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Earl of Essex in 16th-century England is the main focus of this fascinating and gorgeously shot costume drama.   gives one of her most explosive performances as the iron-fisted monarch, “a king in petticoats” as Essex () refers to her when he’s in one of his more sour moods. The two had a private love affair that few knew about, but in public their sexually-charged fights were great fodder for public digestion until she finally had to execute him for treason when he was still a young man. The gorgeous costumes by Orry-Kelly practically pop off the screen in this sumptuous affair that also features in a small role as one of Flynn’s ardent female admirers.

Warner Bros.

USA, 1939

Directed by

Screenplay by , , based on the play by

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Awards 1939


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