(out of 5)
Bette Davis played Queen Elizabeth I twice in her career, first in The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex and then again sixteen years later in this costume soaper. While Essex was a much better film, this one gives Davis a better role. Elizabeth’s affair with Sir Walter Raleigh is the central concern of the plot, but it’s not a very rich one and leaves all the plush furniture and giant, billowy costumes to do all the talking. Handsomely produced, and featuring a supporting performance by a painfully young Joan Collins, but unimpressive otherwise.
Directed by Henry Koster
Cinematography by Charles G. Clarke
Produced by Charles Brackett
Music by Franz Waxman
Costume Design by Mary Wills
Film Editing by Robert L. Simpson