Mary Of Scotland

  • 1936
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Biography, Historical

This version of the well-known story is just slightly better than the remake, mainly due to Katherine Hepburn's radiance and Fredric March's work as her second husband. Mary Stuart (Hepburn) returns from France to assume her throne as Queen of Scotland, striking fear into the heart of Queen Elizabeth (Florence Eldridge), who worries that Mary might make...read more

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This version of the well-known story is just slightly better than the remake, mainly due to Katherine Hepburn's radiance and Fredric March's work as her second husband. Mary Stuart (Hepburn) returns from France to assume her throne as Queen of Scotland, striking fear into the heart of

Queen Elizabeth (Florence Eldridge), who worries that Mary might make a claim to the throne of England. Mary marries the perfidious Darnley (Douglas Walton), while taking on the Earl of Bothwell (March) as her protector. Later, after Darnley is killed, she defiantly marries the earl amid a wave of

angry public comment. When Bothwell leaves Scotland to put down a rebellion, Mary rules alone until the Scottish peers, reneging on their vows of protection, throw her in jail. She escapes to England and asks Elizabeth for help, but Elizabeth tosses her in jail, where she languishes for 18 years,

during which time Bothwell dies abroad. Finally, Mary is sentenced to death for treason, but Elizabeth offers to pardon her if she will sign away her claim to the throne; Mary refuses and is executed. Helen Hayes played the role of Mary Stuart on the stage to great success, but the film was a

financial dud. Director John Ford, who had better luck with films dominated by masculine characters, may have been the wrong choice for this basically female-oriented movie, although his direction was interesting and experimental in that he shot Hepburn and Eldridge with different lighting, widely

varying camera angles, and a sharp delineation of the background score, so that we immediately know where we are supposed to place our sympathies. The family name of March's Earl of Bothwell is never revealed in the film because it was"Hepburn"--the actress is a direct descendant of that

family.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This version of the well-known story is just slightly better than the remake, mainly due to Katherine Hepburn's radiance and Fredric March's work as her second husband. Mary Stuart (Hepburn) returns from France to assume her throne as Queen of Scotland, st… (more)

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