The Virgin Queen

  • 1955
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Historical

Davis is the glue that holds this movie together. Without her reprise as Queen Elizabeth (she'd done it before in 1939 with Errol Flynn in ELIZABETH AND ESSEX), it would have been an ordinary costumer starring Richard Todd and Joan Collins. Todd, the man who lent his name to the pipe tobacco, returns to 1581 England after having been honored for his work...read more

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Davis is the glue that holds this movie together. Without her reprise as Queen Elizabeth (she'd done it before in 1939 with Errol Flynn in ELIZABETH AND ESSEX), it would have been an ordinary costumer starring Richard Todd and Joan Collins. Todd, the man who lent his name to the pipe

tobacco, returns to 1581 England after having been honored for his work in the war against the Irish. His swashbuckling feats have impressed Marshall, who is, as they say, "close to the queen." Marshall likes Todd and arranges to have the young man presented at court. In order to make a good

impression on Davis, Todd has a new cloak made, one he can ill afford. He wants to convince Davis to finance a projected trip to the Americas where he believes he will find much treasure. There's a mud puddle in the courtyard and Todd gallantly lays his expensive garment down so Davis can cross

without getting her tiny feet soiled. This chivalrous move wins her over, but perhaps it's too far over because the aged monarch begins acting like a silly schoolgirl whenever Todd strides into view. Robinson is another confidante of Davis and he takes an immediate dislike to Todd. When Davis

names Todd as captain of the guard, Robinson seethes because he had recommended against it. Now that Todd is living at the castle, he begins casting his roving eye around the area and soon spots Collins, a lady-in-waiting. Collins is just as attracted to Todd but wonders how in the world she can

get to him when her rival for his affections is her very own queen. Todd now directly asks if Davis will put up the pounds for his expedition, which requires three ships. Davis cuts him down to one ship and says she'll think about it. Meanwhile, the love between Todd and Collins has burgeoned and

they can contain themselves no longer, so they are secretly wed. Davis decides that Todd can have his boat and takes him to her bedchamber where she dubs him "Sir." Her joy at having made him a peer is soon shattered when she discovers that Todd and Collins have tied the knot. Enraged, she has the

blighter arrested and dragged to the Tower of London to await execution. The night before Todd is to be executed, Davis makes a trip to his cell and recalls it as the same cell where her own mother spent her last night before being dispatched. Her heart is softened and she realizes Todd was not

toying with her affections but only trying to butter her up to get the money for his voyage. Davis relents and frees Todd so he and Collins can go across the seas and seek the fortunes which he will bring back for England.

In real life, James I released Sir Walter to explore the Orinoco River's gold area but with strict orders that he would not attempt to take gold from any Spanish possession. Raleigh and his son arrived at the mouth of the Orinoco on December 31, 1617. He sent his ships up the river with his son

and nephew while he stayed in Trinidad suffering from fever. A battle between the British and Spanish took place in which Raleigh's son was killed. When Raleigh returned to England, he was executed at the age of 66 in order to fulfill James's promise to Spain that if Raleigh engaged in any piracy,

he would be executed. The digression aside, the acting in the movie was all good, with Davis taking most of the honors. The movie originally figured to be a Todd-Collins starrer but when Davis joined the cast, the script was rewritten to increase her role. She shot all of her scenes in less than

12 days but her presence is so dominating one gets the feeling that she is present all through the movie. It had been 16 years since she had played Elizabeth the first time and she showed great insight as she became suspicious, greedy, lonesome, and sometimes evil. However, the sets were not up to

Fox's usual style.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Davis is the glue that holds this movie together. Without her reprise as Queen Elizabeth (she'd done it before in 1939 with Errol Flynn in ELIZABETH AND ESSEX), it would have been an ordinary costumer starring Richard Todd and Joan Collins. Todd, the man w… (more)

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