Young Bess

  • 1953
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Biography, Historical

Simmons stars in this fine costume drama as the young princess who became Elizabeth I. Beginning with Eliazabeth as queen, the film shifts to flashback. As a girl, Bess is sent away by her father, Henry VIII (Laughton), because her mother, Anne Boleyn, is to be beheaded. Henry goes through a series of wives until he marries Catherine Parr (Kerr), and Bess...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

  • Watch on
Rating:

Simmons stars in this fine costume drama as the young princess who became Elizabeth I. Beginning with Eliazabeth as queen, the film shifts to flashback. As a girl, Bess is sent away by her father, Henry VIII (Laughton), because her mother, Anne Boleyn, is to be beheaded. Henry goes

through a series of wives until he marries Catherine Parr (Kerr), and Bess finally is allowed to move back into the palace, finding some measure of love with her new stepmother. Henry dies not long after, and sickly Edward (Thompson), Bess' younger half-brother, becomes the king. Bess loves Thomas

Seymour (Granger), the first lord admiral of the navy, but she arranges to have her brother order Thomas to marry Catherine. Thomas is devoted to his wife, but when she dies, he tells Bess that he has always loved her. Thomas' brother (Rolfe), a court schemer, finds out about his brother's

infatuation and accuses Thomas of seducing Bess. As a result Thomas goes to the block even as Edward is writing out a pardon.

Although playing fast and loose with the facts, the film is dramatically very sound and the flashback structure is remarkably smooth. All the performances by the almost entirely British cast are excellent, with Thompson, Rolfe, and Laughton (redoing his most famous role) standouts. Rosher's color

photography is masterful, conveying the feeling of paintings from the period depicted in the film, and the score by Rozsa is very good. Nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction/Set Decoration.

Cast & Details See all »

  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Simmons stars in this fine costume drama as the young princess who became Elizabeth I. Beginning with Eliazabeth as queen, the film shifts to flashback. As a girl, Bess is sent away by her father, Henry VIII (Laughton), because her mother, Anne Boleyn, is… (more)

Show More »

Trending TonightSee all »