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Young Bess 1953
Description: The mother died under the executioner's axe; the daughter rose to become England's best monarch -- the brilliant and cunning Queen Elizabeth I. Jean Simmons portrays young Bess in this rich tapestry of a movie that traces the tumultuous, danger-fraught years from Elizabeth's birth to her unexpected ascension to the throne at a mere 25. Charles Laughton reprises his Academy Award®-winning* role as her formidable father Henry VIII. Deborah Kerr plays her last stepmother (and Henry's last of six wives), gentle Catherine Parr. And Simmons' then real-life husband, Stewart Granger, adds heroics as King Admiral Thomas Seymour. In a resplendent globe of adventure, romance and court intrigue, Young Bess reigns.
Released: 29 May 1953 Director: George Sidney Writers: Margaret Irwin (novel), Jan Lustig, Arthur Wimperis Actors: Jean Simmons, Stewart Granger, Deborah Kerr, Charles Laughton Genres: Biography, Drama, History
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Young Bess Reviews:

This is what happens when a movie studio and a novelist territories history on the large screen. Historical precision and truth takes second zone when it comes to spinning a yarn. I just hope when children watch this film, they do not rely on it as facts for their education. The true storyline itself was intriguing enough without having to bend the truth. So, why did they?Anyway, in the film, Elizabeth (I) was madly in love with Thomas Seymour. From historical records, Thomas was supposedly the person who made advances on Elizabeth (I) but was unsuccessful. In the film, Edward Seymour was seen as a callous power hungry puppeteer in the royal court. In history, he was a successful military boy when he battled oppositions at Pinkie, Scotland (1547). Edward was also responsible for religious reforms and in relaxing heresy and treason laws. In the film, he sent his brother Thomas to the scaffold because of his paranoia over power struggle threats. In history, the execution of Thomas by the council in 1549 was a significant blow to Edward and it weakened his power in England. The eventual arrest and execution of Edward in 1552 was conspired by John Dudley, Earl of Warwick and Thomas Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton to remove Seymour's protectorate power over his nephew, Lord Edward VI. Edward VI died at the age of 15 in 1553. Dudley induced the council to proclaim his daughter-in-law, Lady Jane Grey, as queen after Edward VI's death. Dudley was executed in 1554 by Mary (I) for treason. Of course, there's no method of knowing precisely what really happened in history. But in rationale, a person could not be defamed or condemned (as in the situation of Edward Seymour) based on hearsay, idle gossip, a romantic novel or a chick flick, even if they are dead over a several centuries. In theory, anyhow.Anyway, I did play this movie as pure entertainment. Walter Plunkett's costume design was superb and the entire cast was superb. Miklos Rozsa's emotional melody score was an wonderful soul wrenching delight.Is it worth seeing? Yes, definitely! It's entertaining, well acted and beautifully produced.


With an exceptionally nice cast headed by Jean Simmons, Stewart Granger, Deborah Kerr and Charles Laughton, costumes by Walter Plunkett, melody by Miklos Rozsa and all the technical wizardry of MGM's vast resources, YOUNG BESS is the type of historical romance that comes to life on the screen with a nice deal of vitality. Jean Simmons and Charles Laughton have the most interesting roles and enjoy them brilliantly, particularly Laughton who is once again portraying Henry VIII, the shrewd monarch who disposed of the girls in his life by putting them to the block.The screenplay is gracefully written and although it is leisurely paced, it never lets up interest in examining the relationships between Elizabeth I (young Bess) and others at court. Historical purists will object to whatever liberties the novel took to say this storyline of court intrigue, but they will be impressed by the attention paid to historical feature and the meticulous settings and costumes. The score by Miklos Rozsa is not obtrusive and yet it underlines the deep emotions portrayed by Simmons, Granger and Laughton. Deborah Kerr has a rather colorless and almost minor role as Catherine Parr and is unable to do much with it although she and Simmons photograph beautifully in color.Easy on the eyes and a very entertaining saga of a bloody chapter in England's history.


Never mind about the historical accuracy, the film is very enjoyable as a nice love story. It is well written and elegantly portrayed by a nice assemble of actors. Simmons is perfect as Young Bess, a smart and powerful minded princess growing from adolescence into young womanhood, falling for a much older heroic Admiral, attracting his love from his pretty and tender loving wife. Granger is a nice match as Simmon's lover, the arrogant adventurous fight hero, also the loving husband of the more classical beauty Kerr. The love triangle between the three is convincing and moving, and its tragic end is heart broken.The costume is wonderful, especially of Granger's.



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