Approved | | Biography, Drama, History
A depiction of the love/hate relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex.
When MGM signed Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne to a movie contract in 1931, they bought the rights to "Elizabeth the Queen" as well as two of the Lunts' other stage successes, "The Guardsman" and "Reunion in Vienna." After the Lunts' first film together, The Guardsman (1931), flopped at the box office, MGM canceled the Lunts' contract, made Reunion in Vienna (1933) with other actors (John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore and Diana Wynyard), and put "Elizabeth the Queen" on hold until they later sold the rights to Warner Brothers. But a sequence of the Lunts playing the final scene from "Elizabeth the Queen" appears at the start of "The Guardsman" in a play-within-a-film context.
Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex:
I would not have taken that from your father the King; much less will I take it from a king in petticoats!
The real Robert Cecil was small and had a curved spine, and was one of Queen Elizabeth's chief counselors, not the supercilious character portrayed in this film, or in Maxwell Anderson's original play. The queen would affectionately refer to him as "my dwarf". He is more accurately portrayed in the TV miniseries Elizabeth I (2005).
The Warner Brothers shield is in the form of an English coat of arms. This logo was seen in Errol Flynn's previous film The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938).