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Elizabeth (1998)

Cate Blanchett , Geoffrey Rush , Shekhar Kapur  |  R |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (634 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Joseph Fiennes, Christopher Eccleston
  • Directors: Shekhar Kapur
  • Writers: Michael Hirst
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Special Edition, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Polygram USA Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 6, 2001
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (634 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305358613
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,066 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Elizabeth" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Making-Of Featurette

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

One of the big Elizabethan-era films of 1998, Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth serves up a brimming goblet of religious tension, political conspiracy, sex, violence, and war. England in 1554 is in financial and religious turmoil as the ailing Queen "Bloody" Mary attempts to restore Catholicism as the national faith. She has no heir, and her greatest fear--that her Protestant half-sister Elizabeth will assume the throne after her death--is realized. Still, the late Queen Mary has her loyalists. The newly crowned Elizabeth finds herself knee-deep in dethroning schemes while also dodging assassination attempts. Her advisers (including Sir William Cecil, superbly played by Richard Attenborough) beg her to marry any one of her would-be suitors to stabilize England's empire. No matter that she already has a lover. The passionate Robert Dudley (Joseph Fiennes) is married, however, and shows he cannot stand up to the growing strength of the Queen. With the help of her aide Walsingham (Geoffrey Rush), Elizabeth strikes against her enemies before they get to her first. But her rise ultimately entails rejecting love and marriage to redefine herself as the indisputable Virgin Queen.

Cate Blanchett's Oscar-nominated performance as the naive and vibrant princess who becomes the stubborn and knowing queen is both severe and sympathetic. Her ethereal, pale beauty is equal parts fire and ice, her delivery of such lines as "There will be only one mistress here and no master!" expressed with command rather than hysterics. As striking as Blanchett's performance is the film's lavish and dramatic production design. The cold, dark sets paired with the lush costuming show the golden age of England's monarchy emerging from the Middle Ages. Rich velvet brushes over the dank stones while power is achieved at any price, and with such attention to physical detail, Elizabeth fully immerses you into its compelling chronicle of pioneering feminism and revisionist history. --Shannon Gee

Product Description

The 45-year reign of Britain's first Queen Elizabeth remains, centuries later, one of the most dramatic in the country's long and turbulent history. Called the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth ascended the throne when her country was near collapse, but her ultimate legacy was distinguished by military might and cultural brilliance. Noted historian David Starkey narrates this riveting examination of a stalwart woman, her struggles, and her triumphs. Lavish reenactments enhance the incisive commentary, and the result is erudite entertainment. 3 hours 20 min. on 4 cassettes or 2 DVDs.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
130 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A LAVISH AND LUSH MEDIEVAL TAPESTRY... August 22, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This is a magnificent film with a stellar cast giving award calibre performances. Cate Blanchett deservedly won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama. She is truly the heir apparent to Bette Davis and Glenda Jackson, both having portrayed Elizabeth I in memorable performances. Cate Blanchett now joins their ranks with her own incredible performance in that role.
The movie begins in 1554, in an England that is bitterly divided on the issue of religion. Ruled by Mary Tudor, Henry the VIII's oldest daughter and a devout catholic, protestants are being burned at the stake as heretics, giving rise to Mary's popular name, "Bloody Mary". Reviled by her Spanish husband and in poor health, Mary is badgered by her advisors to do away with Elizabeth, her considerably younger, bastard half-sister. This Mary will not do, no matter how pressed. Still, Elizabeth lives her life with the sword of Damocles hanging over her head at all times.
When Mary dies, Elizabeth takes the throne, no more than a mere slip of a girl wearing the crown of England. Her advisors look to guide her, and she follows their lead, until she determinedly takes control of the reins of power, and follows her own counsel with the help of her most trusted advisor, Francis Walsingham, played to cunning perfection by Geoffrey Rush. With his help, she is able to fend off the ever present threats to her hold on the throne of England, not just from her own courtiers, but from Marie de Guise, Queen of Scotland, deliciously played by Fanny Ardent.
In the film one sees the transformation of Elizabeth take place.
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95 of 104 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Drama, Bad History January 6, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This is a lovely movie, Cate Blanchet's performance as the title character is excellent, as is the rest of the cast. The costumes are spectacular.
As others have noted, this film is entertainment, not history. The writer(s) mixed fact with pure fancy, and compressed many authentic episodes that occured over 40 or so years into the beginning of the reign. Walsingham did not kill Marie de Guise, nor did he oust Cecil as Elizabeth's primary advisor. Robert Dudley was not involved in any murder plot. I won't bore you with the rest of the laundry list.
I think it only fair to point out that in my opinion, despite the inaccuracies, the writer(s) did manage to give a fairly accurate view of some major aspects of Elizabeth I's entire reign. She did use possible marriage as a political tool. And she was damned adept at doing so. Elizabeth did have a more moderate religious policy than either of her two predecessors.
The movie is worth watching. And, if seeing it whets your curiosity, read any of the several popular level biographies of
Elizabeth I. Alison Weir's _The Life of Elizabeth I_ is very well written.
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126 of 149 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Among Great Britain's monarchs, two queens stand out in particular: Elizabeth I. and Queen Victoria. Both came to power at extremely young ages, and at times of political instability which would have set the odds of survival against any new ruler, but particularly so, against a woman. Both beat those odds in ways few people would have foreseen: They not only persevered but ruled for a nearly unparalleled long time, and during their reign achieved to both strengthen England's economy and international stance and give new direction to its society. We have long come to identify their reign as "the Victorian Age" and "the Elizabethan Age," respectively. Yet, while "Victorian England" is an expression often used synonymously with moral conservativism, Elizabeth I. fostered not only the development of science but also the theater and arts; providing fertile ground for the works of Shakespeare, Marlowe and many others. (Influenced by her husband, Queen Victoria supported the exploration of new scientific developments, but the dominant force of her formative years as a ruler was conservative prime minister Lord Melbourne, who once advised her not to read Dickens because his books were "full of unpleasant subjects.") And while Queen Victoria derived strength from her long, stable marriage to German-born Prince Albert, Elizabeth I. resisted the pressure to marry at all and became known as "the Virgin Queen."

Looking back at Elizabeth's reign, we see less a woman than an icon; the symbol of what her rule has come to stand for.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The "Cliffs Notes" version of the life of Elizabeth I. February 5, 2005
By Monika
Format:DVD
Queen Elizabeth I of England is one of the most impressive figures in European history. She came to the throne in 1558 at the age of twenty-five, upon the death of her half sister, Mary I. It was a time of much political instability, and the young Queen's task was made even more difficult by the fact that her legitimacy was by no means universally acknowledged (many saw her father Henry VIII's marriage to Elizabeth's mother, Anne Boleyn, as being invalid, since he was never granted a Papal dispensation for the annulment of his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon, Mary's mother), and by the fact that Elizabeth was a Protestant. And on top of all this, many of the English people were far from jubilant at the prospect of another female ruler, after the disastrous reign of her sister Mary. The years immediately following Elizabeth's ascent to the throne, therefore, were fraught with uncertainty and danger. In order to retain her crown and win the hearts of her people, Elizabeth would have to become a strong, almost superhuman figure, and it is this formative process that the film "Elizabeth" seeks to show us.

Unfortunately, the film does not entirely succeed. Elizabeth reigned for 44 years, an extremely long time. Her maturation and the development of her status as a national icon were shaped by a series of trials, both political and personal, that took place over the course of multiple decades. It would be nearly impossible to accurately show all this in a 2-hour movie. "Elizabeth" suffers from the fact that the makers of the film simply tried to cram too much material into the 124 minutes they had to work with.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I vote five stars
I vote five stars for this film, to boost its average star rating - this as an uncommonly accomplished film, in so many ways. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Nathanael Greene
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
Love the extra feature inside the DVD: the behind the scene & trailer of Elizabeth: the golden age are awesome.
Published 9 days ago by anthony lau
5.0 out of 5 stars an artistic masterpiece
Cate Blanchett did a masterful job of acting, the screen play was so well written, the cinematography was gorgeous, the costumes were so elegant, and the story interesting. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Joyce
5.0 out of 5 stars Changed my Life for nearly two years now,
This came to me at a time I was dealing with a cancer diagnosis, waiting nearly three months for surgery. Read more
Published 1 month ago by C. A. Stanton Hochstetler
3.0 out of 5 stars Back in the day this was a 5 Star Movie.
But we know more about the true history of Elizabeth now, and sorry kids, but that renders this flick just that...a flick. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Janet Swasey
5.0 out of 5 stars Blanchett Becomes The Young Elizabeth
An extraordinary pitch perfect performance as the young Queen Elizabeth. Supported brilliantly by Geoffrey Rush, Joseph Fiennes, Richard Attenborough, Emily Mortimer, Fanny Ardant... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Richard M. Kennedy
1.0 out of 5 stars not what I was looking for
I thought it was a DVD and what I got was a VHS tape they are obsolete, I don't even have a VHS player so I have to toss it out or sell it at a yard sale
Published 1 month ago by Christine Wentworth
3.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
I gave it 3 stars because I hoped for a strong and confident Elizabeth, Cate Blanchet is a wonderful actress and played her role very well but the story was a little weak. Read more
Published 1 month ago by theo kersjes
4.0 out of 5 stars I love the 1500's
This movie is filled with intrigue and suspense, and that keeps me watching this movie many times a year and in my permanent library. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Phyliss N Peterman
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, intense, well acted historical movie
Since it is difficult for me to go to a theater to enjoy a good movie, it's great to find one of interest I can watch in the comfort of my home. Read more
Published 1 month ago by MHD
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