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Elizabeth I (2006)

Helen Mirren , Jeremy Irons , Tom Hooper  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (340 customer reviews)

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Elizabeth I + Anne of the Thousand Days / Mary, Queen of Scots + Elizabeth (Spotlight Series)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons, Hugh Dancy
  • Directors: Tom Hooper
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: November 20, 2007
  • Run Time: 220 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (340 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000Z8H0IC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,452 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Elizabeth I" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons. HBO presents an epic look at the later years of the famed Elizabeth I. From her scandalous relationships to her political battles, this 2-part miniseries is highlighted by its historical accuracy as well as by its incredible performances from the two leads. 2005/color/3 hrs., 31 min/NR/widescreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
146 of 150 people found the following review helpful
One of the things I love about owning a DVD player is that I get to watch movies pretty much as they were intended to be seen: in widescreen format, brilliant colour and sound, and the ability to pause them and have the frame actually stay still. This is especially nice when it's the sort of film I adore -- a costume drama with plenty of details and good looking actors.

Thus is the case with Elizabeth I, a miniseries originally aired on HBO and now available as a two-disc set. Directed by Tom Hooper and written by Nigel Williams, this is a sumptuous treat of a film, full of glittering costumes, period sets and actors who speak and sound right for the time. Instead of showing the usual cradle-to-grave life of Elizabeth I of England, a different tactic is taken, showing her coping with several pivotal times in her reign, and how she dealt with the problem and moved on.

The story opens after Elizabeth has been on the throne of England for about twenty years. She's now in her mid-forties, and her council of advisors are worried that because she has not married and given the country an heir, England stands a good chance of sliding back into civil war. Worse still, there's now the problem of religion -- most of England is Protestant, and most of the rest of Europe is Catholic, two factions that disagree with each other violently, and the only likely heir is the fanatically catholic Mary, Queen of Scots.

Elizabeth (Helen Mirren) isn't about to marry, as we quickly see. She's got exactly what she wants in her relationship with Robert, the Earl of Leicester (Jeremy Irons), down to the point where she has him alone in her private quarters, snuggling and cannoolding with a kiss and tickle or two.
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108 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great Biography May 13, 2006
Helen Mirren gives a fantastic performance as the unmarried English ruler. She seemed to get the queen's personality down. I felt as if I was getting a look back at history. Hard to believe such a high quality production was created for TV. You see what it takes to be a great, if not lonely, monarch. You do have to close your eyes to a few historical liberties, such as the Queen visiting her cousin in her prison cell. The movie does have a slow start, but stick with it, it picks up. Some of the scenes are very violent and graphic, so beware of that. The reason to see this movie is too watch how Ms. Mirren portrays Queen Elizabeth I. Worth the viewing time.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making 400 Years Ago Seem Like Yesterday . . . October 12, 2006
Elizabeth Tudor was one of the most psychologically-complex rulers in history. Alternately ignored and embraced by a tyrannical father who had her mother judicially murdered, coming very near to her own youthful death in prison at the hands of her half-sister Queen Mary, and threatened with invasion and assassination attempts throughout her reign, she -- almost uniquely among her contemporaries -- nevertheless steered a course of moderation that brought England through one of the most tumultuous periods in its history and left it poised to begin the reach for empire that was to give England dominance over the 19th century.

Her long reign at a critical juncture of English history presents a panorama so large that it is virtually impossible to capture in anything less than a lengthy miniseries such as PBS undertook in the 1970's with Glenda Jackson's bravura performance . . . a miniseries plagued, unfortuately, by quickly outdated production values. Given a choice imposed by a shorter format of whether to survey Elizabeth equally as both ruler and woman or to bring the camera in closer and to put more focus on one dimension than the other, Tom Hooper wisely chooses the latter.

I am a voracious fan of Elizabeth's watershed reign but, frankly, it has been surveyed enough. So I am pleased that Hooper chose to canvas the more complex side of Elizabeth the woman. And I am ecstatic that he chose the amazing Helen Mirren to do the heavy lifting. Certainly her job is made easier by a superb script with just the right balance between known events and intelligent guesses about the personal drives and private maneuvers behind those events.
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74 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling performances... May 19, 2006
I love all that is English, when it comes to history, and this is the icing on the cake. Helen Mirren gives an outstanding performance as Queen Elizabeth, the later years. She "feels" the part and "lives" the part. Adding personality to a much misunderstood royal ruler. Even going so far as to play pinch and giggle with the younger Robert. You can see the pained emotions on her face when she is forced to make a choice between love and her throne. But her heart belongs to England so she lives out the remainder of her life as a woman without love or family.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Glory Of Her Crown September 17, 2006
I grew up with the magnificent Glenda Jackson version of Elizabeth R, and to me she is the definitive Gloriana. Helen Mirren is superb, but to my mind too flirtatious and indecisive. I don't think the imperious Elizabeth would necessarily have cracked jokes with her courtiers to this extent. Her relationship with the love of her life, the Earl of Leicester, senstively portrayed by Jeremy Irons, is well done, but Leicester did not die in her arms after the defeat of the Armada. Neither did Elizabeth ever meet Mary Queen of Scots (played as a simpering Frenchwoman by Barbara Flynn) or even more bizarrely, her successor, James VI, and Mary was her second, not her first cousin. The Earl of Essex story is more problematic. Though it charts effectively Elizabeth's disillusionment with his ambition and arrogance, it also shows her as being totally besotted by him, which I doubt was the case. Other fine performances are given by Toby Jones as 'Pygmy', Robert Cecil, and by the actors playing Lord Burghley and Francis Walsingham, but for historical accuracy as well as Glenda Jackson's magnetism, Elizabeth R remains definitive.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Riveting Performance
An outstanding performance by one of my favorite actresses, Helen Mirren. Although It contained too much blood and gore at times, the story of Elizabeth's ascension to the throne... Read more
Published 19 minutes ago by knowledge is the key
4.0 out of 5 stars indrawing mood for this wonderful period piece
A dramatic tale that sets a consuming, indrawing mood for this wonderful period piece. The costuming and cinematography is very good, at times scenes are framed like a Rembrandt... Read more
Published 1 day ago by John P. Wilson
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
The acting was very good but I would of liked more action.
Published 1 day ago by Don M
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Watch!
Cannot verify the historical accuracy but this HBO Miniseries is an excellent portrayal of Elizabeth I.
Published 1 day ago by Mark4Runner
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit dull and over the top
A bit dull and over the top. Nothing new or revealing about Elizabeth 1. Kind of like the numerous shows of Hamlet.
Published 2 days ago by connie coonce
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see
Excellent presentation. One of the best of Elizabeth I have seen. It is moving and entertaining. You will love it.
Published 2 days ago by Terry
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good show I watch from time to time.
Published 2 days ago by Frida Kahlo
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding!
Helen Mirren makes Elizabeth a most human regent. She is brilliant and brings out the best of the story.
Published 2 days ago by Donna McPeek
1.0 out of 5 stars I didn't actuallywatch the movie because without subtitles
My problem with the video is that I was unable to access closed caption. I didn't actually watch the movie because without subtitles, I do not have hearing ability to understand a... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Carrie E. Prestwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Yet!
The very best movie yet made about this remarkable Queen and this period in England's history. Beautifully scripted and stunning performances it really is superior in every way. Read more
Published 4 days ago by NHB
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DVD Chapters..
I couldn't agree more - where is the second part of the two part HBO Miniseries on Elizabeth I??? It is also not on HBO cable channels?? If someone knows anything about this would they please let us know. Thanks!! AMAZON PLEASE REPLY ALSO
Sep 4, 2006 by Morris Enfield |  See all 4 posts
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