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Lady Jane (1986)

Helena Bonham Carter , Cary Elwes , Trevor Nunn  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Helena Bonham Carter, Cary Elwes, John Wood, Michael Hordern, Jill Bennett
  • Directors: Trevor Nunn
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: February 18, 2003
  • Run Time: 141 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JLJP
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,590 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Lady Jane" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Photo gallery

Editorial Reviews

"I foresee a glittering future for your daughter," the conspiratorial Duke of Northumberland insidiously whispers to the mother of Lady Jane Grey, the woman who would be England's queen, albeit for only nine days. The same could be said for Helena Bonham Carter, who, in her screen debut, carries this historical drama with aplomb. Jane, a principled and precocious 15-year-old (she reads Plato in Greek) was a pawn in a plot to maintain Protestant rule in the wake of young King Edward's death. A dashing Cary Elwes, anticipating his swashbuckling role in The Princess Bride, costars as Northumberland's feckless, wastrel son, Guilford, whose arranged marriage to Jane unexpectedly blossoms into love and rebellion. Anglophiles will bask in this impeccably mounted production (featuring Patrick Stewart as Jane's bullying father), but swooning teens, too, may embrace these young lovers as did the youths who made Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 Romeo & Juliet a box-office smash in its day. --Donald Liebenson

Product Description

The story of Lady Jane Grey, cousin to Henry the VIII, who found herself Queen of England for 9 days in 1553, at the age of 16.
Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Rating: PG13
Release Date: 12-DEC-2003
Media Type: DVD

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
94 of 96 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine movie about a very tragic young life July 24, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Helena Bonham Carter does a superb job portraying one of the most tragic characters in history, Lady Jane Grey, otherwise known as "the Nine Days Queen". Her soft innocence and vulnerability are convincing and heart rendering. You also get to see a very very young Cary Elwes providing a fine supporting role as her doomed husband and Patrick Stewart (way before his Star Trek days) giving an equally fine performance as her scheming father.
The story itself would make for a great Shakesparean tragedy if history hadn't written it first. I was quite moved at the cruel twists of fate that were handed out to this young girl. It is also a testament to the cruelty of parents to their children in sixteenth century England. This was commonplace at these times, even if one was of royal blood as Jane was.
The moving and historically accurate execution scene, in which the blindfolded Jane cannot find the block to rest her neck is quite heart wrenching. You want her to survive the circumstances that her family placed her in, and the wretchedness of her miserable upbringing. However, life is not a fairy tale, even for princesses; this is a profound example of the misery that many Tudor woman, including Elizabeth I, went through. I subtract one star for some of the historical inaccuracies, but overall it is a wonderful and moving film. It also makes you grateful that you did not live in those precarious times.
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205 of 222 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Why can't filmakers show real history? October 13, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Let's start with what's good about this movie. The cast is wonderful, the costumes superb, etc.
And, they even got part of the history right. In the 16th century people did argue passionately (and die) over religion, poor innocent Jane was the puppet of ruthlessly ambitious adults.
Blast it! That dumb love story ruined the whoe movie. There is absolutely no evidence that Jane and Guilford Dudley ever loved each other. Nor did they attempt to reform the coinage, build public schools, redistribute income... I think Jane's story is even more tragic when you realize that her horrible parents forced her into a loveless marriage to further their own ends.
But yet, the execution scene was true to the historical accounts. Can you imagine the horror of watching a blinfolded sixteen year old groping for the executioner's block, and asking: "Where is it? What do I do?"
If you ever go to London, visit the British Library where Jane's prayerbook is on display. The night before she died, she wrote a letter to her sister on the endpapers. The handwriting never wavers. What courage this innocent child had.
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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
I loved this film for the great drama of a mere sixteen-year old being used for machinations of her family to ascend to the British throne. There is a scene where Lady Jane is punished (by spanking with a paddle or something) for disobedience; this is a harbinger of the ultimate tragedy for the hapless teenager. While the details of this historical drama are not precise, the tale is well-told and the costumes and scenery are magnificent. This is a good, riveting historical drama despite the liberties the screenwriters have taken.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Noble, Regal, Sparkling, Solemn, Tragic May 12, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This gem of a film is from Helena Bonham-Carter's ingenue days in which she captures the strength of the pious and studious Nine-Days Queen magnificently. Strangely, paintings show she bears a stronger resemblance to Guildford Dudley than Cary Elwes, who makes up for his lack of physical resemblance to Jane's slovenly, disreputable husband by turning out a charismatic and thoughtful performance.
This rather heavy-handed account of Jane Grey's life has a lot of symbolism. In a very English hunting scene at the beginning (which closely resembles a Breughel painting), we see the elders in Jane's life closing in on a deer in much the same way they would trap Jane into serving their own corrupt ends. After Jane is whipped by her mother for her reluctance to marry the obnoxious Guildford Dudley, King Edward comforts her by giving her a puppet to play with. The symbolism of that moment at this point in the film is blantantly obvious.
Michael Hordern's Father Fekenham is a comforting presence in Jane's life, despite their disagreements over religion. He never hides the amount of respect he has for the young girl.
Inaccuracies of the film include the fact that Jane's parents, played by a hard-driven Patrick Stewart, and a ruthless Sarah Kestelman(who reaffirms the fact that the saintliness of Frances Grey's mother, Mary, who was Henry VIII's younger sister, truly skipped a generation)responded to Jane's initial refusal to marry Guildford by respectively slapping her in the face repeatedly and cursing her. While one is greatful that the audience is spared that, the nude scene between Jane and Guildford was a bit gratuitous, and as Jane was actually unwavering in her resentment of her chosen husband, it's highly unlikely that their union was consumated.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tudor England ... Not A Boring Era March 14, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Helena Bonham Carter stars as the young girl who for nine days was Queen of England. Lady Jane Grey was Henry VIII's niece and a staunch Protestant. Through political machinations, the dying King Edward (a teenager) makes his cousin Jane his successor, not the legitimate choice, his very Catholic sister Mary. Jane is forced into an arranged marriage to facilitate the move and soon finds herself on a throne she never wanted. Her husband gives her much support, and the two decide to make changes that will benefit the long suffering common man. But Mary will not be denied her throne (and neither will her husband, the Spanish king). Queen Jane is removed and condemned to death, quite a common fate back then. The acting is tops, with Bonham Carter and Cary Elwes as her husband delivering excellent performances, surrounded by a cast of pros. The sets, costumes, and other period details are terrific as well. I wasn't expecting to see a romance film, which is what this movie develops into. It's not very accurate, although the actors have a great chemistry and make it work. I was expecting to see more of the political behind-the-scenes treachery, since the story of Lady Jane is rooted in religious conflict and personal ambition. The politics of Tudor England are fascinating, and this film certainly deals with the political and religious climate, but I would like to have seen more. Nonetheless, the film is well made and serves as a solid introduction to that critical time in English history.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Be careful of the seller of dvds
The dvd was unwatchable. It wouldn't play on my dvd player and who knows what foreign country it came from. Now I have to go through the pain of returning it
Published 13 days ago by judith garwood
5.0 out of 5 stars A great period movie
Everything in this movie is great. Cary Elwes and Helena Bonham Carter's acting is flawless. I know there are some historical inaccuracies in the movie, but without... Read more
Published 1 month ago by JudgeHades
4.0 out of 5 stars lady jane grey revealled
Very realistic in dialogue and costume for that period. I love ANYTHING related to the tudors. This movie focused on a very obscure queen who only ruled for 9 days. Read more
Published 1 month ago by sascha kearns
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for the intrigue, but suffers from cliche
I felt the same way as the general consensus here: the feudal politics are the most interesting thing, while the romance is very contrived... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nick
4.0 out of 5 stars I love the history of the UK This presented, with artistic additions,...
I love the history of the UK. This presented, with artistic additions, a little known event in Royal history. portrail of Queen Mary was well done.
Published 1 month ago by A. Cadaret
5.0 out of 5 stars The Nine Days Queen
Like everyone on earth, when someone asked me my favorite movie, I couldn't say. Until I saw this one. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Leah Claire
5.0 out of 5 stars classic
loved the character formations, personalties, strenghts to stand up to thier elders to hold onto their love
beautiful love story set in old times
like more like this one!
Published 2 months ago by LAURIE RAINEY
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie
Helena Bonham Carter brings Lady Jane to life in this movie and helps you to understand the history of what happened in her time
Published 3 months ago by becsuzjacsmom
4.0 out of 5 stars Truly wish the false love had been so
This is a very well done movie with wonderful actors playing the Times and the real cast of " characters" that true life offered up. Read more
Published 3 months ago by bonbon56
1.0 out of 5 stars This movie was not good at all... Don't recommend
Couldn't get thought the first 30 mins.... There are better ways to spend your time... Not worth the cash or time
Published 5 months ago by Sarah E Councell
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