The Virgin Queen 1955 NR CC

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(30) IMDb 7/10
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When Sir Walter Raleigh asks Queen Elizabeth I for ships to make a name for England, he falls for a young ward of the court, but soon realizes that he must curb his attraction in order to achieve his goal with the smitten Queen.

Starring:
Bette Davis, Richard Todd
Runtime:
1 hour, 32 minutes

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The Virgin Queen

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director Henry Koster
Starring Bette Davis, Richard Todd
Supporting actors Joan Collins, Jay Robinson, Herbert Marshall, Dan O'Herlihy, Robert Douglas, Romney Brent, Leslie Parrish, Lisa Daniels, Robert Adler, Frank Baker, Barry Bernard, Janice Carroll, John Costello, Ashley Cowan, Lisa Davis, Terence de Marney, Noel Drayton, Michael Ferris
Studio 20th Century Fox
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Byron Kolln HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 14, 2008
Format: DVD
In 1939, Bette Davis provided one of her greatest performances as Queen Elizabeth the 1st in the Technicolor MGM drama "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex". She sacrificed for the role, to the extent of shaving her eyebrows plus two inches from her hairline to resemble the aged monarch. So when Twentieth Century Fox went forward with THE VIRGIN QUEEN sixteen years later, it made sense for Bette Davis to once again ascend the throne. Though it does pale dramatically when compared to the earlier film, Bette Davis' regal performance keeps it on a smooth path.

Queen Elizabeth (Bette Davis) falls in love with the younger Sir Walter Raleigh (Richard Todd), despite the scheming of a catty rival (Joan Collins). Though historically, THE VIRGIN QUEEN often plays fast and loose with the truth; Joan Collins (a Fox contract player of the period) creates some fireworks as the "Other Woman"--and her scenes with Davis are fun. Richard Todd and Bette Davis also have an enjoyable rapport, despite Henry Koster's often pedestrian direction.

If you enjoyed "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex", you will most certainly appreciate THE VIRGIN QUEEN. How often does an actor get the chance to revisit a role and get to use their newfound maturity and insight to create a deeper characterisation the second time around?

Highly-recommended for Bette Davis fans.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 1, 2008
Format: DVD
This is Davis' second film in which she plays Queen Elizabeth I of England. Personally, I thought 1939's "Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex" was better, but it is hard to compare the two since this film takes place 15 years earlier in history than "Private Lives" and has Davis essentially playing Elizabeth at the age - 47 - that Davis actually is. The earlier film had Davis at 31 playing Queen Elizabeth in her sixties. Here Richard Todd plays Sir Walter Raleigh, who, like Essex in the earlier film, is a younger man who trades on Elizabeth's love for him to gain some personal glory. Richard Todd plays Raleigh effectively, but there is just no topping the charisma of Flynn's performance in the earlier movie.

The special features include a "Making Of" featurette, some trailers, and a photo gallery. This film is being released separately and as part of Fox' Bette Davis Centenary Collection.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chris on January 10, 2006
Format: VHS Tape
Bette Davis reigns supreme in this highly colourful film on the lives of Queen Elizabeth I and Sir Walter Raleigh.

The full pageant of royal life, including the famous laying of Sir Walter's cloak in a puddle to allow the queen to step on it, is brought wonderfully to life.

Joan Collins adds a lot of colour as the royal lady-in-waiting who incurs the queen's wrath by marrying Sir Walter.

A classic period drama with scrumptuous costumes and an all-star cast.

If you liked the 1939 classic The Private Lives of Elizabeth And Essex, you will deffinately love The Virgin Queen. Once again Bette Davis portrays Queen Elizabeth The I magnificently.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Roberto Frangie on January 11, 2009
Format: DVD
On his return to England in 1581, after fighting honorably and victoriously in the Irish War, Walter Raleigh (Richard Todd) makes his way to Lord Leicester (Herbert Marshall), a confidant of Queen Elizabeth (Bette Davis).

Lord Leicester is so impressed with his good looking and self-confidence, that he arranges for him an introduction at Court...

Raleigh, hoping to gain the queen's attention so he can interest her in sponsoring his ambition to sail to the New World and return with great loots, orders a costly blue cape he cannot afford...By laying it over a mud puddle in her path as she crosses the palace courtyard, Raleigh got what he deeply desires...

Formerly presented to her and openly inspired with a foolish and excessive passion, Queen Elizabeth appoints him as Captain of the Guard against the advice of Chadwick (Jay Robinson), a counselor whose dislike of Raleigh is unrestricted...

Once in the Palace, and close to the queen, Raleigh falls in love with one of her beautiful attendants, Beth Throgmorton (Joan Collins), who feels she is competing with the queen for Raleigh's kindness...

In a position to have entire faith in the queen, Raleigh tells her of his hope of being sent to the New World to seek fortunes... Indulgent at first, Elizabeth finally considers his offer and promises him one ship for his expedition... On the eve of his departure, Elizabeth knights Raleigh in her bed-chamber ignoring that, while awaiting her decision, he has married Beth in a secret ceremony...

It all makes for a pretty interesting historical motion picture not to be missed...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Simon Davis on October 18, 2009
Format: DVD
It's a rare occasion indeed when an actress has the opportunity to revisit a part she had played 15 years earlier and create another interpretation of the same character. Bette Davis, the legendary Queen of Warner Bros Studios had already placed her unique stamp on the larger than life character of Queen Elizabeth 1 of England in a lavish 1939 technicolour production titled "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex" which co starred Errol Flynn as the wickedly charming Earl of Essex. Fast forward 15 years with Bette now out of her contract with Warners and moving from film to film on a freelance basis. This time the studio was 20th Century Fox who were mounting another lavish version of a portion of the life of Good Queen Bess titled appropriately enough "The Virgin Queen". Fox hired Bette during a real slump in her career to recreate her role as the majestic Queen this time with the focus being on her "love affair' (highly fictionalised) with Sir Walter Raleigh which actually took place during an earlier time period than that which served as a basis for the earlier 1939 film. While "The Virgin Queen" certainly didn't restore Bette's sagging career to its former glory, (she would have to wait until the 1962 smash "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?" for that to happen) it is a more than respectable effort and one of her better films of this period.

As with most historical dramas the historical facts of this late Tudor period are played around with in the screenplay for "The Virgin Queen", however that doesn't distract from its real entertainment value.
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