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Young Bess [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Jean Simmons, Stewart Granger, Deborah Kerr, Charles Laughton, Kay Walsh
  • Directors: George Sidney (II)
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: MGM (Warner)
  • VHS Release Date: June 30, 1994
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6303120482
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,083 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

She is so elegant & beautiful.
Jolene Shumake
MGM spared no expenses in 1953 in bringing to life the young years of Elizabeth TUDOR.
Patricia Simeon
Jean Simmons and Deborah Kerr did a great job acting in this film.
Doris M. Edwards

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 24, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and I must recommend it to those who have seen the movie "Elizabeth" and are interested in other movie versions of the Tudor Queen. This little known film is the only movie that focuses only on Elizabeth's life as a princess and, although I do not think Jean Simmons portrays a convincing version of her, I do think that it was entertaining. Perhaps if Elizabeth lived during the 1950's, it would be more convincing. It does have a "1950's" look and appeal.
Do not expect historical accuarcy here, this movie has been overly romanticized. It is about one of the many precarious episodes in Elizabeth's life when she was a princess. This episode was about a teenage Elizabeth's supposed romantic involvment with Captain Thomas Seymour [Stewart Granger]. Captain Seymour was also the husband of the Dowager Queen, Katherine Parr [Deborah Kerr], who was Henry VIII's [Charles Laughton] last wife and widow. Elizabeth went to live with them as an adopted "daughter" so to speak. Seymour flirted with her and entertained aspirations of marrying her since she was the daughter of a king. The Dowager Queen, jealous of his behavior toward her, banished Elizabeth from their home. As for Seymour, he was later executed for treasonable offenses, which included these aspirations. This execution was ordered by Seymour's brother, who ruled England on behalf of his nephew and Elizabeth's young half brother, the "boy king", Edward VI. Don't worry, so far all these relationships sound incestuous, but they're not (read your history). Elizabeth herself was also in serious trouble for this and her life hanged in the balance.
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50 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Earle on April 16, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This film, released the week of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, is a highly fictionalized account of the early life of Elizabeth I.
Jean Simmons and Stewart Granger had been married for three years at the time of this film's release. While their union would only last for seven years afterwards, this film proves that it was a very productive union while it hung together.
It begins on the eve of Elizabeth's ascension to the throne, when her governess, Catherine Ashley, played by a discreet and dignified Kaye Walsh, visits the steward, Mr. Parry, played by a booming-voiced and jovial Cecil Kellaway, to inform him that Elizabeth's half-sister, Mary, is dying, begining a long reminiscence about Mrs. Ashley's adventures in raising a royal heir.
Charles Laughton resumes the role he originally had as Henry VIII 20 years earlier in "The Private Life of Henry VIII" in this film, and he was still very much up to the challenge. He is depicted as taking delight in the birth of his daughter with Anne Boleyn, played by a convivial Elaine Stewart, when in reality, it's a well known fact that his feelings about the birth of another girl were very different.
All too soon, Elizabeth's mother is sent to the block for treason, and the red-haired toddler begins the first of many subsequent journeys to exile at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire in Mrs. Ashley's arms.
At about age six, the pouty girl, now played by Noreen Corchran, is returned to court in what becomes a tragi-comic sequence. We only hear the voice of Henry's German-born fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. Sometime, thereafter, Elizabeth warms to a third step-mother, her cousin, Catherine Howard, played by a charming Dawn Addams. But Catherine's time as Elizabeth's step-mother is severed by an executioner's axe.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I recorded this movie several years ago off of TV and am now looking for a new copy because my video tape is eating through I have watched it so much. While probably not entirely historically accurate (neither is "Elizabeth"), it is very enjoyable to watch. Jean Simmons makes a stunning Elizabeth and I think is very believable as a young woman with the personality and determination to rule a country. This movie is mostly relationship based, not centered on big historical events, but is very enjoyable and one of my all time favorites
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Dagmar Preinerstorfer on October 15, 2001
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This is an entertaining movie and not a documentary. So, why not show "how it could have happened". This is what makes history interesting and exciting. The story is very well written, the actors are superb. And there is this sparkling chemistry between Jean Simmons, Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr I miss so badly in modern movies. This is GOOD OLD HOLLYWOOD (even it is mostly british). I hope that in the near future somebody produces a good DVD!! This movie is one of my all time favorites!!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 21, 2006
Format: VHS Tape
Fictionalized, glamorized, and purified, "Young Bess" is a highly entertaining and lavish production, with a fabulous cast, lovely costuming, and a terrific Miklos Rozsa score. Though far from resembling Elizabeth I, Jean Simmons is exquisite as the strong willed young queen, who has an adoring fascination for the Lord High Admiral Thomas Seymour, and is conflicted by her fondness for her stepmother Catherine Parr, who was to marry Thomas. Thomas in real life was a bit of an ambitious schemer, and a charmer with the ladies, but in this film, as played by a dashing and handsome Stewart Granger, he is portrayed as a romantic character in love with both women.

The cast is remarkable, with Deborah Kerr as Catherine Parr, Charles Laughton as Henry VIII, Guy Rolfe as Protector of the king and villain of the plot, Ned Seymour (brother of Thomas), and Rex Thompson giving a delightful performance as young King Edward VI. The direction by George Sidney is meticulous, and Charles Rocher's cinematography a visual treat. This 16th century period of English history is complex and fascinating, and even this "movie treatment" (based on Margaret Irwin's novel) is riveting.

Simmons and Granger were married at the time of this filming, and have great chemistry together, and with the addition of Deborah Kerr, we have 2 of the most beautiful women who ever graced the screen in the same film. Purists will quibble with the liberties taken with the plot, but anyone else with an appreciation for historical drama will thoroughly enjoy this film.
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