The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex is a 1939 American historical romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, and Olivia de Havilland. Based on the play Elizabeth the Queen by Maxwell Anderson—which had a successful run on Broadway with Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt in the lead roles—the film fictionalizes the historical relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex. The screenplay was written by Norman Reilly Raine and Aeneas MacKenzie.
The Earl of Essex (Errol Flynn) returns in triumph to London after having dealt the Spanish a crushing naval defeat at Cadiz. In London, an aging Queen Elizabeth (Bette Davis) awaits him with love, but also with fear, because of his popularity with the commoners and his consuming ambition. His envious rivals include Sir Robert Cecil (Henry Daniell), Lord Burghley (Henry Stephenson), and Sir Walter Raleigh (Vincent Price). His only friend at court is Francis Bacon (Donald Crisp).
|author||Maxwell Anderson Æneas MacKenzie Norman Reilly Raine|
|events||capital punishment Elizabeth I of England Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex|
|keywords||arrest beg betray cadiz condemn francis bacon master-general of the ordnance master of the ordnance the king walter raleigh|
|musicBy||Erich Wolfgang Korngold|
|nomination||Academy Award for Best Cinematography, Color Academy Award for Best Production Design Academy Award for Best Score, Adaptation or Treatment Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing Academy Award for Best Special Effects|
|producer||Hal B. Wallis|
|publisher||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|theme||biographical drama romantic drama|