Young Bess

Young Bess is a 1953 Technicolor biographical film made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer about the early life of Elizabeth I, from her turbulent childhood to the eve of her accession to the throne of England. It stars Jean Simmons as Elizabeth and Stewart Granger as Thomas Seymour, with Charles Laughton as Elizabeth's father, Henry VIII, a part he had played 20 years before in The Private Life of Henry VIII. The film was directed by George Sidney and produced by Sidney Franklin, from a screenplay by and Arthur Wimperis based on the novel of the same title by Margaret Irwin (1944).


Following the execution of Elizabeth's mother, Anne Boleyn, for infidelity, King Henry VIII declares his daughter illegitimate and removes her from the line of succession to the throne and exiles her to Hatfield House with her loyal servants, governess Mrs. Ashley and Mr. Parry. Over the years, her position rises and falls according to the whims of her father. The child is periodically summoned to return to London to become acquainted with Henry's latest spouse.