Elizabeth (Spotlight Series)
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Product Description

Academy Award-winners Cate Blanchett Geoffrey Rush and Richard Attenborough lead a distinguished cast in Elizabeth - the critically acclaimed epic of the Queen's turbulent and treacherous rise to power!Before the Golden Age Elizabeth was a passionate and na ve girl who came to reign over a land divided by bloody turmoil. Amidst palace intrigues and attempted assassinations the young Queen is forced to become a cunning strategist while weighing the counsel of her mysterious advisors thwarting her devious rivals and denying her own desires for the good of her country.Relive the majesty and drama of one of history's greatest monarchs in this stunning production that was honored with 7 Academy Award nominations including Best Picture!System Requirements:Running Time: 124 Mins.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: DRAMA Rating: R UPC: 025195015455 Manufacturer No: 61101937

One of the big Elizabethan-era films of 1998, Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth serves up a brimming goblet of religious tension, political conspiracy, sex, violence, and war. England in 1554 is in financial and religious turmoil as the ailing Queen "Bloody" Mary attempts to restore Catholicism as the national faith. She has no heir, and her greatest fear--that her Protestant half-sister Elizabeth will assume the throne after her death--is realized. Still, the late Queen Mary has her loyalists. The newly crowned Elizabeth finds herself knee-deep in dethroning schemes while also dodging assassination attempts. Her advisers (including Sir William Cecil, superbly played by Richard Attenborough) beg her to marry any one of her would-be suitors to stabilize England's empire. No matter that she already has a lover. The passionate Robert Dudley (Joseph Fiennes) is married, however, and shows he cannot stand up to the growing strength of the Queen. With the help of her aide Walsingham (Geoffrey Rush), Elizabeth strikes against her enemies before they get to her first. But her rise ultimately entails rejecting love and marriage to redefine herself as the indisputable Virgin Queen.

Cate Blanchett's Oscar-nominated performance as the naive and vibrant princess who becomes the stubborn and knowing queen is both severe and sympathetic. Her ethereal, pale beauty is equal parts fire and ice, her delivery of such lines as "There will be only one mistress here and no master!" expressed with command rather than hysterics. As striking as Blanchett's performance is the film's lavish and dramatic production design. The cold, dark sets paired with the lush costuming show the golden age of England's monarchy emerging from the Middle Ages. Rich velvet brushes over the dank stones while power is achieved at any price, and with such attention to physical detail, Elizabeth fully immerses you into its compelling chronicle of pioneering feminism and revisionist history. --Shannon Gee

Customer Reviews:

  • Excellent for Anglofiles
    For those keeping up wtih the history of England this is a must have for Anglofiles. Cate Blanchett does a wonderful job (as did Helen Mirren) portraying young Queen Elizabeth. ...more info
  • Amazing movie
    Cate Blanchett does an amazing job as Queen Elizabeth. This movie focuses on young Elizabeth, following her unlikely rise to power and her struggle to hold on to her crown. This movie does take some liberties with the truth and plays with the debate of if Elizabeth was really a virgin or not. But the essence of who Princess/Queen Elizabeth was and what it was like for her to fight for her crown is captured in this amazing movie. All the actors did a fantastic job and thi smovie has exceptional replayability. I've watched it numerous times. I highly recommend this for anyone who is a fan of this era or a fan of Cate Blanchett. She does a fantastic job. Completely believable as the young Elizabeth....more info
  • Not a history lesson, but a good story
    To those of you, who have yet to realize what an amazing actress Cate Blanchett is, look no further than 'Elizabeth'. The characters, the costumes, and the production designs are good enough to make this movie watch able, but it's Blanchett who breathes life into the film and makes it cinema storytelling at its best.

    The story revolves around the rise of the young Queen Elizabeth I (Blanchett) who would soon become one of England's most powerful rulers. Reviled as a heretic by the Catholic Church, surrounded in the midst of traitors, and caught up in a romance with a young Lord that could jeopardize her crown, Elizabeth is forced to learn that as a queen... she must become untouchable in order to maintain her throne. The supporting cast does an excellent job with special nods to the ever elegant Geoffrey Rush, but it's Blanchett who manages to steal each and every scene. Her performance was more than Oscar worthy, and is surely one of her best.

    Some have compared this with `Shakespeare in Love' which includes two of the main leads from this film and was also released in the same year. Both are good films, but whereas `SIL' plays generally for laughs, Elizabeth is a serious film that should be taken seriously. There are historical plot holes - but these should not be used as a reason for slating the film. In fact it seems that Hollywood encourages this type of approach these days. There are any numbers of unexplained actions, and characters are sometimes hard to identify, but the camera work, color, and scenic backgrounds are superb. Locations are all real, and the acting is uniformly convincing. If an initial viewing leaves you a tad confused, do a little reading on the period, see the film again, and enjoy it all the more.
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  • one of the best Elizabeth's
    Elizabeth the First is one of my favorite historical figures. I think I've read and seen every book or flim about her. This flim is by far one the best I've seen. This flim gave her a hummanity a lot of flims have missed or choose not to portray. You were able to see her growth as not only a royal, but a person and a woman. You could see and feel how hard some of the choices she had to make were for her. I will watch this one over and over again. ...more info
  • Wonderful
    Wonderful performances by Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush. The quality of this DVD is much better than the original release. I am very pleased with this DVD....more info
  • Great movie. Nice video even though DVD
    Even I bought the DVD, not Hi-Def, the video is vivid and bright. The audio was good.

    The movie itself is one of my best epic movie.

    Two thumbs up to actors and director....more info
  • A Wow, Captivating and Mesmerizing Historical Movie
    If you love historical movies, then this movie is one to see. Cate Blanchett was made for this movie. Watching it, I almost thought that Cate is actually Queen Elizabeth, and not portraying the role of queen Elizabeth. However, I suggest that if you want to follow Queen Elizabeth's birth and rise to her status as queen, then I recommend the following purchases to compliment this GREAT movie. First, "The Other Boleyn Girl" which depicts Elizabeth's birth and the beheading of her mother, whom wanted to sleep with her brother (Elizabeth's uncle) in the hopes of producing a baby boy to replace the infant son she miscarried for her husband, the King of England. Secondly, "Elizabeth" which begins with Elizabeth as a young girl whom loves to dance with her friend Robert. However, when she becomes queen after an attempt to execute her for her religious beliefs, she falls in love with Robert whom beds her often. The only problem is that Robert is married and Queen Elizabeth is unaware of his marriage to another until told by her trusted advisor. He tells her because the powers-that-be, during that time, wanted Elizabeth to marry and produce an heir, but she considered herself married to England and was called "The Virgin Queen." View the movie to see how this queen reigns supreme with her God, her love for her people and England. Finally, you can purchase "Elizabeth, The Golden Age" to see how Queen Elizabeth is besieged.The Other Boleyn Girl] ][[ASIN:B000ZOXDFA Elizabeth - The Golden Age (Widescreen Edition)...more info
  • Fact is stranger than Fiction
    I am a fan of historical fiction, and this has to be one of the most historically inaccurate films I have ever seen! What bothers me the most is that the general public, who hasn't read the Tudor biographies like some of us have, will believe this stuff because it is their only exposure to the subject! I won't go into all the inaccuracies since other reviewers have already touched on them. Why tamper with history, when it was actually more fascinating than what was portrayed in this movie. ...more info
  • Spectacular!
    Existing reviews both on and off Amazon already say it all. This is a spectacular film in so many ways. If you enjoy history, Cate, Feinnes, gorgeous costumes, great acting, and panoramic character development, get this film.
    (It's only too bad that the followup, Elizabeth the Golden Age, doesn't even touch this one.)...more info
  • Cate, oh my...............
    To borrow from a previous reviewer: A movie to kill an evening with if you have one that really needs murdering.

    ...more info
  • Somewhat boring
    We had been learning about Elizabeth in our history class and we watched the beginning of the movie in class and I thought it was GREAT so I bought the movie (because we didn't watch the rest of it in class) and I was very disappointed with the rest of the film. It was boring and slower moving and never really came to a good resolve. ...more info
  • gave as a gift
    I gave it only three stars because I bought this as a gift and did not hear a word from the recipiant if they like it. Bad gift. ...more info
  • Empowering
    I like films about inner and outer transformations, especially when it's about a woman who has to fight to stand up for her ideals and to defend the idea that a woman too can be a ruler. The last scene where she becomes the "virgin queen" is especially haunting. In truth, a film that is empowering for women everywhere. ...more info
  • Reality or fantasy
    Customes are great but the plot is confusing? History and this movie don't mix very well. Definitely not on the acting level of Flora Robson and her 1940's movies on Elizabeth....more info
  • Blanchett is stupendous!
    I cannot believe they awarded the best actress oscar to Paltrow over Blanchett. Its criminal! Two completely different performances, yes, but if you had to pick a best actress, Cate should have been it. She was marvelous in this and no one could have played the queen better. The movie itself is beautifully shot, the screenplay rich and informative, while being highly entertaining. Its dramatic and romantic and nail biting all at once. I love watching period films/costume dramas; whatever you wanna call it, this one is up there as one of the best made. Hands down, no question. It may be a bit confusing at first watch, but after a couple more viewings, you really appreciate just how wonderful this film is. ...more info
  • Some Good, Some Bad
    Elizabeth / B000RF7XYO

    I love Tudor history, but I'm realistic enough to expect a Tudor movie to not be very historically accurate, so I went into Elizabeth with a pretty open mind, knowing that "history" and "entertainment" rarely meet in Hollywood. I'd have to say that "Elizabeth" does a fair job, but the movie definitely has its faults.

    Blanchett performs wonderfully as Elizabeth and seems made for the role. I would have preferred that Elizabeth be portrayed as more composed and less nervous, which would be both historically accurate and equally entertaining to me, but I suppose that the filmmakers wanted Blanchett's nervous performance to reflect Elizabeth's inner turmoil. I'm sure it is very difficult to play a calm persona whilst conveying inner uncertainty.

    Similar complaints abound for Elizabeth's indiscretion in scenes where she openly sleeps with Dudley while her ladies-in-waiting watch nearby - I would venture to guess that the whole scene is supposed to be Hollywood-shorthand for their unrequited love, but the ridiculousness of the scene is a little jarring, and I cannot understand why the directors didn't at least introduce a little more secrecy to the scene.

    The scenes where Elizabeth comes into her own with gentle barbs and quiet cajoling of her parliament are beautifully handled and are wonderful to behold. Blanchett manages to convey just the right amount of humility and control, humor and iron will to make the scene convincing. Elizabeth's concerns about marriage are conveyed clearly and distinctly, as she frets over the inevitability of losing her power, should she wed. And the scenes where Elizabeth struggles with the realities of power, with the necessities of ruthlessness and aloofness, are perfectly conveyed.

    I do wish, however, that the movie had employed a little more cunning and subtlety on Elizabeth's part. Historically, she managed to play several suitors on a string while she quietly built her country's defenses and earned her right to independence, yet this subtlety is not conveyed here. Regularly and loudly, she protests that she will never marry, and we see almost nothing of the Spanish suitor whose armada would fare so badly and so infamously against Elizabeth's navy. I was disappointed that none of this came across.

    Overall, this is a decent movie, entertaining enough and with enough kind-of-historical merit to be pleasant to Tudor lovers. I probably wouldn't watch this movie again, though, outside of a one time rental.

    Oddly, the movie information on the Amazon page lists that English subtitles are included, but the version I received from Blockbuster Online did *not* have English captions for the hard of hearing, only French and Spanish subtitles, so caveat emptor....more info
  • one great movie
    This is one great movie. Although it may not be historically correct (follows history exactly), it's retelling of history is engaging and captivating. ...more info
  • "Elizabeth" reigns supreme on film.
    Every aspect of this film is flawless. All period films should use this one as an example of how to bring history to life.

    I can't speak much about the plot that hasn't already been discussed to death here and Amazon itself has done a decent job recapping the basics of this story. I'll resort to my simple Hits and Misses on this one:

    The HITS:

    1. This film is flawlessly acted by all. While Cate Blanchett dominates the screen and well-earned her Oscar nomination that year, Geoffrey Rush and the suburb, but under appreciated Sir Richard Attenborough (The Great Escape, A Passage To India and Jurassic Park) are outstanding in their supporting roles as is the rest of the terrific cast.

    2. Exquisite photography, costume design, and settings bring this period piece to life. No detail seems missed. The audience is immersed in the era.

    3. Historically speaking, the film is rather accurate although the whole situation with Elizabeth's lover is conjecture base upon quite a lot of hearsay (but may be correct).

    4. This film is lovingly directed. The director let's the plot and the actors actually tell the story in a fashion that is unobtrusive.

    5. The script is pure gold and provides the brilliant foundation for this outstanding film.

    The Misses:

    I couldn't find a thing wrong with this film. When I said it was flawless, I meant it. Of course, that's just my opinion....more info
  • A small nudge in the direction of romanticism...
    And Elizabeth did whisper Robert Dudley's name on her deathbed... The movie is an imaginative interpretation of the way that things could have been...

    Shekhar Kapur's film explores the instabilities of her reign, and the absolute horror and terror that surrounded the early part of her royal office without neglecting her relationship with her terminally ill sister... So it's a glimpse of her girlhood into statehood, and the shedding that occurs, with the people who expended in her life along the way...

    The film shows Elizabeth growing up in an incredibly unstable, tumultuous environment... But she's an absolute survivor... Someone who has got no solid ground on which she walks... So one minute she's a bastard, the next minute she's a princess, then one moment she's an illegitimate daughter, then she's a queen... And it's a very relevant period of her life, because she was 25 when she became a female monarch...

    There are four men in Elizabeth's life and all have quite different influences on what it means for a young woman to run the country so young, given that she comes to the throne under very difficult political circumstances...

    There's Sir Cecil (Attenborough) who's from an older regime giving her the traditions and the conventions that are the most orthodox; Sir Francis (Geoffrey Rush) Elizabeth's great spy master, very astute, almost puritanical and rather dry bureaucrat; Robert Dudley (Fiennes) with whom the film suggests that she has quite a passionate, private relationship; and Norfolk (Eccleston), a major rival who doesn't regard that she is suitable to rule his England...

    The motion picture succeeds in developing Elizabeth's change and, basically, locks off parts of herself, and dehumanizes herself in order to wield her power among men... ...more info
  • Elizabeth the Silly School Girl
    A work of fiction is a great thing, but to take the life of a famous historical character and potray it as accurate is wrong. Why not just make up a story with no historical basis?...more info
  • Elizabeth
    I love this movie and watch it over and over it is done very well and a great story....more info
  • I, Too, Can Command The Wind Sir!
    Incredible movie from start to finish. Cate is one of those actresses that I'd watch read the phone book. I thought they lessened Geoffrey Rush's character a bit in this film but I loved it nevertheless. I give it 5 stars and I think you will too!...more info
  • A Little History, Professor...
    I was interested about English history and this film, along with Elizabeth: The Golden Age, are great for understanding the beginning and continuance of the Elizabethan Age. Extremely well put together and superb acting make this film a keeper....more info
  • Cate Blanchett-the real Oscar winning actress.
    I purchased this DVD because I thought it was interesting. And I'm glad I did. Cate Blanchett's performance was outstanding! She is a marvelous actress! In my opinion, she should have won the Academy Award as best actress. Unfortunately, however, since the Oscars are nothing more than a popularity contest, and because Gwyneth Paltrow was so popular at that time, she won. Anyway, great movie, with a magnificent Cate Blanchett. I look forward to seeing the sequel "Elizabeth, the Golden Age" coming out this fall....more info
  • "I'm Married To England" ~ To Touch The Divine Here On Earth
    With 435 reviews already posted on the '98 film `Elizabeth' starring the incomparable Cate Blanchett I would venture to guess that just about everything haas been said about this masterpiece. Cinematography, soundtrack, script and cast are second to none. For me what raises its standard of excellence even higher, if that were possible, is the symbolic connection made between Queen Elizabeth and the Virgin Mary, hence the unofficial title "the Virgin Queen).

    Religion and personal convictions always seem to be at odds with politics and personal ambitions particularly in period pieces involving royalty and the belief in the right to rule as though by Divine Decree. This beautiful intermixing of the mundane with sacred is the cord that binds this film together adding depth and dimension to an already stellar production.

    Definitely a film that belongs in your personal, permanent DVD collection!...more info
  • Greatest Elizabeth
    Elizabeth I is by far my favorite historical figure, a powerful and fair woman who defined an entire age, lifting her country out of squalor into greatness. Although historically inaccurate, Kapur's Elizabeth is a masterpiece of cinematography. Cate Blanchett, a virtual unknown when she was cast for the role, couldn't have been a better choice for the role of this ageless monarch.

    The film covers approximately five years of Elizabeth's reign, from her life as a Princess, to her ascendancy to the throne on 17 November 1558 to her maturing as a monarch, taking the reigns of power from advisors. Again, ignoring the fact that some events in the film are not accurate (Kapur explains this in the bonus features), Elizabeth is a fantastic portrayal of the Tudor dynasty that died with Elizabeth I. Joseph Fiennes was the perfect choice for the Earl of Leicester (whom Elizabeth called "My Eyes"), as Fiennes is a well known Shakespearean actor, who portrayed Shakespeare the same year Elizabeth came out in "Shakespeare in Love".

    Great cast, including Geoffrey Rush and Sir Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth is a feast of photography, words, history and acting. I highly recommend this film, and am looking forward to Elizabeth: The Golden Age....more info
  • Rewriting History and Calling It "Culture"
    It's one thing to amuse yourself imagining how "Romeo & Juliet" might have come to be written for a film like "Shakespeare in Love" - it's another thing entirely simply to rewrite existing history so you can turn that history into a palatable soap opera for morons.

    Despite a lush production, great costumes, and a cast that is nothing short of extraordinary, the liberties taken with recorded history by the director take this film down to the level of a cartoon of Elizabeth's achievements during Britain's Golden Age. Had I seen this in the theater, I would probably have gotten up and walked out after seeing Mary de Guise murdered in her bed by Sir Francis Walsingham for the sake of "compressing" history and the personae of Mary de Guise and her daughter, Mary Queen of Scots. Mary de Guise was deposed by her own nobles in 1559, and died of dropsy in 1560 - she represented next to no threat to Elizabeth (quite the reverse: the rise of Scottish Protestantism was a threat to Mary de Guise). Her daughter Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded by Elizabeth many years later after quite a long time spent imprisoned in the Tower. Only the presence of actors like Blanchett, Rush, and Eccleston kept me watching. Then there was the presentation of the young Elizabeth as wavering and tentative and easily cowed, when in fact one of the factors in her survival of a very dangerous youth was her composure, brilliant mind, and oratorical gifts; and, most absurdly, a wildly erotic sex scene between Fiennes and Blanchett in an open space where her ladies in waiting (and anyone else who cared to) enjoyed the spectacle, a piece of recklessness so out of character for the wily, man-dodging Elizabeth that it beggars description.

    I was the more disgusted because, knowing how appallingly badly educated Americans are when it comes to history (more than half of teens polled recently couldn't give the dates of the Civil War), I am sure three quarters of the audiences in this country walked out thinking that they had just been shown the truth.

    There is NO excuse for this. NONE. I see from the ecstatic reviews that most people either don't know any better or worse, just don't care - it is a sad commentary on their standards. I wonder if the director had a good time trying to cut down to size one of history's greatest female leaders?

    For the record, Blanchett is splendid as the young Elizabeth, Joseph Fiennes decent but uninspiring (as he always seems to be) as the feckless Sir Robert Dudley, Geoffrey Rush amazing (as HE always seems to be) as the canny Walsingham, and Christopher Eccleston baleful and forbidding as the Catholic Duke of Norfolk, sworn to bring down what he considers a heretic and illegitimate Queen (the Norfolks still lead England's minority Catholic nobility). Daniel Craig has a small role in this film as one of Norfolk's co-conspirators in treason - as always, Craig is compelling to watch even briefly. I find Joseph Fiennes so dull; what a pity neither Craig nor Eccleston were cast as Dudley.

    But what a stunning waste of immense talent on a script that is absolute trash.
    ...more info
  • very pleased with the product
    the product was delivered on time, very good condition. There is nothing else that could have been done for more satisfaction....more info
  • Elizabeth
    It has been about 4 days since I have seen the movie and can't remember that much about this one. I guess that tells how much I liked the movie. It was ok and the special effects were ok as well. I would however recommend Elizabeth: The Golden Age over this one anytime. I still would recommend buying the cheapest version of either movie since I don't think you will remember either one for a long time. I did give the Golden Age higher marks as it did have a better storyline....more info
  • Movies vs. Documentaries
    Very few historical movies are historically accurate. Who cares? That is not the point. If anyone relies on movie to get their history lessons, then they are pitiful in the first place. The primary purpose of movies is to entertain. Its likely that anyone interested in 'Elizabeth' is not the run of the mill 'Die Hard' fan to begin with, and probably has some true historical knowledge. Those seeking historical facts should visit their local library and stay away from the video store. ...more info