Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh star in a story of romance and intrigue set in Elizabethan England, with the Spanish Armada massing on the horizon line. This 1937 film was one of England's periodic attempts to break Hollywood's stranglehold on the world market. Naturally, an American, William K. Howard, was hired to direct it. It's played rather facetiously, although it doesn't go for laughs—as if the filmmakers had been seized by some 30s version of hipness, and wanted to demonstrate their superiority to the cliched material without jeopardizing their paychecks. Flora Robson, as Elizabeth, mother-hens it over Olivier and Leigh; there's some real wit in her performance. With Leslie Banks, Raymond Massey, and a glimpse of a young James Mason. 92 min.
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