The King’s Screen: Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots

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Glenda Jackson’s Elizabeth I schools Vanessa Redgrave as ‘Mary, Queen of Scots’ (Source: Moviemail)

Glenda Jackson famously played Elizabeth I on a BBC television series, Elizabeth R (1971), and that was much praised for historical accuracy in its time, but the series looks pretty deadly now, with Jackson trotting out her few ironclad mannerisms at far too great a length; she was much more fun that same year on the big screen as Elizabeth I in Mary, Queen of Scots, where she plays quickly for camp and then for pathos and scores on both levels. She almost completely eclipses Vanessa Redgrave’s romantic, foolish Mary.

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