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Mary of Scotland (1936, Katharine Hepburn, Donald Crisp)

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Katharine Hepburn plays Mary Stuart, the Queen of Scotland who refuses to renounce her claim to the throne of England, supported by March as Bothwell, her adviser and lover. One of director Ford’s few costume dramas (based on a play by Maxwell Anderson), this concentrates on a complicated intrigue and deceit rather than on the romantic melodrama. While the story is familiar and has been told a number of times, Ford’s direction, shadowy cinematography, and impressive art direction all make this memorable. Mary was later played by Vanessa Redgrave and Kathy Burke, among others.

The confrontation scene between Mary (Katharine Hepburn) and Elizabeth (Florence Eldridge) in Mary of Scotland was a scene of dramatic fiction; the two royals never actually met.

production details
USA | 123 minutes | 1936

Director: John Ford
Producer: Pandro S. Berman
Cinematography: Joseph H. August
Editor: Jane Loring
Music: Max Steiner
Script: Dudley Nichols
Production Design: Carroll Clark
Art Direction: Van Nest Polglase

cast
Mary Gordon as Nurse
John Carradine as Rizzio
Robert Barrat as Morton
Donald Crisp as Huntly
Katharine Hepburn as Mary Stuart
Robert Warwick as Sir Francis Knollys
Moroni Olsen as John Knox
Halliwell Hobbes as Man (uncredited)
Alec Craig as Donal
Fredric March as Bothwell
Florence Eldridge as Elizabeth Tudor
Douglas Walton as Darnley
Gavin Muir as Leicester
Ian Keith as Moray
William Stack as Ruthven
Ralph Forbes as Randolph
Alan Mowbray as Throckmorton
Frieda Inescort as Mary Beaton
David Torrence as Lindsay
Molly Lamont as Mary Livingstone
Anita Colby as Mary Fleming
Jean Fenwick as Mary Seton
Lionel Pape as Burghley
Monte Blue as Messenger
Nigel De Brulier as Judge (as Nigel de Brulier)

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