The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
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The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
It is no secret that Bette Davis and Errol Flynn were at each other's throats throughout the filming of The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex. Boiled down to essentials: Davis felt that Flynn was unprofessional, while Flynn thought that Davis took herself too damned seriously. Besides, Davis had wanted Laurence Olivier to play the Earl of Essex opposite her Queen Elizabeth I. She was forced to compromise on this point, but refused to allow Flynn proxy top billing via his suggestion that the film be retitled The Knight and the Lady. The finished product, a lavish Technicolor costumer… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's a war of minds and wills, but where it stands is at a point where Michael Curtiz still could direct ably, but the material wouldn't give way toward something better."
‑ Rory L. Aronsky, Film Threat
"Lavish, star-studded, but ultimately rather dull"
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Davis seizes every possible opportunity to make herself into a mad spectacle."
‑ Jeremiah Kipp, Slant Magazine
"This strange film--a romantic fable, wholly fictitious yet rooted in historically accurate minutiae--is a pleasure"
‑ Matt Bailey, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
More reviews for The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex on Rotten Tomatoes