Elizabeth (1998)



Critic Consensus: No mere historical drama, Elizabeth is a rich, suspenseful journey into the heart of British Royal politics, and features a typically outstanding performance from Cate Blanchett.

Movie Info

London, 1554. England is rife with intrigue. Elizabeth, born of royal lineage (the daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn), imprisoned by her half- sister Mary, when she is 16, is swept onto the throne and crowned Queen of England at 23. To survive, Elizabeth must suss out hidden agendas in her court, on the battlefield, in the church, and in those closest to her. The male-dominated ruling class would appear to have the advantage, but Elizabeth will deploy whatever means necessary to keep, … More

Rating: R (for violence and sexuality)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Michael Hirst
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 25, 1999


as Elizabeth I

as Robert Dudley, Earl...

as Sir Francis Walsingh...

as Sir William Cecil

as Duke of Norfolk

as Earl of Sussex

as Alvaro de la Quadra

as Kat Ashley

as Queen Mary Tudor

as Duc d'Anjou

as Bishop Gardiner

as Sir Thomas Elyot

as Earl of Arundel

as Mary of Guise

as The Pope

as Isabel Knollys

as John Ballard

as Lettice Howard

as Monsieur de Foix

as Dance Tutor

as Waad, Chancellor of...

as Female Martyr

as Master Ridley

as Male Martyr

as Palace Chamberlain

as King Phillip II of S...

as Mary's Dwarf

as Lady in Waiting

as Lady in Waiting

as Lady in Waiting

as Lady in Waiting

as Lady in Waiting

as Master of the Tower

as Norfolk's Man

as Norfolk's Man

as Young French Man

as Bishop Carlisle

as Elizabeth's Dwarf

as Earl of Derby

as Lord William Howard

as Lord Harewood

as First Bishop

as Second Bishop

as Bishop in Cellar

as Third Bishop

as Handsome Man

as Dudley's Man

as Dudley's Man

as Vatican Cardinal

as Arundel's Son

as Arundel's Daughter

as Arundel's Nursemaid

as Arundel's Wife

as Walsingham's Man
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Elizabeth

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Critic Reviews for Elizabeth

All Critics (65) | Top Critics (12)

Without [Blanchett], Kapur's extravagant history lesson (written by Michael Hirst) blurs into dark doings among men in tights.

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

"Elizabeth" is superior historical soap opera that shrewdly sidesteps all the cliches of British costume drama with its bold, often modern approach.

Full Review… | July 31, 2008
Top Critic

Kapur cunningly confuses gender roles, equates sex with death, and rattles through dark, stony passions with some considerable panache.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Shekhar Kapur gets particularly good work out of Blanchett, who invests Elizabeth with a disparate mix of naive vulnerability, tart wit and steadfast resolve, sometimes all within a single scene.

Full Review… | May 7, 2015

Cate Blanchett gives a bravura performance in this dark and lurid account, which is done from a contemporary standoint as a conspiracy thriller, emphasizing the violent actions

Full Review… | January 11, 2011

Dank interior castle settings create a claustrophobic intensity that underscores the growing sense of paranoia and people's sinister machinations in this battle for England.

Full Review… | September 12, 2007
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for Elizabeth


Clumsy filmmaking that doesn't always succeed in doing justice to the amazing screenplay, Cate Blanchett still manages to shine in a memorable peformance, a lot more comprehensive and profound than Kapur's awful direction.

Emile Tremblay

Super Reviewer

Its an interesting Biopic, not intirely sure i completely understand everything that was going on in this movie, but the acting was superb, the costume designs was amazing and it was directed and made beautifully! I think Queen Elizabeth 1 is an inspirational woman for what she did and dealt with! From making England poor and defenseless to making England one of the richest countries of that era! Good Job by all accounts! An interesting movie, one a feel i may have to watch again!

Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

Elizabeth chronicles the life of Elizabeth I from innocent young girl to one of the shrewdest and most politically savvy monarchs in England's history. Shekhar Kapur's story of the early life of the virgin queen certainly has a very impressive cast and the material concerns itself with one of the most fascinating periods of British history but the film suffers for his approach. The early part of the film resembles a melodramatic soap opera more than anything else and suffers greatly for his unsophisticated direction that seems far more interested with unnecessary visual embellishment than story telling. Things settle down after Elizabeth is crowned Queen however, and as Geoffrey Rush's Walsingham becomes more involved in the political machinations it all gets a lot more interesting. The performances are all solid and the costumes as attractive as you'd expect but there's something a little "made for TV" about it all. Kapur's direction is the main culprit, but the photography is also not as attractive as it might be making it lack the historically epic sweep I was expecting. It never descends into absurd romantic fantasy in a similar way to its sequel however, and as a whole Elizabeth stands up as a solid if unspectacular historical drama.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Elizabeth Quotes

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– Submitted by Hussein A (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Hussein A (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Hussein A (3 years ago)

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