Young Bess (1953)
This costume drama was based on the historical fiction of Margaret Irwin, which embellishes the facts of the early years of England's eventual Queen Elizabeth I. It's told in flashback style, starting with the horrible day when King Henry VIII (Charles Laughton) sends away the future queen, young Bess (Jean Simmons), and executes her mother, Anne Boleyn (Elaine Stewart). Some years and several wives later, Henry VIII invites Bess to return to the palace to live with Catherine Parr (Deborah Kerr), her new stepmother. When the king dies, Bess' young half-brother, Edward (Rex Thompson), assumes the title of regent. Bess falls in love with the Navy's top admiral, Thomas Seymour (Stewart Granger), but has her brother compel him to marry Catherine. After Catherine dies, Thomas confesses his love to Bess. But his scheming brother Ned (Guy Rolfe) finds out about Thomas' feelings and accuses him of seducing Bess. … More
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Critic Reviews for Young Bess
Audience Reviews for Young Bess
The film contains just enough actual history to maintain a patina of truth but it's really more a star vehicle for Jean Simmons, she's very good, and on that level it's very successful. Laughton gets to chew the high grade ham repeating his Oscar winning role of Henry the VIII.More
Costumes aplenty here in fine colorful splendour as intrigue stalks the courts of England. The question as always: who's calling the shots here? Simmons and Kerr are ever photogenic and Granger can wear a costume with the best of them. The outcome, though Hollywood-ised, is history, while the film itself is only mildly amusing.More
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