Mary of Scotland (1936)

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    Information from IMDb

    Plot Summary
    Mary Stuart returns to Scotland to rule as queen, to the chagrin of Elizabeth I of England
    who finds her a dangerous rival.
    There is much ado over whom Mary shall marry; to her later regret,
    she picks effete Lord Darnley over the strong but unpopular Earl of Bothwell.
    A palace coup leads to civil war and house arrest for Mary; she escapes and flees to England,
    where a worse fate awaits her.
    Written by Rod Crawford

    Full Cast
    Katharine Hepburn ... Mary Stuart
    Fredric March ... Bothwell
    Florence Eldridge ... Elizabeth Tudor
    Douglas Walton ... Darnley
    John Carradine ... Rizzio
    Robert Barrat ... Morton
    Gavin Muir ... Leicester
    Ian Keith ... Moray
    Moroni Olsen ... John Knox
    William Stack ... Ruthven
    Ralph Forbes ... Randolph
    Alan Mowbray ... Throckmorton
    Frieda Inescort ... Mary Beaton
    Donald Crisp ... Huntly
    David Torrence ... Lindsay
    Molly Lamont ... Mary Livingstone
    Anita Colby ... Mary Fleming
    Jean Fenwick ... Mary Seton
    Lionel Pape ... Burghley
    Alec Craig ... Donal
    Mary Gordon ... Nurse
    Monte Blue ... Messenger
    Leonard Mudie ... Maitland
    Brandon Hurst ... Airan
    Wilfred Lucas ... Lexington
    D'Arcy Corrigan ... Kirkcaldy
    Frank Baker ... Douglas
    Cyril McLaglen ... Faudoncide
    Doris Lloyd ... Fisherman's Wife
    Robert Warwick ... Sir Francis Knollys
    Murray Kinnell ... Judge
    Lawrence Grant ... Judge
    Ivan F. Simpson ... Judge (as Ivan Simpson)
    Nigel De Brulier ... Judge (as Nigel de Brulier)
    Barlowe Borland ... Judge
    Walter Byron ... Walsingham
    Wyndham Standing ... Sergeant-at-Arms
    Earle Foxe ... Earl of Kent
    Paul McAllister ... du Croche
    Lionel Belmore ... Fisherman
    Gaston Glass ... Frenchman
    Neil Fitzgerald ... Nobleman
    Frank Anthony ... Man (uncredited)
    John Blood ... Man (uncredited)
    Al Bridge ... (uncredited)
    Tommy Bupp ... Boy in Boat (uncredited)
    David Clyde ... (uncredited)
    Hallam Cooley ... (uncredited)
    Harvey D'Roulle Foster ... Man (uncredited)
    Jean De Briac ... Man (uncredited)
    Jerry Frank ... (uncredited)
    Bud Geary ... (uncredited)
    Douglas Gerrard ... (uncredited)
    Hilda Grenier ... Woman (uncredited)
    Winter Hall ... (uncredited)
    Halliwell Hobbes ... Man (uncredited)
    Robert Homans ... Jailer (uncredited)
    Shep Houghton ... Soldier (uncredited)
    Maxine Jennings ... Woman (uncredited)
    Jean Kircher ... Prince James (uncredited)
    Judith Kircher ... Prince James (uncredited)
    Fred Malatesta ... Man (uncredited)
    G.L. McDonnell ... Man (uncredited)
    Wedgwood Nowell ... Queen Elizabeth's Majordomo (uncredited)
    John Pickard ... Soldier Dueling Bothwell (uncredited)
    Father Raemers ... Man (uncredited)
    Robert Ryan ... (uncredited)
    Leslie Sketchley ... (uncredited)
    Wingate Smith ... (uncredited)
    Pat Somerset ... Mary's Majordomo (uncredited)
    Harry Tenbrook ... One of Queen Mary's Guards (uncredited)
    John Tyke ... Man (uncredited)
    Billy Watson ... Fisherman's Son (uncredited)
    Bobs Watson ... Fisherman's Son (uncredited)
    Niles Welch ... Man (uncredited)

    Writing Credits
    Dudley Nichols (screenplay)
    Maxwell Anderson (play)
    Mortimer Offner contributing writer (uncredited)

    Original Music
    Nathaniel Shilkret

    Joseph H. August
    Jack MacKenzie

    Katharine Hepburn, who played Queen Mary, is actually a distant relative of the Earl Of Bothwell, whose family name was, in fact, Hepburn.

    The play opened in New York City, New York, USA on 27 November 1933 and had 248 performances. The title role was played by Helen Hayes and the cast also included Moroni Olsen, who repeated his role as John Knox in the 1936 film version, Edgar Barrier (Lord Douglas), Ernest Cossart (Lord Throgmorton) and George Coulouris (Lord Burghley). The play was written in blank verse.

    Both Ginger Rogers and Bette Davis were interested in playing Elizabeth. Director John Ford wanted Tallulah Bankhead for the part, but Florence Eldridge. Fredric March's real-life wife, won the part

    Contrary to the play and the film, Mary and Elizabeth never met.

    According to A. Scott Berg's memoir "Kate Remembered", Katharine Hepburn was already chosen for Mary but they had trouble casting Elizabeth. At one point Hepburn, who had by then been nicknamed "Katharine of Arrogance", suggested that she play both roles. Supporting player John Carradine asked, "But if you played both queens, how would you know which one to upstage?" She was not amused at the time but roared with laughter when retelling the story years later.

    According to Katharine Hepburn, during the filming of Mary and Bothwell's love scene, John Ford, rather fed up with the idea of directing a romantic costume drama written in blank verse, simply said to Hepburn, "Here; you direct this scene." And she did.

    Katharine Hepburn wanted George Cukor as director, but after the failure of Sylvia Scarlett, producer Pandro S. Berman refused to let them work together again.

    E.E. Clive is listed in casting records for the role of Burghley, but that role was played by Lionel Pape

    Moroni Olsen was the only member of the original Broadway cast of the play to repeat his role in the film version.

    Ginger Rogers was tested for the role of Queen Elizabeth I.

    According to Katharine Hepburn's autobiography "Me", director John Ford lost interest in the film when he discovered that the plot was not particularly strong. She recalls one day Ford announced that he was leaving early and would allow Hepburn to direct a scene with Fredric March. Hepburn feared that March would not listen to direction from her, but when he acquiesced she directed her first and only scene.

    Katharine Hepburn credited John Ford with saving her life one day on the set. They were shooting a scene of Hepburn on horseback when the horse she was riding kept going unexpectedly. Ford yelled at Hepburn to duck just before she was about to collide with a low branch.

    Ginger Rogers, posing as British actress "Lady Ainsley" in hopes of landing the role of Queen Elizabeth, tested with an unsuspecting 'Katherine Hepburn'. During the test, Hepburn who also wanted the role, became aware of the lavish subterfuge created by Mel Berns, RKO's head of makeup, who with Leland Hayward, plotted to dupe director John Ford into offering the coveted role to Rogers. Archived film of the silent test caught Hepburn kicking Rogers in the shins. Instead, the role went to Florence Eldridge. Hepburn got even with Rogers by pouring water on her new fur coat saying "If it is real mink, it won't shrink."

    According to Hepburn biographer Alvin H. Marill, the actress turned down an offer from Max Reinhardt to play Viola in "Twelfth Night" at the Hollywood Bowl in order to meet her obligation for "Mary of Scotland".

    John Ford lost interest in this film early on. He didn't think the story was very strong, and didn't like the blank verse dialog. The film did not do well at the box office and Ford seldom mentioned it in conversation. Later, during filming of Stagecoach, Ford harassed several actors, notably John Wayne, about their performances. As he began with Thomas Mitchell, who played Doc Boone, Mitchell reportedly said, "Just remember, I saw 'Mary of Scotland'". Ford left him alone for the remainder of the shoot.

    When the messenger brings Moray the news of Mary, the lighting changes markedly from the close-up to the master shot.

    Factual errors
    In the movie, Mary's execution takes place outdoors.
    It actually took place in the great hall of Fotheringay castle.

    Revealing mistakes
    When an overzealous Bothwell pulls at the window bars of his cell, the prop bars move.

    When Rizzio is stabbed, no blood is visible on the dagger,
    on him, or on the bed linens.

    Memorable Quotes

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited once, last by ethanedwards ().

  • Mary of Scotland is a 1936 RKO film starring
    Katharine Hepburn as the 16th century ruler,
    Mary, Queen of Scots.
    It is an adaptation of the 1933 Maxwell Anderson play by Dudley Nichols.
    The play starred Helen Hayes as Mary. It is largely in blank verse.

    The film does not keep close to the historical truth, portraying Mary
    as something of a wronged martyr and her husband, James Hepburn,
    Earl of Bothwell (played by Fredric March), as a romantic hero.

    User Review


    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited once, last by ethanedwards ().