Mary of Scotland (1936)

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    • Mary of Scotland (1936)



      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

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: John Ford- Mary of Scotland (1936)

      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
      Majestic Hepburn Takes The Throne
      16 June 2002 | by Ron Oliver (Forest Ranch, CA)

      MARY OF SCOTLAND, caught up in intrigues over which she has no control, finds herself at the mercy of powerful forces that wish her ill.

      John Ford crafted this meticulous, thoughtful study into the life of the Scottish Queen and the trials & tribulations which buffeted her. With a complicated plot and a very large cast, the film presupposes a certain amount of intelligence on the part of its viewers, as well as an interest in the history of Great Britain. The film is not easy to watch - this is, after all, an historical drama, not a musical comedy - but the viewer's attention should be paid off in the end. Very fine production values also help greatly in the movie's appreciation.

      Katharine Hepburn is luminous & regal in the title role. Continuing in the tradition of formidable actresses of the 1930's who played queens on the screen (Colbert, Garbo, Dietrich, Shearer, Robson, Davis) Hepburn gives a strong portrayal of the stubborn, independently minded Scottish monarch. Kate makes the viewer at once feel an engaging interest in this poor lady, so beset by ‘the slings & arrows of outrageous fortune.' Wisely not speaking in a brogue - the real Mary probably didn't either - Hepburn uses her remarkable face & voice to make this long-dead historical figure come alive.

      As the Earl of Bothwell, Mary's 3rd husband, Fredric March provides a sturdy hero worth cheering. Here is a man willing to confront any danger for the sake of the woman he loves. If the real Bothwell was perhaps not quite so noble, no matter. March breathes vibrant, pulsing life into the character and embodies him with real strengths & virtues.

      A large & exceptional cast give fine support to the principals. Some deserve special mention:

      John Carradine as Mary's tragic Italian secretary, Rizzio; Douglas Walton as Lord Darnley, Mary's repugnant 2nd husband; Ian Keith as her unscrupulous half-brother, the Lord Moray. Florence Eldridge stands out in her portrayal of the conflicted Queen Elizabeth.

      Moroni Olsen as a fiery John Knox; Donald Crisp as a loyal old laird; Ralph Forbes & Alan Mowbray as Elizabeth's ambassadors; and dear old Mary Gordon as a baby nurse - all have their brief moments to shine.

      Lionel Belmore & Doris Lloyd (with an unbilled Bobs Watson as their son) play poor fisher folk who give Mary much needed succor. Ivan Simpson & Nigel de Brulier play two of the wicked English judges who condemn Mary to death.

      But it is Hepburn the viewer remembers longest. Her shining eyes & majestic mien remain in the mind for a very long time
      The circumstances surrounding the murder of David Rizzio are so well documented that it is somewhat surprising that Ford did not stick more scrupulously to the facts. Darnley and his fellow conspirators entered the Queen's apartments via a private, narrow staircase, hidden in the wall, which communicated directly with Mary's rooms. There is no indication that her bodyguard troops were slain as well, as the film depicts.

      The script is at pains to keep the Earl of Bothwell a noble hero and uninvolved in Darnley's murder. However, there's little doubt of Bothwell's guilt in the affair. Darnley was not killed outright by the massive explosion - rather he was found, terribly hurt but still alive, lying in a nearby field. He was quickly strangled.

      The movie does not make clear that it was in Denmark where Bothwell died in prison in 1578. Mary had divorced him in 1570.

      Unlike the relatively short time depicted in the film, Mary was actually a captive of Elizabeth for 19 years, outliving Bothwell by nine years. Elizabeth & Mary never met - it makes good film drama, but it didn't happen.
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().