Mal Vincent hosts Young Bess

Monday, July 26th, at 7:00pm

The British royal family is as much in the news today as it was in 1584 when “Good Queen Bess” was the monarch. Elizabeth I ascended to the throne at the age of 25 and reigned for 44 years, against all the odds. Her mother, Anne Boleyn (played by Elaine Stewart) , was beheaded, thus she was branded a bastard but lived to rule. Designed as a star vehicle for Jean Simmons, the movie is a tapestry of set and costume design, with Oscar nominations in those categories. Stewart Granger (Simmons’ real-life husband at the time) plays her (largely ficxtional) love interest. The cast includes Deborah Kerr, with Charles Laughton recreating the role of King Henry VIII for which he had won an Oscar 30 years earlier. Mal brings things up to date with stories of how he attended a movie in the presence of Princess Charles and Princess Diana in London and attempted to introduce his Scottish Terriers to Elizabeth II during her latest visit to Williamsburg. Lots of royalty and lots of entertaining intrigue is involved in dealing with Bess’s childhood and ascension to the throne. There’s nothing like the royals for pomp. (1953, 112 mins)