Film / Mary, Queen of Scots

"If your head had matched your heart, I would be the one awaiting death."
Queen Elizabeth

A 1971 movie about the strife between the two reigning queens on the British Isles in the late 16th century: Mary, Queen of Scots (Vanessa Redgrave) and Elizabeth, Queen of England (Glenda Jackson). The movie won several awards and Jackson would reprise the role of Elizabeth in Elizabeth R. One of the last films produced by Hollywood veteran Hal Wallis.

This film provides examples of:

  • Arranged Marriage: Mary and Francis I. Averted with her two subsequent husbands, since she married these for love.
  • Artistic License: Mary and Elizabeth never met in real life.
  • Babies Ever After: Strongly averted. After James is born, the marriage between his parents detoriates even further.
    • James goes on to accept money from his mother's greatest enemy.
  • The Caligula: Subverted. Darnley obtains power because of his marriage to a reigning queen.
  • Love Ruins the Realm: Mary's marriage to Bothwell is so unpopular that it hastens her downfall.
  • Prison: Where Mary spends a big part of her life.
    • Bothwell dies in a Danish prison.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In the first secret meeting between the two queens both of them give the other one of these.
  • The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Averted in Mary, since she mostly makes decisions based on emotions.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Elizabeth sending both Dudley and Darnley to Scotland. Either choice Mary chooses as a husband will help Elizabeth in the long term. "Win or lose the wager, I cannot lose the game."