Following the execution of her mother, Anne Boleyn (Elaine Stewart), for infidelity, Elizabeth (Jean Simmons) is exiled to Hatfield House and declared illegitimate (thereby losing her place in line for the throne) by her father, King Henry VIII (Charles Laughton). She is accompanied by her loyal servants, Mr. Parry (Cecil Kellaway) and her governess Mrs. Ashley (Kay Walsh). Over the years, her position rises and falls on the whim of her father. The child is periodically summoned back to London to become acquainted with Henry’s latest spouse. When Henry marries his last wife, Catherine Parr (Deborah Kerr), the now-teenage Elizabeth finally rebels against her latest summons. However, the suave, handsome Lord Admiral Thomas Seymour (Stewart Granger) persuades her to change her mind, and Elizabeth and Catherine become good friends. Meanwhile, Henry is impressed and amused by the resolute defiance of his daughter (once again declared legitimate). When Henry dies, Thomas’s scheming brother Ned (Guy Rolfe) takes over as Lord Protector and guardian of King Edward VI (Rex Thompson) during his minority, overriding Henry’s wish that Thomas raise the boy. Ned and Thomas do not like each other, and Ned’s fear of his brother’s ambition grows with each of Thomas’s naval triumphs. By now, Elizabeth realizes she is in love with Thomas. She refuses to believe Mrs. Ashley’s warning that he loves someone else until she sees Thomas and Catherine embrace in secret. Ned had blocked Thomas from marrying into the royal family, but Elizabeth graciously persuades her brother to issue a royal decree sanctioning their marriage. As they live in the same household, Thomas grows too close to Elizabeth without even knowing it, until one day, Elizabeth kisses him and declares her love for him. She then wisely moves back to Hatfield. Soon after, however, Catherine sickens and dies. Thomas comes to see Elizabeth. Ned has him arrested and charged with treason. He also accuses Elizabeth of plotting with Thomas to overthrow her brother. She goes to see Edward, but is too late to save Thomas from execution. The film then shifts forward to 1558. Having survived the perils of her early life, and with Edward deceased and her elder sister Mary dying, Elizabeth is about to become Queen of England. —wikipedia
The son of a producer and MGM executive, and a mother who was one of the Mooney Sisters in vaudeville, George Sidney worked his way up from messenger boy to director of numerous MGM musical hits—at one point 15 consecutive box office winners. Though his artistry is not as renowned as Vincente Minnelli, Stanley Donen and Busby Berkeley, Sidney can lay claim to having directed such classic musicals as “Anchors Aweigh” (1945) “The Harvey Girls” (1946), the 1951 remake of “Show Boat” and “Bye Bye Birdie” (1962).
Sidney actually broke into show business as a five-year old, playing sidekick to Tom Mix in the silent film “The Littlest Cowboy” (1921). But he did not pursue acting as a child. Instead, at age 18, Sidney went to work at MGM, first as a messenger boy, then as a sound technician and film editor. Still a teenager, he graduated to directing “Our Gang” comedies, and, at the age of 20, was put in charge of directing all of MGM’s screen tests. He was also directing short films… read more