Search - The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex on DVD

The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
Actors: Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Mel Blanc, Olivia De Havilland, Donald Crisp
Directors: Chuck Jones, Michael Curtiz
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Kids & Family
NR     2005     1hr 46min

DVD Features: Featurette Theatrical Trailer


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Movie Details

Actors: Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Mel Blanc, Olivia De Havilland, Donald Crisp
Directors: Chuck Jones, Michael Curtiz
Creators: Dave Monahan, Maxwell Anderson, Norman Reilly Raine, Richard Hogan, Robert Givens, Æneas MacKenzie
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Kids & Family
Sub-Genres: Errol Flynn, Classics, Classics
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 04/19/2005
Original Release Date: 11/11/1939
Theatrical Release Date: 11/11/1939
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 46min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 7
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Movie Reviews

D Rojers | Ellensburg, WA USA | 03/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"IF you are an Errol Flynn fan, this is a not-to-miss flick. Everyone raves over Bette Davis' Queen Elizabeth--and don't get me wrong, I like Bette--but it is Flynn's Essex who carries this film for me. And he looks MAAHAVELLLOUS! Bette worked REALLY hard on her performance, and it REALLY shows. Flynn's performance is more natural, like a fresh breeze in the film, especially compared to Davis'. Call me crazy (because it IS hard to imagine), but I actually BELIEVE it when Essex/Errol says he loves Elizabeth--and, THAT is acting. Errol Flynn deserves some credit for more than just looking great in tights--call it charm or call it presence if you don't want to call it "acting" but Flynn rescues this film from being laughable. (Olivia deHavilland adds to, but is wasted in, this film. She was forced to work this role into her schedule WHILE she was playing Melanie in GONE WITH THE WIND--no wonder she sued Warner Bros.) Both Flynn and Davis are great fun to watch, but for me, this is Flynn's picture. Certainly no one thought so in 1939, but 65 years later, his performance seems natural and as authentic as possible with this script. I really can't think of any actor who could have done it better--certainly NOT Laurence Olivier, the world's greatest over-actor (in my opinion) whom Davis wanted in the role and would have made this film a joke instead of the great fun that it is. I give the film 5 stars for the joy of watching Errol Flynn in this movie. Let's face it, NOBODY does Flynn better than Flynn (not even Jude Law). He was unique and most definitely at the top of his game in 1939."
Elizabeth and Essex A Beautiful Love Story
Chris | Leeds, Utah United States | 12/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a glorious film produced by Warner Brothers in 1938, filled with fantastic scenes, wardrobe, and a beautiful love story highly suggested as all. Bette Davis and Errol Flynn shine together in this film.

"A brilliant historical drama of the war between passion and power."

Bette Davis and Errol Flynn made The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex fascinatingly public, striking sparks in this lavish Techincolor tale of the ill-fated love between the aging Elizabeth I and the dashing Earl of Essex. Thoroughly unglamorous here - eyes and hairline shaved, pace fainted chalky white - double Academy Award winner* Davis exudes such intelligence, energy and ardor that her romance with the decades-younger Essex (Flynn at the peak of his remarkable good looks and athletic verve) is completely believable. Based on Maxwell Anderson's play Elizabeth the Queen and directed by Micharl Curtiz, this nominee for five Oscars takes liberties with historical accuracy, but none with dramatic impact. Long may these tempestuous, titled lovers reign!

This dvd also has some brilliant special features including:

:Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the movies 1939:
:Musical Short The Royal Rodeo:
:Cartoon Old Glory:
:Theatrical Trailers:
:New Featurette Elizabeth and Essex Royal Battle:

This is a great movie for all."
Power and passion behind the palace walls
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 06/28/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX (1939) features a stunner of a performance from Bette Davis, brilliant Technicolor photography and a sweeping score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. What more could a classic movie fan want?

Based upon "Elizabeth the Queen" by Maxwell Anderson, THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX recounts, with some liberties, the stormy relationship of Queen Elizabeth 1st (Bette Davis) and the Earl of Essex, Robert Devereux (Errol Flynn). Robert wants desperately to rule England, something Elizabeth would never sacrifice...not even for love.

The pain and the passion of this story is simply breathtaking. Despite the fact that Davis hated working with Errol Flynn (they were paired in "The Sisters" the previous year); their onscreen chemistry fairly crackles. Davis shaved off her eyebrows plus two inches from her hairline in order to resemble the aged Queen Elizabeth. It's one of her most subtle and affecting performances.

Olivia de Havilland (the frequent love interest in Errol Flynn's swashbucklers), is relegated to supporting status here, but still manages to command attention with her finely-drawn performance as Lady Penelope Gray. There's also an early appearance from Broadway star Nanette Fabray---billed as Nanette Fabares--as a lovesick handmaiden.

THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX features a sweeping and majestic score from Wolfgang Erich Korngold, with memorable motifs for the two main characters. The Technicolor photography is warm and lush, especially during the palace scenes; the lighting is superb.

In another twist, most of the sets and costumes later found their way into Errol Flynn's next big vehicle, The Sea Hawk (1940). Bette Davis would go on to reprise her role as Queen Elizabeth 1st in "The Virgin Queen" (1956).

The new DVD from Warner Brothers include several worthwhile bonuses. There's a new Making-Of featurette ("Battle Royale") which delves into the history of the production. The 'Warner Night at the Movies' feature gives you the option to screen the film with newsreel, Merry Melodies cartoon ("Old Glory"), and musical short ("The Royal Rodeo").

(Single-sided, dual-layer disc)."
The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
Louis D. Spadaro | Alabama, U S A | 09/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As before, There is no one like Bette Davis, and this movie proves it. No other women in Hollywood at the time of the making of this picture would have gone out on the limb that Miss Davis did - That is why this picture is so good. Errol Flynn, always a feast to look at, is extremely up to the task of going toe to toe with Bette Davis as Queen Elizabeth I, Mr. Flynn, possibly was better than even he thought he could be - and this movie proves it -"