Fire Over England' DVD, Vivien Leigh (1937), New & Sealed — This is a terrific, interesting historical saga about an Englishman(Laurence Olivier)spying in Spain during their 1500s conflict. Full of action and adventure. Flo... more »ra Robson is outstanding as Queen Elizabeth I. Almost flawless portrayals from Raymond Massey, Leslie Banks, Morton Selten, Cecil Mainwaring and the lovely Vivien Leigh. Highly recommended.
"This historical drama pairs husband and wife team, Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier, as courtiers drawn to each other during the reign of Elizabeth I (Flora Robson). The focus of the drama is not on their romance, however, but on the defeat of the seemingly invincible Spanish Armada.Here, Olivier is sent on an undercover mission to Phillip of Spain (Raymond Massey), after a plot to depose Elizabeth I is discovered, as the traitors appear to have trafficked with Spain on this issue. Olivier masquerades as one of the traitors in an effort to discover more information as to the other plotters. Olivier is ultimately found out but manages to escape, and the Spanish Armada is roundly defeated.Flora Robson is magnificent as Elizabeth I, sounding every bit the Queen, though her looks are plebeian rather than patrician. Olivier is as hammy as ever, while Leigh is as delightful as she is beautiful. Raymond Massey is terrific as the fervently catholic Phillip of Spain. The sea battle in which the Spanish Armada is roundly defeated is, however, strictly Mickey Mouse in terms of production values. Still, this is a moderately entertaining historical drama. The video, however, is of poor quality with a loud static sound making some of the dialogue almost inaudible. It is unfortunate, as one's viewing experience is diminished by this."
Still the best screen Elizabeth!
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the best-scripted of all cinematic costume dramas, even if that script does require the young Laurence Olivier to sing (sounding strangely like Noel Coward as he does). Vivien Leigh is perfect as the young lady-in-waiting envied by the ageing Elizabeth, who finally manages to renounce her dreams of lost youth; James Mason makes a fine villain; and above all Flora Robson makes a seriously convincing and complex Elizabeth, politic and inspiring all at once. It makes more recent movies about Elizabeth look sadly shallow and trite."
Great early performances from the soon to be STAR duo.
Ginge | Sydney | 03/28/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Fire Over England is a very satisfying historical drama, with superbperformances by all. It is set around the english spanish conflict of the 16th century. An aging Queen Elizabeth must deal with not only a threat from Spain, but traitors within her court, secretly plotting her downfall. The young Laurence Olivier is sent to Spain to uncover the plot against the Queen. Upon his return, he is knighted and charged with leading the troops into battle. A very young, angelic Vivien Leigh plays a lady in waiting to the Queen, and is Laurence's love interest. Their scenes together are a sweet and lovely highlight. Laurence shines as the dashing romantic hero. And Vivien is equally compelling in her clashes with an ageing queen, ever resentful of the much younger and more beautiful maiden who holds the heart of the handsome, passionate young man. Flora Robson is fabulous as the queen, as is the entire cast. My favourite line in the movie is "If we are to treat our enenemies as friends, than they cease to be our enemies", or something to that effect anyway. Wise words indeed."
A movie worth watching!
L Gontzes | Athens, Greece | 01/11/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Definitely a wonderful movie, Fire over England, brings to the screen the story of a young English naval officer as he strives to uncover a plot, find the conspirators and warn the Queen of the imminent threat of foreign invasion. The setting is 1558 England. King Philip of Spain has collected enough gold from the colonies in the Americas that he has built the Spanish Armada. In addition he has set up a network of spies and operatives in Queen Elizabeth's court who serve as his eyes and ears in England. The clash between England and Spain is as fascinating as the conflict between Protestantism and Catholicism, and both are presented very well in the film. Needless to say, the Hollywood heavyweights Vivien Leigh and Lawrence Olivier as well as the rest of the cast have truly outdone themselves with their performances, which are outstanding to say the least! The only setback is that Fire over England is a 1937 film and compared to modern films, or even epics of the time such as Gone with the Wind, falls short of being a masterpiece. Nevertheless, the film combines drama, action, and romance, making it one of the best of its kind. The setting, the dialogues, the music and the costumes are all wonderful! History, Intrigue, Duty, Love, Passion, and Honor, are all about. It is a movie worth watching, especially for those with a soft spot for History! "
The Best Queen Bess
John A Lee III | San Antonio, TX | 01/12/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a period piece set at the time of the Spanish Armada which is little known to Americans. This is a shame since it is a fairly good one.
The action does not focus so much on the Armada as it does on the political intrigues leading to it. It also focuses on a love story between English, Lawrence Olivier and the half Spanish Vivian Leigh. When all is said and done, it is their story. The threat of invasion is just the backdrop. Both of these big name Hollywood stars do a wonderful job but neither does as good a job as Flora Robson who plays Elizabeth I. She does not get as much screen time as the others but her portrayal of the English monarch must rank as definitive. It is a role she reprised in the Hollywood epic, THE SEAK HAWK, with Errol Flynn.
The movie is not great but it is a highly enjoyable period piece. Enjoy it. "