14 thoughts on “Mary Queen of Scots in Movies & TV

  1. I’m a wicked stickler for historical accuracy but that being said, I love the Vanessa Redgrave version of MQoS. It’s just so pretty to look at and Vanessa Redgrave damn it!

  2. I just recently discovered Frock Flicks and have been working my way through the podcasts that feature flicks I’ve seen. I very quickly realized I needed to beef up on my MQoS history in order to get the most out of your discussions. So, thank you! And P.S.- you birds are delightful and freaking hilarious. Please keep this good thing going- I am a fan.

  3. My favourite MoS has to be Katherine Hepburn, historical inaccuracies aside. Ms Hepburn could read the NY City phone directory and I’d pay to watch.
    What I hope for is one day a MoS series which is accurate, and doesn’t play her as an idiot. Mary was untrained for the role of Queen Regnant, but she did have a few early successes before Darnley entered the picture.

    Who would you cast?

    1. Dream team? I could see Katherine Hepburn, but she’d need a better script for sure, at that period but with aging for the execution period. And vs. Glenda Jackson as Elizabeth, without them meeting.

  4. Mary, even if she didn’t get the kind of training/education she should have, was apparently doing pretty good once she got back to Scotland. Even with John Knox haranguing her. I’ve always enjoyed the theory that Elizabeth I set up the Darnley marriage, knowing the chances of raising strife were high, and thus keeping Mary too busy to look at the English crown. I know it’s a bit pat, but the potentials are lovely. The Bothwell thing–I don’t really know. I know women often did have to marry their rapists, but Mary was a queen and men had been executed for a lot less involving her. I always forget the poet’s name, but he was discovered hiding under her bed, I believe, and was executed. If Bothwell had laid an unwanted finger on her, there would have been serious consequences. I lean more towards a marriage of passion and impulse, with the rape as a cover story to excuse the haste of the marriage (only a couple of months after Darnley died). Bothwell having divorced his wife mere days before marrying Mary is highly suspicious, too. But I’m open to new evidence.

    1. Mary tried in Scotland, she really tried — she aimed for the tolerance of religion that Elizabeth mostly succeeded at, but the most of the Scottish power structure didn’t back her. The recursancy among the populace was higher though; 30-40% were Catholic & didn’t care about Knox et. al. I don’t think Mary had the wherewithal to tap into that, unfortunately.

      Bothwell, ugh, it’s such a mess & a mystery. It was entirely too hasty to make sense, & there’s basically no documentation other than that it occurred. So motivations are sorely lacking.

  5. Maybe not my favorite portrayal, but my favorite Mary, Queen of Scots moment is in Elizabeth r, when after her beheading, her severed head is lifted from the floor by the hair, and it drops out of her wig.

      1. Thanks for the recommendation. Elizabeth I is my favourite monarch from the period. And as a Richardian I know I should see the Tudors as usurpers (okay Henry VII is), but there’s something compelling about a wo.an who plays the game better than the males around her..

        But Mary of Scotland is just as fascinating.

  6. In spite of inaccuracies I still love my Vanessa Redgrave Mary. . My friend & I were almost ejected from a theatre in thd 1970’s when it originally was shown. We booed & hissed when Mary & Eluzabeth met 😊

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