13 thoughts on “Nell Gwyn on Screen: the Frock Flicks Guide

  1. Stage Beauty is my forever favorite Nell. It’s the shout of “bitch” that really did it. I want that as a ringtone.

    1. Ha! I can’t remember which production included the “Yes I’m a whore, but at least I’m an ENGLISH whore!” but I loved that!

      1. Legendary Nell Gwynn story.

        She was presenting her son to his father—the King—and when told to call the boy forward, said, “Come here, you little bastard!” When the King asked her why she called the child that, she told him that in truth, she didn’t know what to call him—hint, hint—and immediately secured a title for her son.

      2. The anecdote from history is actually even better. She was supposedly surrounded by an anti-catholic mob and said “I’m the Protestant whore” to calm them. Apocryphal? Probably. Awesome? Definitely.

  2. My husband & I saw the Dorothy Gish film at the art museum New Haven years ago as part of a exhibition on late 17th century art. In that film, Nell was less a mistress and more of a court jester. We also saw the stage version of ‘Stage Beauty’ and HATED it. The actress portraying Nell was more ;like Liza Doolittle before she learned to speak well. We skipped the film. BTW, the huge hat in the first picture is based on one of Nell’s roles, in which she wore a huge hat to lampoon someone (can’t remember if it was a rival actress or political figure, though).

    1. I saw Compleat Female Stage Beauty on stage, and I was thoroughly disappointed by the actress playing Nell. It was all the more disappointing because I enjoyed the movie version. The Nell I saw on stage had an awful accent (possibly intentional) and was portrayed as a bit dim, which took the teeth out of some of her more delightful lines.

  3. Personally I think The Last King is the best interpretation for the King Charles story, but I think Zoë Tapper is the better version.

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