The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex

Synopsis: This period drama frames the tumultuous affair between Queen Elizabeth I and the man who would be King of England, Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex. Ever the victor on the battlefield, Devereux returns to London after defeating Spanish forces at Cadiz. Middle-aged Elizabeth, so attracted to the younger Devereux but fearful of his influence and popularity, sends him on a new mission: a doomed campaign to Ireland. When he and his troops return in defeat, Devereux demands to share the throne with the heir-less queen, and Elizabeth, at first, intends to marry. Ultimately sensing the marriage would prove disastrous for England, Elizabeth sets in motion a merciless plan to protect her people and preserve her throne.
Director(s): Michael Curtiz
Production: Warner Home Video
Rotten Tomatoes:
106 min

they say when I must tax them again... pay off the soldiers and the fleet?

Is it nothing that 1200 pieces of Spanish

ordnance were sunk in my hollow victory?

And the Spanish fleet

totally destroyed?

Thanks to my Lord Howard

and Sir Raleigh.

It seems you've no reward

for me as a soldier, madam.

That the soldier can endure.

But the man had hoped

for a different kind of reception.

You meant well, perhaps...

...but my rewards are for unselfish effort,

not for things half or meanly done.

Sir Walter Raleigh.

From today, you take rank

as commander of our guard.

My Lord Howard.

Your Majesty.

In grateful return for what

you tried to do at Cdiz...

...without thought of self

and only for your country's honor...

...I appoint you lord lieutenant,

general of all England...

...commander of my army and my fleet,

and name you Earl of Nottingham.

Your Majesty.

- That's impossible.

- Keep silent.

I will not. Do you intend this Earl of

Nottingham to take precedence over me?

He'll take precedence over you

as he did in wisdom at Cdiz.

You were in command and abused it,

with Essex first and England second.

Think that if you will, but it's

an injustice you place Howard before me.

- I feel you have no right.

- I have... I have no right?

As a queen, yes. But as a woman,

do I mean nothing to you?


Lord Essex!

Do you dare turn your back

on Elizabeth of England?

You dare?

I would not have taken that

from the king, your father.

Much less will I accept it

from a king in petticoats.

If the courier comes,

send him to me at once.

You may go.

I said, that's all.

- Well?

- With Your Grace's indulgence...

...there's another matter.

- Well, what is it? What's it about?


Did I not forbid his name

to be spoken at court?

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Norman Reilly Raine

Norman Reilly Raine (23 June 1894 – 19 July 1971) was an American screenwriter, creator of "Tugboat Annie" and winner of an Oscar for the screenplay of The Life of Emile Zola (1937). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 24 Jan. 2021. <>.

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