MOVIE: "Elizabeth: Golden Age"

Anybody up to speed regarding the forthcoming movie about Elizabeth (Elizabeth: The Golden Age)?

I’m a huge fan of historical epics, especially when they’re well made. So I can be a little forgiving and accepting if necessary.

However, I had my first glimpse of this movie trailer in the theater this weekend and I’m guessing my devotion to my faith will once again classify me as a supporter of “all that is wrong with the world today”. (The foreseen accusations don’t really bother me that much, just the venom that normally accompanies them).

Again, the movie appears to have a great look to it and the topic does interest me, I’m just wondering how far the production will go in portraying Catholicism as the main threat to world peace.

To her credit, Blanchett seems quite energetic and believable.


I’m not up-to-speed, but here is a myspace site dedicated to the Queen. The first youtube clip is for the new movie.

I liked Kate Blanchett in the first “Elizabeth” movie regarding her early years and thought she was an excellent cast for the character.

How historically accurate and religiously unbiased the movie will be, I don’t know, but I’m so wild about Tudor history, I really want to see it.

Catholicism of course wasn’t a threat to world peace at the time. I don’t think the movies portray it as such. However, it most certainly was a threat to Elizabeth’s peace! And the extent of that threat I think was reasonably accurately portrayed in the first movie.

The Pope declared that English Catholics weren’t required to obey her and actually supported attempts to assassinate her, her own Catholic subjects rebelled against her (perhaps spurred on by this?).

Mary Queen of Scots the whole time was making loud claims to her throne (putting the arms of England in her own coat of arms, for example), with the backing of France.

Elizabeth’s treatment of her speaks volumes. Even after Mary came into England and Elizabeth necessarily detained her as a threat to her own security, she waited nearly twenty years before taking decisive action against Mary. Certainly Henry VIII would’ve adopted a much more … ahem … offensively defensive approach :wink:

To me that doesn’t speak of someone who was an implacable enemy of Catholicism, rather someone who in the right circumstances may’ve reached an accommodation of sorts. Who indeed tried to do exactly that in the early years of her reign, and was wooed by Catholic princes of France and Spain (clearly THEY didn’t see her as an enemy - not for decades!)

I’ve seen the first movie, and I’ll probably see this one. I’m a big fan of epics and historical films, so this series interests me.

The first film, Elizabeth, was very well done. I was impressed with the performances by Blanchett and the rest of the cast. There were some historical glitches, but overall it was an excellent movie.

Now, the issue with Catholicism…

In Elizabeth, the Church is not portrayed in a wholesome light. The movie begins with the execution of a group of protestant heretics during the reign of Queen Mary. Mary is a devout Catholic, yet she is portrayed as an ugly, whiney, and cruel Queen. Elizabeth, beautiful and intelligent, shows sympathies towards her father’s schism. From the begining of the movie, most of Elizabeth’s enemies are Catholics. In one scene, Pope St. Pius V sends an Italian priest to kill Elizabeth and proclaims that whoever attempts to undertake her assasination will be rewarded with the Kingdom of Heaven.

The film does portray the persecution of Catholicism, but places it squarely on the shoulders of Sir Francis Walsingham, the Queen’s spymaster. Elizabeth herself keeps her hands clean of blood for most of the movie, blissfully ignorant of Walsingham’s actions (in one scene she expresses surprise and anger when he obtains information through the torture of a priest- in another, Walsingham temporarily imprisons bishops loyal to Rome to keep them from voting in favor of the 1559 Act of Uniformity, which formally separated the Church of England from the Church of Rome).

The last scene was interesting. Here it is shown that Elizabeth wishes to be to the English people what the Blessed Virgin Mary is to the Catholic Church. She becomes the "“Virgin Queen” (although the movie clearly shows her relationship with Robert Dudley).

**Kinda’ what I was getting at in regards to the portrayal of Catholicism…thanks.

*(The next movie doesn’t appear to be pulling any punches either…I’ll wait to judge its historical accuracy until seeing it).

But of course, I’m in the “history geek club”, so I’ll be there opening day, I’m sure.The movie looks tremendous.**


Has anyone seen this movie? How was the history presented? And what I really want to know, is the pope and Catholics treated fairly? I’m going to see it tomorrow, just wanted to know any thoughts.


Sweeping, but historically slipshod biography in which England’s “Virgin Queen” (Cate Blanchett), with the help of a wise counselor (Geoffrey Rush), prepares to fend off the Armada, sent against her by King Philip of Spain (Jordi Molla), and defeat the intrigues of the captive Mary, Queen of Scots (Samantha Morton), while also contending with one of her ladies-in-waiting (Abbie Cornish) for the affections of Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen). The film, as directed by Shekhar Kapur, is rich in spectacle, yet it whitewashes its subject, even as it darkly caricatures the cause of Spain and of Catholicism. Rear and partial upper female nudity, scenes of torture, blood with gore and occasional crass language. A-III – adults. (PG-13) ***2007 ***

Read the full review at:

Try reading this review from Jimmy Akin.

By Stephen D. Greydanus of, actually. :mad:

That :mad: wasn’t directed at you (mommyof4), but the movie. :slight_smile:

He gives it an overall F with a spiritual value of -4 (the lowest you can go). I can’t stand bad history movies, add to that anti-Catholicism and there’s no way I’ll pay money to see it (probably won’t borrow it from the library either).

I saw the film, and overall it wasn’t too bad but it also wasn’t very good. I personally think that its no where near the level of the first one, which I liked. I had several problems with it:

1 While yes it showed Elizabeth doing some not so moral things, the movie more or less tries to paint Elizabeth has the heroine. always good, savior of the world type character. She wears a lot of white costumes in the film, and the lighting is usually very good. In contrast Philip (Spanish king) reminded me of those old time villains. He dressed in black, the lighting wasn’t very good, he just gave off a sinister vibe.

  1. Creepy little Spanish princess. Sorry don’t remember her name. The child just looked scary. And since Philip was going to put her on the throne, it just added to the vibe of the Spanish as the super evil villains.

  2. As a history teacher I’ve gotten use to historical films not being very accurate. That being said this one bugged me more than the first one with its inaccuracies. The big one being that the film gives the impression that Elizabeth had no idea what was being done to Catholic prisoners during her reign. A woman could not ascend to the throne and hold it for as long as she did and be unobservant.

Anyway its not a bad film, but in retrospect I should wait till it came out on DVD.


P.S. The costumes were impressive. Definitely some amazing work there.

Her motto, I believe, was video et taceo (“I see and keep silent”), and certainly I’d agree with you she knew what was going on.

At the same time you have to consider her behaviour in light of the enormous threat that Catholicism had posed to her and her reign almost from the moment of her birth, and most especially from her sister Mary’s reign onwards until at least the defeat of the Armada. Remember the uprising by her own Catholic subjects under Norfolk which was depicted in the first movie.

Imagine 35 years of living under nearly constant fear of attack by the Scots, the Pope, the French, the Spanish or all four combined! Or worse still by her own subjects who sympathised with any or all of 'em!

It would breed a strong ‘survive at all costs’ instinct. Right or wrong, I don’t think Elizabeth was by nature incredibly cruel or vindictive, certainly not for her times. Her reluctance to execute Mary Queen of Scots speaks to her being the contrary.

I saw the new Elizabeth movie, and would say it is far more concerned with the personal feelings and desires of the woman than the geopolitical or religious situation. It’s a soap opera revolving around Raleigh and Elizabeth. The time and situation is just another setting for a story we have seen many times. As such, the historical inaccuracies lose their importance since they are only a backdrop for a love story that never really gets off the ground.

The reign of Elizabeth was a fascinating period, and she was a very capable and strong-willed monarch. Historians will be arguing about her for a few hundred more years. But, none of that comes across in the movie. It’s like a teenage coming-of-age movie with a 52 year-old teenager.

Good point. It’d be enough to make me think I should’ve balked at being the puppet of rapacious, at-least-nominally Protestant nobles intent fattening their own coffers by raping the Church for her land, monies, and prerogatives.

– Mark L. Chance.

That brings up the equally interesting question of how the Church got those lands, monies, and prerogatives.

To be fair there wasnt that much left to rape after dear Dad Henry VIII got through with it. :slight_smile:

More importantly what was the alternative? To allow herself to be trodden underfoot by her unnatural witch of a sister who imprisoned her in the Tower?

Or perhaps cheerfully vacate the throne for her even more unnatural MURDEROUS witch of a cousin in Scotland who even from prison was plotting to overthrow and kill her, and who would’ve been as disastrous a ruler for England as she was for her own country?

“Elizabeth: The Golden Age” is totally worthless and I don’t recommend it for any Catholic.

First off, lets examine the historical Queen Elizabeth I.She was an anti-Catholic tyrant and a heretical revolutionary seeking to destroy Christian Europe. Her brutal anti-Catholic laws led to hundreds of English Catholics being burnt, beheaded, tortured, hung, drawn, quartered, and more. Elizabeth also encouraged her subjects to go into Catholic Ireland and subjugate the locals and take their land. Thousands of Irish men, women, and children were murdered by English colonizers and many more left homeless and starved. Yet the movie makes Elizabeth out to be religiously tolerant! The fact that being Catholic in Elizabethian England meant death is brushed aside in this film. And what of Elizabeth being a so-called “Virgin Queen”? Unlikely! It is more likely that in real life she had affairs with such men as Christopher Hatton, Robert Devereux, Walter Raleigh, Lord Robert Dudley, etc. The “Harlot Queen” may be a more precise term for this monarch!

Now, lets look at the movie itself.

While most of the Protestants are portrayed as noble, moral, and brave, Catholics are shown in a much different light. Eerie Catholic chants, murderous Jesuits, fanatical Catholic Spaniards, and more are shown throughout the film. Essentially Catholics are made to look backward, bloodthirsty, and cowardly. King Philip II, historically a great Catholic monarch, is reduced to an angry and incapable ruler.

Blasphemous images fill the screen. As the Protestants celebrate their victory over the Catholic Spaniards, bloody rosaries and crucifixes sink to the bottom of the ocean. Also, the movie makes it look like God Himself is on the side of the Protestants, as a “divine” wind blows out King Philips candles as he prays.

Catholics, stay clear of this film like it were a Chick tract! It is just as anti-Catholic, perhaps moreso.

My daughter wanted to take me to see this for my birthday. Stephen Greydanus was on Catholic Answers Live the day the film opened. His words regarding this film were "…if this isn’t an anti-Catholic film, then one has never been made."
We’re going to see Dan In Real Life instead…

My dad wants to take me to see it, but from what I know it may have an anti-Catholic bias with the whole thing about wanting to conquer and convert England. Would it be acceptable for me to see it?

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