Mary, Queen of Scots
Charles Jarrott’s 1971 historical melodrama chronicling the tiaras, tantrums and Machiavellian spite traded between Tudor royal cousins Mary and Elizabeth re-emerges on DVD as something of a surprise. For Mary, Queen of Scots is no stuffy history lesson but a pretty spicy battle of wits in which two of the finest British actresses to ever grace the silver screen – Vanessa Redgrave and Glenda Jackson go head to head as Mary and Liz. It’s all bustles, barbs and baits while the then cream of British stage and screen (Timothy Dalton, Ian Holm, Patrick McGoohan, Trevor Howard) hover like vultures awaiting the final kill. Undoubtedly the template for Shekhar Kapur’s even more fanciful two Elizabeth films starring Cate Blanchett. Good extras include an isolated John Barry music track, commentary by film historians Nick Redman and Jon Burlingame.