Mary of Scotland (film)

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Mary of Scotland
Mary-of-scotland-1936.jpg
movie poster
Directed by John Ford
Produced by Pandro S. Berman
Written by adaptation of the 1933 Maxwell Anderson play
Screenplay by Dudley Nichols
Starring Katharine Hepburn
Music by Nathaniel Shilkret
Cinematography Joseph H. August
Jack MacKenzie
Editing by Jane Loring
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release dates August 28, 1936
Running time 123 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $864,000[1]
Box office $1,276,000[1]

Mary of Scotland is a 1936 RKO film starring Katharine Hepburn as the 16th century ruler, Mary, Queen of Scots.[2][3] Directed by John Ford, it is an adaptation of the 1933 Maxwell Anderson play by Dudley Nichols. The play starred Helen Hayes as Mary. It is largely in blank verse.

Plot summary[edit]

Mary (Katharine Hepburn), by assuming her throne as Queen of Scotland, strikes terror into the heart of Queen Elizabeth I (Florence Eldridge). After languishing in jail for 18 years at Elizabeth's command, Mary is offered a pardon if she will sign away her throne. Will she accept the deal, or die instead?[4]

Cast[edit]

Hepburn in a publicity still from film

Accuracy[edit]

The film does not keep close to the historical truth, portraying Mary as something of a wronged martyr and her third husband, James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell (played by Fredric March), as a romantic hero.

Reception[edit]

The film is highly regarded by some critics today, but in its time was a box office flop, making a loss of $165,000.[1] It was one of the films that led to Katharine Hepburn's being labeled "box office poison" in the late 1930s, leading to her move to MGM and her great comeback in The Philadelphia Story.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Richard Jewel, 'RKO Film Grosses: 1931-1951', Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television, Vol 14 No 1, 1994 p. 57.
  2. ^ Variety film review; August 5, 1936, p. 16.
  3. ^ Harrison's Reports film review; July 25, 1936, p. 119.
  4. ^ http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/3264/Mary-of-Scotland/articles.html

External links[edit]