Victoria the Great

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Victoria the Great
Directed by Herbert Wilcox
Produced by Herbert Wilcox
Written by Miles Malleson
Charles de Grandcourt
Starring Anna Neagle
Anton Walbrook
Walter Rilla
H.B. Warner
Mary Morris
Music by Anthony Collins
Cinematography William V. Skall
Freddie Young
Edited by Jill Irving
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release dates
  • 16 September 1937 (1937-09-16) (UK)

  • 12 November 1937 (1937-11-12) (US)
Running time
112 min
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Victoria the Great is a 1937 British historical film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Anna Neagle, Anton Walbrook and Walter Rilla.[2] When Laurence Housman's play Victoria Regina was banned by the Lord Chamberlain (in 1935, the Royals could not be shown on the British stage); its subsequent Broadway success prompted King Edward VIII to commission producer Herbert Wilcox to turn it into a film, commemorating the centenary of Victoria's reign.[3] The film biography of Queen Victoria concentrates initially on the early years of her reign with her marriage to Prince Albert and her subsequent rule after Albert's death in 1861. It was released in the year of King George VI's coronation, which was also the centennial of Victoria's own accession to the throne. The movie was so successful that a sequel appeared the following year, Sixty Glorious Years.[4]

Main cast[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Variety wrote, "Not cloak-and-cocked-hat historical tedium of pageantry and fancy dramatics, Victoria the Great travels a long way toward a full and clarified explanation of the most popular ruler England ever had...Anna Neagle, in the title role, gives an unwavering performance throughout. Anton Walbrook as Albert, the Prince Consort, is superb...The film wisely puts its prime focus on the private life of Victoria, her romance, marriage, and personal characteristics. Backgrounded is her public life, and her gradual rise to such high estimation of her people. Victoria the Great is done with a lavish hand – the closing sequence is in Technicolor [shot by William V. Skall]. The tinting isn’t too good, but serves effectively as a pointer-up for the climax." ;[5] and more recently, the Radio Times wrote, "It's all fairly tame, and a long way from the rough ride given to the royals of today. Yet Neagle's sympathy for the monarch shines through, and the final reel, which bursts into glorious Technicolor for the Diamond Jubilee, is a delightful piece of patriotic pomp."[3]



  • The Great British Films, pp39–41, Jerry Vermilye, 1978, Citadel Press, ISBN 0-8065-0661-X

External links[edit]