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lydecker

Flora Robson Day!

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Love this very talented lady and so glad she is getting "Her Day."

flora-robson-1.jpg.34f21302b2661abe4722af11956c0187.jpg

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I discovered her when I was a kid watching Saratoga Trunk years ago.

 What a magnificent screen presence-- she must have been quite powerful also on stage.

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2 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

I discovered her when I was a kid watching Saratoga Trunk years ago.

 What a magnificent screen presence-- she must have been quite powerful also on stage.

Don't care much for blackface performances. But Dame Flora is magnificent as Queen Elizabeth I in "Fire over England" (1937).

Image result for dame flora robson saratoga trunk

I also love her performance opposite Rod Taylor in "Young Cassidy" (1965).

Image result for dame flora robson young cassidy

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There's an excellent documentary made in 1965 that features an interview with Flora Robson (pronounced in the documentary with a short o, not a long o). It's on YouTube. 

It's called I CLAUDIUS: THE EPIC THAT NEVER WAS. She describes working on the ill-fated 1937 film. Her recollections are most interesting. One thing she said in the interview was that already in the 30s she was typecast playing older authority figures which she didn't like at the time. She described how for her role in I CLAUDIUS they had to get her to look like she was in her 80s, which required considerable time each day in the make-up chair.

The documentary includes surviving footage from what had been filmed before Korda abandoned the project. Others key participants are interviewed, including Merle Oberon (who was the lead with Charles Laughton); Emlyn Williams (who had a costarring role); Josef Von Sternberg (hired to direct); and Robert Graves (who furnished the source material upon which the screenplay was based). Dirk Bogarde is the host of the documentary. Highly recommended.

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I forgot she appeared as Elizabeth I a second time in "The Sea Hawk" (1940) with Errol Flynn. I've only seen it once.

Image result for dame flora robson the sea hawk

 

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From queens to servants, she always commanded our attention.

bc6f61df587d3bda4c2c11f820748bae.jpg

With Margaret Rutherford in Murder at the Gallop

 

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2 hours ago, jakeem said:

I forgot she appeared as Elizabeth I a second time in "The Sea Hawk" (1940) with Errol Flynn. I've only seen it once.

Image result for dame flora robson the sea hawk

 

She was the definitive Queen Elizabeth I on screen as far as I'm concerned! (Sorry, Bette.)

 

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5 minutes ago, lydecker said:

She was the definitive Queen Elizabeth I on screen as far as I'm concerned! (Sorry, Bette.)

 

She was awfully good, but Glenda Jackson always will be my favorite Good Queen Bess. She had bite!

Image result for glenda jackson mary queen of scots

 

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And I'll go even newer and say Cate Blanchett now owns the role.

Elizabeth-cate-blanchett-.jpg

(but I've also been partial to Flora Robson's take on the role, for her time, and Jackson for her's...I was never fond of Bette Davis in the part)

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2 hours ago, jakeem said:

She was awfully good, but Glenda Jackson always will be my favorite Good Queen Bess. She had bite!

Image result for glenda jackson mary queen of scots

 

I just recently re-watched her series Elizabeth R.  It also featured Robert Hardy, of later fame as Siegfried in All Creatures Great and Small.

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5 minutes ago, slaytonf said:

I just recently re-watched her series Elizabeth R.  It also featured Robert Hardy, of later fame as Siegfried in All Creatures Great and Small.

She also appeared as Elizabeth in the 1971 film "Mary, Queen of Scots" with Vanessa Redgrave. Jackson is one of the all-time greats. It's nice to know that she's returning to the stage after so many years in British politics.

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22 minutes ago, jakeem said:

She also appeared as Elizabeth in the 1971 film "Mary, Queen of Scots" with Vanessa Redgrave. Jackson is one of the all-time greats. It's nice to know that she's returning to the stage after so many years in British politics.

One of the few historical movies I like.

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2 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

And I'll go even newer and say Cate Blanchett now owns the role.

Elizabeth-cate-blanchett-.jpg

(but I've also been partial to Flora Robson's take on the role, for her time, and Jackson for her's...I was never fond of Bette Davis in the part)

Bette Davis IS the part. But I always thought she was rather hard on Errol Flynn. 

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I like TopBilled's mention of pronouncing her name with a "short" O, and not a  "long" O.

Haven't heard that reference in years.  I brought it up regarding something else, and three millennials at the table looked all confused and asked me what I meant by "short" A and "long" A. :D  

But of course, I come from a time when "cursive" was referred to as "script" .  -_-

But anyway, I've always, when reading it, heard inwardly her name pronounced with a "short" O. ;) 

And of course, her birthday being yesterday got her ONE day's attention, but her filmography does allow the possibility of SOTM. ;) 

Sepiatone

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12 hours ago, jakeem said:

I forgot she appeared as Elizabeth I a second time in "The Sea Hawk" (1940) with Errol Flynn. I've only seen it once.

Image result for dame flora robson the sea hawk

 

 

9 hours ago, lydecker said:

She was the definitive Queen Elizabeth I on screen as far as I'm concerned! (Sorry, Bette.)

 

I agree. Davis was neurotic while Robson was level headed in her interpretation of Queen Bess. Long live good Queen Flora!

Flynn thought so, too. The two actors got along well during the production of The Sea Hawk. Flynn was often tardy on the set and frequently behind in learning his lines. Robson told him that she had a play in which she was scheduled to appear and a slow shoot of her scenes for Sea Hawk would ruin her opportunity to appear in it. In response to this Flynn had his lines letter perfect for their big scene in the Queen's private chambers (with Chico, the monkey, a Flynn pet) and they played the scene without a hitch. Robson got to the play on time.  Errol had a lot of respect for the lady, and afterward Robson had only kind comments about the experience of working with Warners' "bad boy."

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35 minutes ago, TomJH said:

 

I agree. Davis was neurotic while Robson was level headed in her interpretation of Queen Bess. Long live good Queen Flora!

Flynn thought so, too. The two actors got along well during the production of The Sea Hawk. Flynn was often tardy on the set and frequently behind in learning his lines. Robson told him that she had a play in which she was scheduled to appear and a slow shoot of her scenes for Sea Hawk would ruin her opportunity to appear in it. In response to this Flynn had his lines letter perfect for their big scene in the Queen's private chambers (with Chico, the monkey, a Flynn pet) and they played the scene without a hitch. Robson got to the play on time.  Errol had a lot of respect for the lady, and afterward Robson had only kind comments about the experience of working with Warners' "bad boy."

What a great story!!

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7 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

Bette Davis IS the part. But I always thought she was rather hard on Errol Flynn. 

Look, I'm a Flynn fan so call me prejudiced.

But when I look at Elizabeth and Essex today I see an excessively mannered, neurotic performance from Davis that frequently gets on my nerves. When I watch Flynn as Essex I see an actor that the camera clearly loves but who also seems relaxed and natural as a performer. Davis plays it BIG. Flynn knows that his looks will assist him but he is understated and seemingly spontaneous in his interpretation of his scenes.

Flynn's performance doesn't date (I think he's quite good in this film, particularly in the film's final chapters when his character is arrested), while Davis's mannerisms become distracting.

Again, give me Flora any day over Davis as Queen Elizabeth.

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I personally think Glenda Jackson was the best Queen Elizabeth of all. 

I guess I'm in the minority though in thinking Bette was excellent as Elizabeth as well. It is unfortunate that she didn't take to Flynn though, who I though did a damn fine job as Essex.

And how about Helen Mirren in the HBO mini-series? She was very, very much into the role of England's most famous female ruler.

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Wow.  I had forgotten all about Glenda Jackson (though I still would choose Flora Robson as my penultimate film QE I.) I'll have to go back and revisit Glenda's performance as "The Queen." She had an amazing voice and great presence.

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1 hour ago, lydecker said:

Wow.  I had forgotten all about Glenda Jackson (though I still would choose Flora Robson as my penultimate film QE I.) I'll have to go back and revisit Glenda's performance as "The Queen." She had an amazing voice and great presence.

You're absolutely right about that voice of hers. I remember she used it to great effect when she was an MP after the death of Margaret Thatcher.

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