Q is for Queens


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Q is for Queens

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Golden Age Hollywood was often obsessed with Ye Olden Days, and the studio backlots would often be jammed with dukes and duchesses, lords and ladies, and princes and princesses.

Much of this historical play-acting was down to moguls wanting to seem literate, cultured gentlemen instead of carny hucksters. So they would order up period romances, historical melodramas and literary adaptations, and the crinoline, fans and jewels would be taken out of the wardrobe.

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Here are some famous queens – real and fictional – from the Golden Age.

Bette Davis as Elizabeth I in "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex"
Bette Davis as Elizabeth I in “The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex”
Davis as Elizabeth again in "The Virgin Queen"
Davis as Elizabeth again in “The Virgin Queen”
Greta Garbo, "Queen Christina"
Greta Garbo, “Queen Christina”
Anita Louise as Titania, Queen of the Faeries, with James Cagney as Bottom, "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
Anita Louise as Titania, Queen of the Faeries, with James Cagney as Bottom, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Elsa Lanchester as Anne of Cleves, "The Private Life of Henry VIII"
Elsa Lanchester as Anne of Cleves, “The Private Life of Henry VIII”
Merle Oberon as Anne Boleyn, "The Private Life of Henry VIII"
Merle Oberon as Anne Boleyn, “The Private Life of Henry VIII”
Wendy Barrie as Jane Seymour, "The Private Life of Henry VIII"
Wendy Barrie as Jane Seymour, “The Private Life of Henry VIII”
Binnie Barnes as Katherine Howard, "The Private Life of Henry VIII"
Binnie Barnes as Katherine Howard, “The Private Life of Henry VIII”
Claudette Colbert, "Cleopatra"
Claudette Colbert, “Cleopatra”
Vivien Leigh, "Caesar and Cleopatra"
Vivien Leigh, “Caesar and Cleopatra”
Elizabeth Taylor, "Cleopatra"
Elizabeth Taylor, “Cleopatra”
Louise Fazenda as the White Queen and Edna May Oliver as the Red Queen, with Charlotte Henry as Alice, "Alice in Wonderland"
Louise Fazenda as the White Queen and Edna May Oliver as the Red Queen, with Charlotte Henry as Alice, “Alice in Wonderland”
May Robson as the Queen of Hearts, "Alice in Wonderland"
May Robson as the Queen of Hearts, “Alice in Wonderland”
Florence Eldridge as Elizabeth, "Mary of Scotland"
Florence Eldridge as Elizabeth, “Mary of Scotland”
Katharine Hepburn, "Mary of Scotland"
Katharine Hepburn, “Mary of Scotland”
Katharine Hepburn as Eleanor of Aquitaine, "The Lion in Winter"
Katharine Hepburn as Eleanor of Aquitaine, “The Lion in Winter”
Betty Blythe, "The Queen of Sheba"
Betty Blythe, “The Queen of Sheba”
Gina Lollobrigida, "Solomon and Sheba"
Gina Lollobrigida, “Solomon and Sheba”
Jean Peters as the Pirate Queen, "Anne of the Indies"
Jean Peters as the Pirate Queen, “Anne of the Indies”
Viveca Lindfors as Queen Margaret, "The Adventures of Don Juan"
Viveca Lindfors as Queen Margaret, “The Adventures of Don Juan”
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4 thoughts on “Q is for Queens

  1. I saw ‘Solomon and Sheba’ when I was just eight years old, and I remember thinking it was marvellous. This was mainly because of a juvenile fascination for Gina Lollobrigida, who sparked an unfamiliar desire in my young mind, that stayed with me for many years. looking at the film now, it seems ham-acted and pointless, but Gina looks pretty enticing still…Thanks for that memory Niall.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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