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Mary of Scotland (film): Wikis


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Mary of Scotland
Directed by John Ford
Produced by Pandro S. Berman
Written by adaptation of the 1933 Maxwell Anderson play by Dudley Nichols
Starring Katharine Hepburn
Music by Nathaniel Shilkret
Cinematography Joseph H. August
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release date(s) August 28, 1936
Running time 123 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Mary of Scotland is a 1936 RKO film starring Katharine Hepburn as the 16th century ruler, Mary I of Scotland. 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.



The film does not keep close to the historical truth, portraying Mary as something of a wronged martyr and her husband, James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell (played by Fredric March), as a romantic hero (the character is always called "Bothwell" in the film because the real figure was an ancestor of Hepburn and the studio was worried about appearances).


Also appearing in the film were Florence Eldridge as Queen Elizabeth I, John Carradine as David Rizzio, Douglas Walton as the effeminate Lord Darnley, Frieda Inescort and Donald Crisp. Moroni Olsen, who portrayed John Knox, was the only member of the film's cast to repeat his original stage role.


The film is highly regarded by some critics today, but in its time was a box office flop. 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.

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