×

Lady Jane

With its emphasis on youthful idealism despoiled by treacherous, manipulative adults, Lady Jane emerges as a tragic historical romance tinged with a strong 1960s feeling.

With its emphasis on youthful idealism despoiled by treacherous, manipulative adults, Lady Jane emerges as a tragic historical romance tinged with a strong 1960s feeling.

In 1553, six years after the death of King Henry VIII and upon the death of his 16-year-old son, Edward VI, some extraordinary maneuverings brought to the English throne Henry’s 15-year-old great-niece, the scholarly but unprepared Lady Jane Grey. She ruled for only nine days, after which she was toppled, imprisoned and finally executed by the Catholic Mary.

Lady Jane’s parents and the Duke of Northumberland scheme to force a marriage between Jane and the latter’s dissolute 17-year-old son, Guilford Dudley, to keep Britain free of the Pope’s influence.

Very much centerstage, however, is the unlikely love story of Jane and Guilford. A grimly serious, exceedingly virginal girl at the outset, Jane is very quickly liberated in body and mind. The pair rhapsodize about a socialist-type utopia where all citizens would have equal rights.

Trevor Nunn has brought little of his tremendous theatrical flair to the screen here. Pic belongs squarely within the traditions of good taste and literate dialog one assocoates with the British cinema from the 1930s onwards. Performances are all top-drawer, beginning with newcomer Helena Bonham Carter in the title role.

Lady Jane

UK - US

  • Production: Paramount. Director Trevor Nunn; Producer Peter Snell; Screenplay David Edgar; Camera Douglas Slocombe; Editor Anne V. Coates; Music Stephen Oliver; Art Director Allan Cameron
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1986. Running time: 142 MIN.
  • With: Helena Bonham Carter Cary Elwes John Wood Michael Hordern Jill Bennett Jane Lapotaire
  • Music By: