YOUNG BESS (1953) C 113m dir: George Sidney
w/Jean Simmons, Stewart Granger, Deborah Kerr, Charles Laughton, Kay Walsh, Guy Rolfe
From Variety's contemporary review of the film: "Margaret Irwin's fine book on the life and times of the girl who was to become England's Queen Elizabeth has been made into a remarkably engrossing motion picture. Young Bess is a romantic drama told against a Tudor setting. It is a human story, sensitively written, directed and played. Romance phases are rich in emotion; court intrigue conjures suspense, and there is a suggestion of action throughout.
"The four-star bracketing of Jean Simmons, in the title role; Stewart Granger, the dashing, heroic Lord Admiral, Thomas Seymour; Deborah Kerr, the beautiful Catherine Parr; and Charles Laughton, the gross, pompous Henry VIII, insures splendid trouping.
"Main story gets underway after opening sequence, a gem in itself, sets the stage for a flashback to the unhappy childhood of young Bess. It is not until gracious Catherine becomes queen that young Bess, now fifteen, takes up a more or less permanent residence in the palace, finding love and happiness with the queen and her little stepbrother, the sickly Edward. When Henry dies and the Queen marries the Lord Admiral, young Bess conceals her own infatuation with the dashing hero, but her feelings are found out and used by the evil Ned Seymour, the admiral's brother. Miklos Rozsa's music score is fine, never once intruding too strongly on a dramatic scene, and it is full of little identifying melodies for the humorous touches in the script."
YOUNG BESS was nominated for two Oscars: Best Color Costume Design (Walter Plunkett) and Color Art Direction (Cedric Gibbons, Urie McCleary, Edwin B. Willis, Jack D. Moore).