The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex. 1939. USA. Directed by Michael Curtiz. 106 min.
Screenplay by Norman Reilly Raine, Aenis MacKenzie, based on the play by Maxwell Anderson. With Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Donald Crisp, Alan Hale. Favoring dramatic flourish over historical fact, Michael Curtiz's costume picture chronicles the tempestuous May-December romance between Elizabeth I and the Earl of Essex in one of Warner Bros.’ most sumptuously designed Technicolor films. Working with the brilliant Polish art director Anton Grot and cinematographers W. Howard Greene and Sol Polito, Curtiz exploits Technicolor's power to convey emotion through patterns of colored light and abstract design. Bette Davis and Errol Flynn, battling constantly on the set and stealing each other’s scenes, are nonetheless cast to perfection as the aging, imperious Virgin Queen and the cunning paramour for whom she almost abdicates her throne. 35mm print from The Library of Congress; courtesy Warner Bros.
Sons of Liberty. 1939. USA. Directed by Michael Curtiz. 20 min.
Screenplay by Crane Wilbur. With Claude Rains, Gale Sondergaard, Donald Crisp. Produced by Warner Brothers as part of a series of patriotic short subjects in the late 1930s, Sons of Liberty tells the story of businessman Haym Salomon, one of the major financial supporters of the American Revolution. With its distinguished cast and production team (including Curtiz and cinematographers Sol Polito and Ray Rennahan), the film is unusually polished. 35mm print from The Library of Congress; courtesy Warner Bros.