Victoria the Great
Victoria the Great
is a 1937 British historical film directed by Herbert Wilcox
Herbert Wilcox
and starring Anna Neagle, Anton Walbrook
Anton Walbrook
and Walter Rilla.[2] When Laurence Housman's play Victoria Regina was banned by the Lord Chamberlain
Lord Chamberlain
(in 1935, the royal family could not be shown on the British stage); its subsequent Broadway success prompted King Edward VIII to commission producer Herbert Wilcox
Herbert Wilcox
to turn it into a film, commemorating the centenary of Victoria's reign.[3] The film biography of Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria
concentrates initially on the early years of her reign with her marriage to Prince Albert and her subsequent rule after Albert's death in 1861. It was released in the year of King George VI's coronation, which was also the centennial of Victoria's own accession to the throne. The movie was so successful that a sequel appeared the following year, Sixty Glorious Years.[4]


1 Plot 2 Cast 3 Critical reception 4 References 5 Bibliography 6 External links

Plot[edit] In June 1837, 18-year-old Victoria ascends the throne following the death of her uncle, King William IV. She soon shows her independence from the influence of her German mother the Duchess of Kent and her Belgian advisor Baron Stockmar. Lord Melbourne, her trusted Prime Minister, tells her he is growing old and she needs an advisor. He suggests she marry her German cousin Albert. Victoria considers Albert too straitlaced and serious, while he thinks she is frivolous, self-willed, overly talkative and too fond of dancing. Victoria decides to postpone inviting Albert and his older brother Ernest to visit, but when Melbourne informs her that Albert does not want to come, she immediately changes her mind and insists he come. England does not make a favorable first impression on Albert and Ernest; their passage across the English Channel is rough and rain-drenched. When they are first presented to the Queen, Albert is not very friendly. Later, at a ball, Albert tells Ernest they are returning home the next day, but after a waltz with Victoria (the orchestra conducted by Johann Strauss), he cancels that plan. In the meantime, Victoria has decided to marry Albert, but he cannot propose to a sovereign, so she must do it herself. After their marriage, Victoria devotes herself to government, leaving Albert with nothing to do. He chafes at his idleness. When Robert Peel talks to Victoria about the merits of an income tax with Victoria during a party, Albert tries to join the discussion, only to be rebuffed by his wife. When Albert final rebels, Victoria is unsympathetic at first, but then gives in and lets him participate in governing. She grows to rely on him. During the social unrest and depression of the "Hungry Forties", Albert spots a would-be assassin and shields his wife during an open-carriage ride.[5] The man only manages to shoot Albert's hat before being overpowered. In November 1841, their first child, a son, is born. After an angry mob gathers outside the palace demanding bread, Victoria and Albert support Peel in repealing the Corn Laws. In 1861, the Trent Affair
Trent Affair
threatens to bring the United Kingdom in on the side of the South in the American Civil War. Lord Palmerston, the Foreign Minister, is strongly in favour of a strong message to the United States, but Victoria insists otherwise, and Albert rewrites it so that hostilities are avoided. That same year, Albert dies. Grieving, Victoria goes into seclusion, eventually resulting in public discontent with the monarchy. Finally, William Gladstone
William Gladstone
pleads with her to resume her public duties, asking her what Albert would have wanted. At this point, the film switches from black and white to colour, as she heeds Gladstone's advice. Cast[edit]

Anna Neagle
Anna Neagle
as Queen Victoria Anton Walbrook
Anton Walbrook
as Prince Albert Walter Rilla as Prince Ernest H.B. Warner
H.B. Warner
as Lord Melbourne Mary Morris
Mary Morris
as Duchess of Kent James Dale as Duke of Wellington Felix Aylmer
Felix Aylmer
as Lord Palmerston Charles Carson as Sir Robert Peel Gordon McLeod as John Brown C.V. France
C.V. France
as Archbishop of Canterbury Arthur Young as William Gladstone Greta Schröder
Greta Schröder
as Baroness Lehzen Paul Leyssac as Baron Stockmar Derrick De Marney as Younger Disraeli Hugh Miller as Older Disraeli Percy Parsons
Percy Parsons
as President Abraham Lincoln Hubert Harben as Lord Conyngham Henry Hallett as Joseph Chamberlain

Critical reception[edit] Variety wrote, "Not cloak-and-cocked-hat historical tedium of pageantry and fancy dramatics, Victoria the Great
Victoria the Great
travels a long way toward a full and clarified explanation of the most popular ruler England ever had...Anna Neagle, in the title role, gives an unwavering performance throughout. Anton Walbrook
Anton Walbrook
as Albert, the Prince Consort, is superb...The film wisely puts its prime focus on the private life of Victoria, her romance, marriage, and personal characteristics. Backgrounded is her public life, and her gradual rise to such high estimation of her people. Victoria the Great
Victoria the Great
is done with a lavish hand – the closing sequence is in Technicolor
[shot by William V. Skall]. The tinting isn’t too good, but serves effectively as a pointer-up for the climax." ;[6] and more recently, the Radio Times wrote, "It's all fairly tame, and a long way from the rough ride given to the royals of today. Yet Neagle's sympathy for the monarch shines through, and the final reel, which bursts into glorious Technicolor
for the Diamond Jubilee, is a delightful piece of patriotic pomp."[3] References[edit]

^ "Victoria the Great: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved 11 April 2014.  ^ " Victoria the Great
Victoria the Great
(1937)".  ^ a b " Victoria the Great
Victoria the Great
- Film from RadioTimes".  ^ " Victoria the Great
Victoria the Great
(1937) - Notes -".  ^ In real life, Edward Oxford
Edward Oxford
did try to shoot the Queen in 1840, the first of seven or eight assassination attempts. ^ Staff, Variety (1 January 1937). "Review: 'Victoria the Great'". 


The Great British Films, pp39–41, Jerry Vermilye, 1978, Citadel Press, ISBN 0-8065-0661-X

External links[edit]

Victoria the Great
Victoria the Great
on IMDb Victoria the Great
Victoria the Great
at AllMovie Victoria the Great
Victoria the Great
at the TCM Movie Database Victoria the Great
Victoria the Great
at Virtual History

v t e

Films by Herbert Wilcox

Producer Only

The Wonderful Story (1922) Flames of Passion (1922) Paddy the Next Best Thing (1923) The Triumph of the Scarlet Pimpernel (1929) When Knights Were Bold (1929) Black Waters (1929) Splinters (1929) A Peep Behind the Scenes (1929) High Treason (1929) The Third Eye (1929) Wolves (1930) Canaries Sometimes Sing (1930) Rookery Nook (1930) The Mountain of Mourne (1930) Warned Off (1930) On Approval (1930) Tons of Money (1930) Mischief (1931) The Speckled Band (1931) Plunder (1931) Almost a Divorce (1931) Up for the Cup (1931) The Barton Mystery (1932) Life Goes On (1932) Thark (1932) Leap Year (1932) It's a King (1932) The Love Contract (1932) Say It with Music(1932) The Mayor's Nest (1932) A Night Like This (1932) The Flag Lieutenant (1932) Night of the Garter
Night of the Garter
(1933) Up to the Neck (1933) The King's Cup
The King's Cup
(1933) Yes, Mr Brown
Yes, Mr Brown
(1933) Up for the Derby (1933) Trouble (1933) General John Regan (1933) The Blarney Stone (1933) Just My Luck (1933) The King of Paris (1933) Lord of the Manor (1933) Discord (1933) That's a Good Girl
That's a Good Girl
(1933) One Precious Year (1933) Purse Strings (1933) Summer Lightning (1933) It's a Cop (1934) Badger's Green (1934) Faces (1934) Lucky Loser (1934) Lilies of the Field (1934) Sorrell and Son (1934) The Scoop (1934) Girls, Please! (1934) Come Out of the Pantry
Come Out of the Pantry
(1935) Escape Me Never (1935) Brewster's Millions (1935) Fame (1936) Where's George? (1936) Millions (1937) The Frog
The Frog
(1937) The Rat (1937) The Return of the Frog (1938) A Royal Divorce (1938) No Parking (1938) Blondes for Danger
Blondes for Danger
(1938) The Beggar's Opera (1953) Yangtse Incident
Yangtse Incident
(1957) The Navy Lark (1959)

As director

Chu-Chin-Chow (1923) Southern Love (1924) Decameron Nights (1924) The Only Way (1926) Nell Gwyn (1926) Madame Pompadour (1927) London (1926) Tip Toes
Tip Toes
(1927) Mumsie (1927) Dawn (1928) The Bondman (1929) The Woman in White (1929) The Loves of Robert Burns
The Loves of Robert Burns
(1930) The Chance of a Night Time (1931) Carnival (1931) Money Means Nothing (1932) The Blue Danube (1932) Goodnight, Vienna
Goodnight, Vienna
(1932) The Little Damozel (1933) Bitter Sweet (1933) Yes, Mr Brown
Yes, Mr Brown
(1933) The Queen's Affair
The Queen's Affair
(1934) Nell Gwyn (1934) Peg of Old Drury
Peg of Old Drury
(1935) This'll Make You Whistle
This'll Make You Whistle
(1936) Three Maxims
Three Maxims
(1936) Limelight (1936) London Melody
London Melody
(1937) Victoria the Great
Victoria the Great
(1937) Sixty Glorious Years
Sixty Glorious Years
(1938) Nurse Edith Cavell
Nurse Edith Cavell
(1939) Irene (1940) No, No, Nanette (1940) Sunny (1941) They Flew Alone
They Flew Alone
(1942) Forever and a Day (1943) Yellow Canary (1943) I Live in Grosvenor Square
I Live in Grosvenor Square
(1945) Piccadilly Incident (1946) The Courtneys of Curzon Street
The Courtneys of Curzon Street
(1947) Spring in Park Lane (1948) Elizabeth of Ladymead
Elizabeth of Ladymead
(1948) Maytime in Mayfair (1949) Odette (1950) Into the Blue (1950) The Lady with a Lamp (1951) Derby Day (1952) Trent's Last Case (1952) Laughing Anne
Laughing Anne
(1953) Trouble in the Glen
Trouble in the Glen
(1954) Lilacs in the Spring
Lilacs in the Spring
(1954) King's Rhapsody (1955) My Teenage Daughter
My Teenage Daughter
(1956) These Dangerous Years
These Dangerous Years
(1957) The Man Who Wouldn't Talk
(1958) Wonderful Things!
Wonderful Things!
(1958) The Lady Is a Square
The Lady Is a Square
(1959) The Hea