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» » The Twisted Tale of Bloody Mary (2008)

Short summary

She was loved, she was a princess, heir to the throne - but the childhood fairytale turned to lifelong nightmare for Mary Tudor, Henry VIII's first child. When Henry divorced her mother and married Anne Boleyn, Mary became an outcast and a threat to the Protestant succession. By a twist of fate, on the death of her brother, she became queen at last in 1553, but her attempts to make England Catholic again were a disaster for her and the country. History has called her "Bloody Mary" for the burning of the Protestants, but how fair is this? This film paints another picture, of a woman true to her beliefs, pushed towards a terrible psychological disintegration.

Production Timeline : Reported in English magazine and a local area newspaper as requested actors/extra's to cast within scenes recorded at Eltham Palace, upon August 18th 2005. A location used for better historical architectural accuracy, as within her birth region of Greenwich. Most likely that 'Mary Tudor', had visited Eltham Palace possibly when still travelled with the royal court of Henry VIII or briefly when his heir Edward succeeded him.

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Tygrarad
    I have always been fascinated by the Tudor period of history, ever since I saw the 1970 BBC Six Wives Of Henry VIII. There has never been a film about Mary Tudor and I stumbled across this by accident. Considering the small budget, I thought they brought the 1500s to life brilliantly and with style and class and atmosphere, looking like a rich drama production, and to my mind, having production values which excelled over the BBC's first production of The Other Boleyn Girl. I would have given it 10 out of 10 but for it missing out Henry's last four queens, and not mentioning Ann Boleyn's daughter Elizabeth until the very end. But it made me think deeply about Mary's motives, was far more Tudor realistic than the hugely expensive "The Tudors" and had amazing gritty realism, such as the sores on Henry's legs, and on Edward VI. Plus the actress playing Ann Boleyn bore the most uncanny resemblance to Hans Holbein's portrait.

    A film I am proud to own on DVD. It would benefit from some filmising of the video, like they do with current Doctor Who, removing alternate fields to give it a more filmic look rather than video, but trust me, this is a truly neglected gem and deserves far greater acclaim and stands as a testament to what can be done with dedication even with a minuscule budget. And Miranda French is so stunning and believable as Mary that she deserves an award.

    Whoever gave this the other review here had no right to dismiss it so scathingly, and clearly missed the whole beauty and poignancy of such a stunning production. The film Avatar may have cost ultra millions but expense and gloss and special effects don't make a great story or believable drama. This stands supreme as possibly the best low budget film ever.
  • comment
    • Author: Mazuzahn
    I purchased the movie being interested in all of the Tudor history and because it is to my knowledge the only movie made about the life of Mary Tudor. What a GIANT disappointment. The movie made in the style of a documentary has the feel of being put together by some experimenting high school students. Acting is non existent, the dialog stilted and often unintentionally funny. Camera work is fuzzy, shot into the light, so it is impossible to see anything but shadows (artsy??), not to mention the same repeated shots of meadows, deers, bunnies,trees and running blood - really TACKY! I knew that this was low budget, but come on - PBS has a lot of British productions that are on the lower budget end, nevertheless excellent. Mary turns from an adorable teenager into a 50+ looking woman, when in reality she was about 30 at her brothers Edwards death. By the way her eyes turn from light green as a child to a deep brown as a teenager - is this a miracle or did they run out of brown eyed children? Henry VIII stereo typed as a fat old tyrant, when he actually was quite young when he divorced Katherine. The main players at the court of Henry VIII are hardly mentioned although they played a big role in Mary's life and were indeed the cause of her bitterness. There is not really any explanation for her cruelty, other than her fanatic catholicism, upbringing and failed marriage. Instead of exploring her character in depth her actions seem to be based more on revenge than anything else. The filmmakers underline this by showing her expressions toward the end depicted more and more as an evil witch. Don't waste your money and time on this piece of trash! I hope in time a good movie will be made about "bloody Mary" exploring the woman behind the evil mask.
  • comment
    • Author: Dagdalas
    Countless films and TV shows have been made about Henry VIII and Elizabeth I but very few of Mary I of England. She did not have 6 spouses, she did not form the Church of England, she did not reign the Golden Age, she didn't defeat the Armada, but her story is no less compelling.

    This story shows us just how wretched the once beloved princess has become. Cast aside, called a bastard, royal titles stripped and to stand by and watch her dearest mother suffer made Mary bitter.

    Unloved and unwanted she is suddenly thrust into the limelight when she inherits the throne. Fervently religious she longs to restore England back to the true faith Catholicism.

    Her unpopular marriage to Philip of Spain and her persecution earned her the name Bloody Mary, through the ages, but she was no more ruthless than kings and queens before and after her.

    The portrayal of Mary by Miranda French was unparallelled, you truly see the lonely, desolate, love starved Queen who falls completely in love with her young husband and would do anything to please him. The phantom pregnancy scenes are heart breaking, all she wanted was to become a mother to have a child to love and who would love her unconditionally.

    The only issue I have with this film is the one I have with all the portrayals of Philip Habsburg of Spain. By all historical accounts, he was a slight man, pale skinned, fair haired and pale blue eyes, yet here as in other films including Elizabeth: The Golden Age he is portrayed as the typical swarthy dark Spaniard.

    This film is well worth I really do wish more film makers would pay this story more attention and produce something on a grand scale much in the style of Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age. This story deserves to be told properly.
  • comment
    • Author: Skiletus
    Badly acted. Disjointed format. Absolutely ghastly and overbearing music.
  • Credited cast:
    Miranda French Miranda French - Mary Tudor
    Simon Kirk Simon Kirk - Dudley
    Jorge Balça Jorge Balça - Philip of Spain
    Jason Sharp Jason Sharp - Henry VIII
    Lizzie Rees Lizzie Rees - Young Mary (as Elizabeth Rees)
    Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
    Sarah Finigan Sarah Finigan - Servant
    Lisa Marie Kennedy Lisa Marie Kennedy - Anne Boleyn
    Daniel Polanco Daniel Polanco - Spanish Ambassador
    Sean Rees Sean Rees - Ambassador Renard
    Glenn Salvage Glenn Salvage - Norfolk Noble
    Aubrey Wakeling Aubrey Wakeling - Duke of Norfolk
    Burtie Welland Burtie Welland - Thomas Cromwell
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