2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Good morale booster for the English people,
This review is from: Fire Over England [DVD]  (DVD)
Firstly let me say, that anything that helped rally the British people to fight and win a war against the Satanic Nazi Germany is on the side of the angels. Filmed and released in 1937 when Britain was divided into two camps, one led by the redoubtable Winston Churchill saw that Nazi Germany was threat to civilization itself and would have none of the poisonous overtures of 'friendship' Hitler was making towards Britain.
The other led by Chamberlain aimed to appease and ingratiate itself with the Nazi evil.
The writers of this quite splendid movie must have known that was would happen. The very title of this film 'Fire over England' seems prophetic as three years later Nazi planes would literally spread fire , death and suffering across Britain.
Words to the effect of fire and torment over England are spoken in the movie.
The movie urged the English people to choose the light of goodness and freedom and fight against tyranny and diabolical moral darkness. As England had chosen in 1688 and the splendid victory she had won over the Spanish Armada.
Russia was ralled in a similar way before the War by a brilliant epic period piece called Alexander Nevsky  [DVD]
The film features England in 1588 in the run-up to the Spanish Armada's attack on the England. Elizabeth and her advisers Lord Burleigh (played by Morton Selten who adds some gravitas and dignity), and Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester (Leslie Banks). The dashing and swash-buckling young hero Michael Ingolby (Laurence Olivier) is injured when his father's ship is captured by the Spanish and he washes ashore and is nursed back to health by his Spanish captors who he denounces (after a brief romance with his captives daughter, the Spanish signorita Elena (Tamara Desni) before taking a fishing boast back to England where he is reunited with his lady love Cynthia (Vivien Leigh) urges Queen Elizabeth to raise an army and navy to fight Spain. What was a little dampening for me was the sometimes childish behaviour of Olivia and Leighs characters.
The ultimate star of the show is Flora Robson who played Elizabeth I with great majesty, flair and splendid wit.
She really gave the succeeding generations of actresses who would play Queen Elizabeth in film, a hard task to follow.
Michael Ingolby is then sent back into Spain as an agent where he successfully susses out Spain's plans and engages in some sabotage
Of course the finest hour of the film is the battle where the Armada is itself destroyed. And Elizabeth's rousing speech to the troops at Tibury.
such beautiful background scenery and ambience , really evoking Elizabethan England and giving a feel for the time.