Mrs Brown

Mrs Brown (also theatrically released as Her Majesty, Mrs Brown) is a 1997 British drama film starring Judi Dench, Billy Connolly, Geoffrey Palmer, Antony Sher, and Gerard Butler in his film debut. It was written by Jeremy Brock and directed by John Madden. The film was produced by the BBC and Ecosse Films with the intention of being shown on BBC One and on WGBH's Masterpiece Theatre. However, it was acquired by Miramax and released to unexpected success, going on to earn $9 million worldwide.

The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival and released in the United Kingdom on 5 September 1997.[2] Dench won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama and the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role; additionally, she was nominated for many other awards for her performance, including the Academy Award for Best Actress and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role, but lost both awards to Helen Hunt for her role in As Good as It Gets.

Mrs Brown
Mrs Brown UK theatrical poster
UK theatrical poster
Directed byJohn Madden
Produced bySarah Curtis
Written byJeremy Brock
Starring
Music byStephen Warbeck
CinematographyRichard Greatrex
Edited byRobin Sales
Distributed byBuena Vista International
Release date
  • 18 July 1997 (United States)
  • 5 September 1997 (United Kingdom)
Running time
103 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Box office$9.2 million[1]

Plot

Several screens of text giving background are shown before a bust is shown flying over a palace wall and shattering into pieces. The film shows the story of a recently widowed Queen Victoria and her relationship with a Scottish servant, John Brown, a trusted servant of her deceased husband, and the subsequent uproar it provoked. Brown had served Victoria's Prince Consort, Prince Albert; Victoria's Household thought Brown might help the Queen who had remained in mourning since the Prince Consort's death in 1861.

In 1863, hoping to subtly coax the Queen toward resuming public life after years of seclusion, Brown is summoned to court. The plan succeeds a little too well for the liking of Victoria's chief secretary Sir Henry Ponsonby and The Prince of Wales as well as other members of the Royal family; the public, press and politicians soon come to resent Brown's perceived influence over Victoria. Brown takes considerable liberties with court protocol, especially by addressing Her Majesty as "woman". He also quickly takes control over the Victoria's daily activities, further aggravating the tensions between himself and the royal family and servants.

The moniker "Mrs Brown", used both at the time and in the film, implied an improper, and perhaps sexual, relationship. The film does not directly address the contemporary suspicions that Victoria and Brown had had a sexual relationship and perhaps had even secretly married, though cartoons from the satirical magazine Punch are shown as being passed around in Parliament (one cartoon is revealed to the camera, showing an empty throne, with the sceptre lying unhanded across it).

As a result of Victoria's seclusion, especially at Balmoral Castle in Scotland (something initially encouraged by Brown), her popularity begins failing and republican sentiment begins growing. Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli has a weakening hold over the House of Commons and a fear of rising anti-monarchical sentiment in the country. He convinces Brown to use his influence with Victoria to persuade her to return to the performance of her public duties, especially the speech from the throne at the impending opening of Parliament.

Brown is reluctant to do so, rightly fearing that Victoria will take this as a personal betrayal. When Brown urges Victoria to return to London and fulfill her public duties, an argument ensues. Feeling betrayed by Brown, Victoria becomes visibly agitated. When Brown once again refers to her as "woman", she sharply rebukes him. Leaving the room, she turns to Ponsonby and Jenner requesting that they serve her needs, visibly demoting Brown's contact and influence over her. Their relationship was never to be the same again. Victoria eventual acquiescence and her decision to return to public life eventually leads to a revitalization of her popularity and a resurgence in public support of the monarchy.

Brown continues to serve Victoria until his death in 1883. In his final years, his duties become reduced to head of security. The palace staff has become weary of Brown's dogmatic ways and they mock and rebuke his security efforts as paranoid delusions. Finally, during a public event, a gun-wielding assassin appears out of the crowd leaping toward the royal family. An ever-vigilant Brown successfully thwarts the assassination attempt. At dinner the next evening, the Prince of Wales retells the story, bragging to their dinner companions that he had been the one to warn Brown of the assassin. Seeing through her son's bragging, Victoria announces instead that a special medal for bravery, the "Devoted Service Medal," will be minted and awarded to Brown.

Some years later, Brown becomes gravely ill with pneumonia after chasing through the woods late at night searching for a possible intruder. Hearing of Brown's illness, Victoria visits his room and is shaken to see her old friend so ill. She confesses that she has not been as good a friend as she might have been in recent years, and the pneumonia proves fatal for Brown. During his years of service, Brown had kept a diary and, upon his passing, Ponsonby and Jenner discuss its contents stating that it must never be seen by anyone. The film's closing crawl notes that "John Brown's diary was never found." Jenner also reveals that the Prince of Wales hurled the Queen's favourite bust of Brown over the palace wall, referencing the film's opening sequence.

Cast

Reception

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 92% based on 50 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Thanks to some top notch acting, the chemistry between its stars, and a witty, thoughtful script, Mrs. Brown delivers a nuanced and entertaining, if not entirely factual, account of a seldom explored historical relationship."[3] Metacritic, another review aggregator, assigned the film a weighted average score of 71 out of 100, based on 22 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[4]

Awards and nominations

Judi Dench

Billy Connolly

  • nominated, Screen Actors' Guild (SAG) Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
  • nominated, BAFTA Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
  • nominated, BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Actor in a Film

Others

  • winner, BAFTA Award for Best Costume Design, Deirdre Clancy
  • nominated, BAFTA Award for Best Film
  • nominated, Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film (also BAFTA)
  • nominated, Academy Award for Makeup, Lisa Westcott, Veronica Brebner and Beverley Binda

See also

Sequel
Films about Queen Victoria

References

  1. ^ "Mrs Brown (1997)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Mrs Brown". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 27 September 2009.
  3. ^ "Mrs Brown (1997)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 7 October 2017.

External links

51st British Academy Film Awards

The 51st BAFTA Film Awards, given by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts on 19 April 1998, honoured the best in film for 1997.

Peter Cattaneo's The Full Monty won the award for Best Film. Nil by Mouth from director Gary Oldman won the Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film.

The ceremony was hosted by Rory Bremner.

Brendan O'Carroll

Brendan O'Carroll (born 15 September 1955) is an Irish writer, producer, comedian, actor, and director, best known for portraying foul-mouthed matriarch Agnes Brown on stage, and in the BBC and RTÉ television sitcom Mrs. Brown's Boys. In 2015, O'Carroll was awarded the Irish Film and Television Academy Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Irish television.

Cora Urquhart Brown-Potter

Cora Urquhart Brown-Potter (May 15, 1857 – February 12, 1936), billed as Mrs. Brown-Potter, was one of the first American society women to become a stage actress.

Geoffrey Palmer (actor)

Geoffrey Dyson Palmer, (born 4 June 1927) is an English actor known for his roles in British television sitcoms playing Jimmy Anderson in The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (1976–79), Ben Parkinson in Butterflies (1978–83) and Lionel Hardcastle in As Time Goes By (1992–2005). His film appearances include A Fish Called Wanda (1988), The Madness of King George (1994), Mrs. Brown (1997), and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).

Gerard Butler

Gerard James Butler (born 13 November 1969) is a Scottish actor, producer, singer and musician.

After studying law, Butler turned to acting in the mid-1990s with small roles in productions such as Mrs Brown (1997), the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), and Tale of the Mummy (1998). In 2000, he starred as Dracula in the horror film Dracula 2000 with Christopher Plummer and Jonny Lee Miller.

He subsequently played Attila the Hun in the miniseries Attila (2001) and then appeared in the films Reign of Fire with Christian Bale (2002) and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life with Angelina Jolie (2003), before playing André Marek in the adaptation of Michael Crichton's science fiction adventure Timeline (2003). He then was cast as the role of Erik, The Phantom in Joel Schumacher's 2004 film adaptation of the musical The Phantom of the Opera alongside Emmy Rossum. That role earned him a Satellite Award nomination for Best Actor.

Although Attila and The Phantom of the Opera were important breaks, it was only in 2007 that Butler gained worldwide recognition for his portrayal of King Leonidas in Zack Snyder's fantasy war film 300. That role earned him nominations for an Empire Award for Best Actor and a Saturn Award for Best Actor and a win for MTV Movie Award for Best Fight. In the 2010s, he voiced the role of Stoick the Vast in the animated action-fantasy film How to Train Your Dragon, a role he later reprised in Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon (2010), Gift of the Night Fury (2011), How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014), and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019). Also in 2010s, he portrayed Secret Service agent Mike Banning in the action thriller Olympus Has Fallen, a role he later reprised in London Has Fallen and the upcoming Angel Has Fallen. He played military leader Tullus Aufidius in the 2011 film Coriolanus, a modernized adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy of the same name. He also played Sam Childers in the 2011 action biopic Machine Gun Preacher.

Herman's Hermits

Herman's Hermits are an English beat rock band formed in Manchester in 1964, originally called Herman & the Hermits. Harvey Lisberg discovered them and signed on as their manager. He sent a plane ticket to Mickie Most so that he could come up from London to see the band play in Bolton, and Most became the group's record producer, controlling the band's output. He emphasised a simple, non-threatening, clean-cut image. This helped Herman's Hermits become hugely successful in the mid-1960s.

Their first hit was a cover of Earl-Jean's "I'm into Something Good" which reached number one in the UK Singles Chart and number 13 in the US in late 1964. They never topped the British charts again, but they had two number one songs on the US Billboard Hot 100 with "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter" and "I'm Henry the Eighth, I Am". These songs were aimed at a US fan base, with Peter Noone (singer) exaggerating his Mancunian accent.

Their US records were released on the MGM label, which often featured their musical performers in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer films. The Hermits appeared in several MGM movies, including When the Boys Meet the Girls (1965) and Hold On! (1966). They also starred in the film Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter (1968) and appeared in the 1965 anthology film Pop Gear.

The group appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Dean Martin Show, and The Jackie Gleason Show. Continued success in the US proved elusive beyond 1967, although they had as many Top Ten hits in Britain in 1967 through 1970. They recorded their final album of the 1960s Rock 'n' Roll Party, and Peter Noone left the band in 1971. Herman's Hermits reunited in 1973 to headline a British invasion tour of the US, culminating with a performance at Madison Square Garden and an appearance on The Midnight Special. A later lineup with lead guitarist Derek Leckenby and drummer Barry Whitwam opened for the Monkees on their 80s reunion tours of the US. The band continues to tour today, with Whitwam as the only remaining member from the original lineup.

Herman's Hermits (album)

Herman's Hermits (sometimes called Introducing Herman's Hermits) is the debut album of the band Herman's Hermits, first issued in 1965. As was typical of the time, the album's contents were different on the UK and US releases. UK albums did not have any singles included.

Jeremy Brock

Jeremy Brock MBE (born 1959) is a British writer and director whose works include the screenplays Mrs Brown, Driving Lessons, The Last King of Scotland, Charlotte Gray, and The Eagle. Brock has also written two plays for the Hampstead downstairs theatre.

Lisa Westcott

Lisa Westcott is a British make-up artist. Before winning an Oscar for her work in the successful film Les Misérables (2012), she earned two consecutive nominations for Mrs Brown (1997) and Shakespeare in Love (1998). Her other accolades include two BAFTA Awards.

Marjorie Rhodes

Marjorie Rhodes (9 April 1897 – 4 July 1979) was a British actress. She was born Millicent Wise in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire.

One of her best-known roles was as Lucy Fitton, the mother in Bill Naughton's play All in Good Time. She played the role on Broadway, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award in 1965. She reprised the role in the 1966 film version, The Family Way. She was featured singing a track "The World Is for the Young" with Stanley Holloway in the Herman's Hermits 1968 film Mrs. Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter.

Her television appearances included The Army Game (as Edith Snudge), Dixon of Dock Green (1961–62), the episode "For the Girl Who Has Everything" of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (1969), Doctor at Large (1971) and Z-Cars (1974).

Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown

Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown is an essay by Virginia Woolf published in 1924 which explores modernity.

Mrs. Brown's Boys

Mrs. Brown's Boys is a television sitcom, created by and starring Irishman Brendan O'Carroll, and produced in the United Kingdom by BBC Scotland in partnership with BocPix and RTÉ. O'Carroll himself plays his drag persona, Agnes Brown, with several close friends and family members making up the rest of the cast. The show adopts an informal production style where production mistakes and tomfoolery, mostly instigated by O'Carroll, are edited into each episode. Despite being lambasted by critics, the show has become a ratings success in both Ireland, where it is set, and Britain, where it is recorded. It is also gaining increasingly higher ratings in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. The show has won numerous awards.

Mrs. Brown's Boys was developed from O'Carroll's works going back to the early 1990s. The character, Agnes Browne, first appeared in stage plays, radio plays, books, and straight-to-DVD films. For the sitcom, the spelling of Agnes's surname was shortened from Browne to Brown. A stage show has continued to run, and during February and March 2014 it toured Australia. A feature film, Mrs. Brown's Boys D'Movie, was released on 27 June 2014.

Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter

"Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter" is a popular song written by British actor, screenwriter and songwriter Trevor Peacock. It was originally sung by actor Tom Courtenay in The Lads, a British TV play of 1963, and released as a single on UK Decca.The best-known version of the song is by Herman's Hermits, who took it to number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 in May 1965, and number one in Canada the month before. The single debuted on the Hot 100 at number twelve — the third highest debut of the decade (after the Beatles' "Hey Jude" and "Get Back"). The Hermits never released the track — or their other US 1965 number one, "I'm Henry VIII, I Am" — as a single in their native Britain. "Mrs Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter" was recorded as an afterthought in two takes and featured unique muted lead and rhythm guitar by Derek Leckenby and Keith Hopwood and heavily accented lead vocals by Peter Noone, with backing vocals from Karl Green and Keith Hopwood. The band never dreamed it would be a single let alone hit number one in the US. According to Noone the song was well known to British bands; it would often be performed at birthday parties, substituting the surname of the girl whose party was being celebrated, i.e., "Mrs. Smith" or "Mrs. Jones" instead of "Mrs. Brown".

Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song for their 1965 album Chipmunks à Go-Go.

An answer to the song, titled, "Mrs. Jones, Your Son Gives Up Too Easy," was released on the Recording Industries (RIC) label as a single in 1965, performed by a group named Lynn and the Mersey Maids.

The song was released in Japan on Odeon Records, a subsidiary of Toshiba, as OR-1272. It was backed by the song "Wonderful World".

It was recorded by Nellie McKay for her 2015 album My Weekly Reader.

Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter (EP)

The Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter EP by Herman's Hermits is the band's second EP and was released in the United Kingdom by EMI/Columbia (catalogue number SEG 8440.) It entered the Record Retailer EP Chart week ending June 12, 1965 and peaked at No.3.

Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter (album)

Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter is the name of the fourth UK and seventh US album released by the band Herman's Hermits. It was first released in the UK in August, 1968 and in the US in September, 1968. The album was also the soundtrack to the film of the same name, also released in 1968.

Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter (film)

Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter is a 1968 British musical comedy film starring Peter Noone. The film showcases the British rock band, Herman's Hermits, and is their second and final feature film, following Hold On! in 1966. In Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter the group sings nine songs including the title track and the romantic hit song "There's a Kind of Hush". The film was to have seen the debut of Sandie Shaw, but Shaw walked out of the production before filming commenced.

My Favorite Martian

My Favorite Martian is an American science fiction television sitcom that aired on CBS from September 29, 1963, to May 1, 1966, for 107 episodes (75 in black and white: 1963–65, 32 color: 1965–66). The show stars Ray Walston as Uncle Martin (the Martian) and Bill Bixby as Tim O'Hara.

John L. Green created the central characters and developed the core format of the series, which was produced by Jack Chertok.

The Cleveland Show (season 4)

The fourth and final season of The Cleveland Show debuted on the Fox network on October 7, 2012, and concluded on May 19, 2013.

On May 9, 2011, Fox announced that the series had been renewed for a fourth season. Guest stars for the season included George Clinton, Nick Offerman, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Shorty Rossi, Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart.

On May 13, 2013, Fox announced that they would not be renewing The Cleveland Show for another season, making this one the final season. The series ended with the episode "Wheel! Of! Family!" on May 19, 2013. In August 2013, series creator Seth MacFarlane announced that Cleveland would be moving back to Quahog along with the Tubbs family to rejoin the Family Guy cast.

The Hours (novel)

The Hours is a 1998 novel written by Michael Cunningham. It won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the 1999 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and was later made into an Oscar-winning 2002 film of the same name starring Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore.

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