Tudor England Film Analysis

1654 Words 7 Pages
The rise of Fascism and the Second World War made a profound impact upon historical films on Tudor England. This essay will show this through an analysis of the appropriate films and scholarly literature that exists. It will begin by discussing how film studios in Britain and ‘Hollywood’ begun using historical films on Tudor England to portray an anti-Nazi sentiment to a wide audience. It will become evident that some film studios during this period did not wish to cause offence, and therefore utilised historical films on Tudor England to put forward their own political agenda. This essay will then examine how these historical films on Tudor England became central to the propaganda mission. We will discuss how these films begun adopting …show more content…
We will also look at how historical films on Tudor England were used to reflect current political issues taking place during this period, most notably the debate around rearmament. Throughout this essay we will show how many directors focused on particular figures from Tudor history to represent elements that were prominent in this period. It will become obvious that historical films on Tudor England were affected during this period because they were adapted to fit wartime themes and represent the film studios political agenda.

The spread of Nazism and emerging threats of war led particular film-makers to create historical films on Tudor England that echoed anti-fascist sentiments. Furthermore, the greatest and “most consistent assault on Hitler’s Germany and Fascism” came from the film studio Warner Bros, who produced The Sea Hawk. One will notice the films anti-Fascist message resonating through the tyrannical portrayal of Spain, most notably in the opening scenes when King Philip II declares his intentions to
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This is certainly true for the film Fire Over England, which was created to encourage the English to prepare for war. This is highlighted in one particular scene were Cynthia tries to persuade Michael not to leave for Spain as she fears he won’t return. However, as Thomas Betteridge observes, “he, like his queen, has to play a role in order to fight Spain”, meaning that “he must place duty before personal happiness” . The phrase “duty before personal happiness” implies that Tudor films were utilised by directors in order to prepare the population for the struggle ahead. Similarly, some commentators have argued that The Sea Hawk “appeals to the patriotic impulse and offers courage and hope to a country facing war” . This ‘courage’ can be seen from the directors’ depiction of the ‘Sea Hawks’, most notably Captain Thorpe. He is presented as brave and gallantry when he fends off the Spanish and kills the traitor Lord Wolfingham. It’s interesting how the director has used Elizabeth and her ‘seadogs’ as a symbol for patriotism and the Spanish Armada to mimic the threat of Nazi invasion. These parallels inform us of the directors’ intentions to manipulate historical films on Tudor England to fit current wartime themes. Therefore, we have shown how many directors used Tudor figures and events for propaganda by using themes of patriotism to prepare a country which was

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