Fire over England (1937)

84 mins | Adventure | 5 March 1937

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HISTORY

A news item in HR notes that the film was originally titled Gloriana and was to star Conrad Veidt. According to HR, the Hays Office requested that a scene in which Laurence Olivier yells "Fire, Fire," be deleted for fear audiences would take alarm and run out of the theater. Flora Robson also played Queen Elizabeth in the 1940 Warner Bros. film The Sea Hawk (see entry). The film was awarded the 1937 Cinema Medal of Honor from the League of Nations Committee on Motion Pictures. According to the MPH review, this was the first time a British film had its premiere in Los Angeles. Modern sources credit Paul Barralet as photographer and include Howard Douglas (Lord Amberley) in the cast. Fire Over England was the first of three films Olivier and Vivien Leigh starred in together. The couple, who had met a few months before production began, were married in 1940. ...

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A news item in HR notes that the film was originally titled Gloriana and was to star Conrad Veidt. According to HR, the Hays Office requested that a scene in which Laurence Olivier yells "Fire, Fire," be deleted for fear audiences would take alarm and run out of the theater. Flora Robson also played Queen Elizabeth in the 1940 Warner Bros. film The Sea Hawk (see entry). The film was awarded the 1937 Cinema Medal of Honor from the League of Nations Committee on Motion Pictures. According to the MPH review, this was the first time a British film had its premiere in Los Angeles. Modern sources credit Paul Barralet as photographer and include Howard Douglas (Lord Amberley) in the cast. Fire Over England was the first of three films Olivier and Vivien Leigh starred in together. The couple, who had met a few months before production began, were married in 1940.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
PERSONAL & COMPANY INDEX CREDITS
CREDIT
HISTORY CREDITS
CREDIT TYPE
CREDIT
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
19 Aug 1936
p. 7
Daily Variety
5 Jan 1937
p. 6
Daily Variety
9 Jan 1937
p. 3
Film Daily
14 Jan 1937
p. 9
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jan 1936
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
16 Dec 1936
p. 4
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jan 1937
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
5 Feb 1937
p. 7
Hollywood Reporter
11 Mar 1937
p. 1
Motion Picture Herald
16 Jan 1937
p. 28
New York Times
5 Mar 1937
p. 16
Variety
27 Jan 1937
p. 12
Variety
10 Mar 1937
p. 14
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
An Erich Pommer Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Cam op
ART DIRECTORS
Settings
Asst art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Rec dir
Sd rec
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Asst by
[Spec eff] Photog
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Fire Over England by A. E. W. Mason (London, 1936).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Gloriana
Release Date:
5 March 1937
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Los Angeles: 8 Jan 1937
Production Date:

Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
London Film Productions, Ltd.
10 March 1937
LP6968
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
84
Length(in reels):
10
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

In 1587, England is in danger of being overwhelmed by powerful Spain, with its ruthless inquisition and mighty Armada. The English queen, Elizabeth, who is much loved by her loyal subjects, is forced to walk a dangerous diplomatic line between maintaining friendship with King Philip of Spain and supporting English seamen such as Sir Francis Drake, who plunder Spanish ships. Elizabeth's chief advisors are the lord treasurer, Burleigh, and her longtime admirer, the Earl of Leicester. Burleigh's beautiful but featherbrained granddaughter Cynthia is one of Elizabeth's ladies-in-waiting, and the aging queen is plagued with jealousy of the girl's attractiveness and vitality. While Elizabeth is dealing with the Spanish ambassador in her palace, a mighty sea battle is occurring between the Spanish, led by Don Miguel, and the English, led by Sir Richard Ingolby. Miguel and Richard are old friends, and when the English are captured, Miguel arranges for Richard's son Michael to escape. Michael washes ashore on Miguel's estate, and his wounds are tended to by Miguel's daughter Elena, who quickly becomes enamoured of the handsome Englishman. As the months pass, Michael recovers and laments being apart from Cynthia, his sweetheart, but is nonetheless impressed by Elena's charms. One day, the idyll ends when Miguel brings Michael the sad news that Richard has been executed as a heretic. The grieving Michael denounces his rescuers and flees to England in a small fishing boat. When he is granted an audience with Elizabeth, he urges her to fight the Spanish menace by whatever means necessary and swears undying loyalty to her. Elizabeth is flattered by the young man's fervent devotion and later has an ...

More Less

In 1587, England is in danger of being overwhelmed by powerful Spain, with its ruthless inquisition and mighty Armada. The English queen, Elizabeth, who is much loved by her loyal subjects, is forced to walk a dangerous diplomatic line between maintaining friendship with King Philip of Spain and supporting English seamen such as Sir Francis Drake, who plunder Spanish ships. Elizabeth's chief advisors are the lord treasurer, Burleigh, and her longtime admirer, the Earl of Leicester. Burleigh's beautiful but featherbrained granddaughter Cynthia is one of Elizabeth's ladies-in-waiting, and the aging queen is plagued with jealousy of the girl's attractiveness and vitality. While Elizabeth is dealing with the Spanish ambassador in her palace, a mighty sea battle is occurring between the Spanish, led by Don Miguel, and the English, led by Sir Richard Ingolby. Miguel and Richard are old friends, and when the English are captured, Miguel arranges for Richard's son Michael to escape. Michael washes ashore on Miguel's estate, and his wounds are tended to by Miguel's daughter Elena, who quickly becomes enamoured of the handsome Englishman. As the months pass, Michael recovers and laments being apart from Cynthia, his sweetheart, but is nonetheless impressed by Elena's charms. One day, the idyll ends when Miguel brings Michael the sad news that Richard has been executed as a heretic. The grieving Michael denounces his rescuers and flees to England in a small fishing boat. When he is granted an audience with Elizabeth, he urges her to fight the Spanish menace by whatever means necessary and swears undying loyalty to her. Elizabeth is flattered by the young man's fervent devotion and later has an opportunity to take advantage of his offer of service when Hillary Vane, an Englishman spying for Spain, is killed before the names of his English co-conspirators can be uncovered. Michael, disguised as Vane, goes to Philip's court to get the letters that will set into motion a plan to assassinate Elizabeth. At the palace Michael meets Elena, who is now married to Don Pedro, the palace governor. Elena keeps Michael's identity a secret as long as she can, but finally must tell her husband out of loyalty to him. When Philip sees through Michael's disguise and orders his arrest, Pedro helps him escape so that it will not be discovered that his wife aided a heretic. While Michael is returning home, the Spanish Armada sails against England and Elizabeth joins her army in Tilbury. Michael meets her there and reveals the names of the traitors. Elizabeth knights Michael and then confronts the traitors, who, overwhelmed with shame, agree to go with Michael on a dangerous mission to stop the Armada. The mission is successful as Michael and his men use their small boats to set the Armada aflame, and they all return safely. Elizabeth allows Michael and Cynthia to be wed, and after sadly ordering all mirrors to be removed from her rooms, greets her adoring subjects.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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