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Young Bess Details


This costume drama was based on the historical fiction of Margaret Irwin, which embellishes the facts of the early years of England's eventual Queen Elizabeth I. It's told in flashback style, starting with the horrible day when King Henry VIII (Charles Laughton) sends away the future queen, young Bess (Jean Simmons), and executes her mother, Anne Boleyn (Elaine Stewart). Some years and several wives later, Henry VIII invites Bess to return to the palace to live with Catherine Parr (Deborah Kerr), her new stepmother. When the king dies, Bess' young half-brother, Edward (Rex Thompson), assumes the title of regent. Bess falls in love with the Navy's top admiral, Thomas Seymour (Stewart Granger), but has her brother compel him to marry Catherine. After Catherine dies, Thomas confesses his love to Bess. But his scheming brother Ned (Guy Rolfe) finds out about Thomas' feelings and accuses him of seducing Bess. ~ Michael Betzold, Rovi


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Urie McCleary Best Color Art Direction 1953 Nominee
National Board of Review Jean Simmons Best Actress 1953 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Walter Plunkett Best Color Costume Design 1953 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Cedric Gibbons Best Color Art Direction 1953 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Edwin B. Willis Best Color Art Direction 1953 Nominee
Directors Guild of America George Sidney Best Director 1953 Nominee


Jean Simmons
as Young Bess
Stewart Granger
as Thomas Seymour
Deborah Kerr
as Catherine Parr
Charles Laughton
as Henry VIII
Kay Walsh
as Mrs. Ashley
Guy Rolfe
as Ned Seymour
Cecil Kellaway
as Mr. Parry
Leo G. Carroll
as Mr. Mums
Norma Varden
as Lady Tyrwhitt
Alan Napier
as Robert Tyrwhitt
Noreen Corcoran
as Young Bess, Age 6
Ivan Triesault
as Danish Envoy
Elaine Stewart
as Anne Boleyn
Dawn Addams
as Kate Howard
Doris Lloyd
as Mother Jack
Lumsden Hare
as Archbishop Thomas Crammer
Lester Matthews
as Sir William Paget
Clive Morgan
Ann Tyrrell
as Mary
John Sheffield
as English Officers
Carl Saxe
as Executioner
Kathleen Byron
as Anne Seymour
Patrick Whyte
as Officer
Ian Wolfe
as Stranger
Sam Harris
Reginald Sheffield
as Court Recorder


George Sidney
Jan Lustig
Arthur Wimperis
Miklos Rozsa
Composer (Music Score)
Ralph Winters
Cedric Gibbons
Art Director
Edwin B. Willis
Art Director
Urie McCleary
Art Director
Walter Plunkett
Costume Designer
Warren Newcombe
Special Effects
Arnold A. Gillespie
Special Effects
George Rhein
First Assistant Director
William J. Tuttle