The film is a historical drama set during the reign of Elizabeth I (Flora Robson), focusing on the English defeat of the Spanish Armada, whence the title. In 1588, relations between Spain and England are at the breaking point. With the support of Queen Elizabeth I, British sea raiders such as Sir Francis Drake regularly capture Spanish merchantmen bringing gold from the New World.
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Queen Elizabeth is running this show. The men in her court should be thinking about how to add to the glory of the Elizabethan Age and how to foil those pesky Spanish who got far too much influence in England when her older sister Mary was on the throne after their father Henry VIII was succeeded by their sickly half brother. Elizabeth thinks Michael Ingolby can do great things. Michael is mostly thinking about one of Elizabeth's ladies in waiting, Cynthia. Soon his mind is on survival when Elizabeth sends him on a voyage to Spain.
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Even considering the 1937 production here, this is a classy effort on every front: acting, sets, script, plot, historical accuracy, etc.nnMy major reason for seeking out this film was a compilation of the works for the incomparable Vivien Leigh. While she is stunning here, adding her usual vitality to any of her roles, there are many other strengths to admire in
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