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s the title "The Queen's Heart" suggests, this early German black and white version of Mary Queen of Scott's eventful reign and death focuses on her emotional perception rather lyrically, with some songs, mainly by her. Starting in the Tower, awaiting and receiving her sentence to the ax from the English court, where Elisabeth I chose to remain absent in person, we flash back to Mary's arrival after a long exile at the sophisticated, splendidly hedonistic French royal court, where she was raised as a Catholic, in her people's eyes effeminate or even depraved, elegant pleasure-accustomed lady, at utter odds with the stern Scottish protestantism of John Knox as well as England's Anglicanism. No less rugged and troublesome, even turning bloody, are Mary's affairs with Lord Henry Darnley, a Scottish-born dandy favorite Elisabeth sent her, who becomes Mary's unfaithful king-consort to give Scotland a male heir, James Stewart, and with true stern Scottish Lord Bothwell, who by any means -courting, arresting or wedding Mary- craves power and national independence, like most of the all-male royal council, a cesspit of aristocratic intrigue, all envious of the influence of the Italian musician and poet David Riccio, also her private secretary, alleged lover -maybe James's biological father- and the voice of the pope. Yet the major power-player on the isle of Albion is Elisabeth I of England, who wants control over its thorny northern neighbour, and no bad examples of religious strife or regicide, whether that takes just plotting or also military interventions...

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