Fire Over England

18. FIRE OVER ENGLAND (1937-England). With LAURENCE OLIVIER, VIVIEN LEIGH, FLORA ROB- SON, RAYMOND MASSEY, ROBERT NEWTON, JAMES MASON. Produced by ALEXANDER KORDA and ERICH POMMER. “1587: SpainÑpowerful in the Old World, Master in the New. Its King Philip rules by force and fear. But Spanish tyranny is challenged by the free people Of a little islandÑEngland!” This thrilling cosÂtume epic, which depicts the spectacular events leading to England’s defeat Of the awesome Spanish Armada, is filled with pageantry, sea battles, sword fights, intrigue, romance, and the lavish details one would expect from its flamboyant producers. Truly outstanding performances by an all-star cast, notably Flora Robson as the complex Queen Elizabeth obsessed by her homeliness and hopelessly attracted to a bold, handsome young adventurer (Laurence Olivier) Raymond Massey as scheming King Philip, Robert Newton as a Spanish nobleÂman, and the very young James Mason (unbilled) as a treacherous traitor. Most memorable are Olivier and Vivien Leigh, whose fiery on-screen romance would soon be matched by a real-life love affair, and eventually marriage. This stirring patriotic tribute to the spirit Of freedom-loving England, produced at a time when the tiny nation was once again threatened by hostile foreign powers, stands firmly in the ranks Of the great British classics. 90 minutes. Drama-Historical