Based on a play by Eugene Scribe, this witty comedy by director Richter-Helmut Kautner departs from the usual fare of 1950s and early '60s German films. Set at the beginning of the 18th century when Queen Anne (Liselotte Pulver) was on the throne as the British monarch, the story tells of the rivalry and animosity between Lady Churchill (Hilde Krahl), the Duchess of Marlborough and Sir Henry St. John (Gustaf Grundgens), the Viscount of Bolingbroke. While the Queen is depicted as naive and vacillating, the Duchess and Viscount have a great deal to say about the affairs of state. (The Duke of Marlborough was in charge of the armed forces in Queen Anne's war on the continent.) Other affairs are also examined, such as that of the lovers Arthur Masham (Horst Janson) and Abigail (Sabine Sinjen). Flashbacks are shot in black and white, and the skillful use of color in costuming and decor adds a touch of symbolism to the story.
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