Lady Jane (1986) - Rotten Tomatoes

Lady Jane1986

Lady Jane (1986)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Lady Jane Grey, the 16-year-old girl who for nine days in the 16th century was Queen of England, is here portrayed by Helena Bonham Carter. Lady Jane Grey's sickly cousin, who becomes Edward VI upon the death of Henry VIII, is on the threshold of death himself. The Protestant powers-that-be, fearing that England will fall under Catholic rule, contrive to marry off Edward VI's most likely successor Lady Jane to the wastrelly Guilford Dudley (Cary Elwes), the future Duke of Suffolk. The dying Edward is coerced into naming Jane as his successor. Jane is forced to assume the throne, attempting to impose reforms on the corrupt Protestant government during her brief reign. A coup led by Jane's cousin Princess Mary (Jane Lapotaire) results in the ouster, and eventual execution, of Queen Jane and her consort. The story is told through anti-establishment themes; teen-agers Lady Jane and Guilford Dudley are seen as the only hope for a brighter future, making their deaths all the more tragic. An earlier version of the same story, Tudor Rose, was filmed in 1936.

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Helena Bonham Carter
as Lady Jane Grey
Cary Elwes
as Guilford Dudley
John Wood
as John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland
Michael Hordern
as Doctor Feckenham
Jill Bennett
as Mrs. Ellen
Joss Ackland
as Sir John Bridges
Jane Lapotaire
as Princess Mary
Sara Kestelman
as Frances Grey, Duchess of Suffolk
Ian Hogg
as Sir John Gates
Patrick Stewart
as Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk
Warren Saire
as Edward VI
Guy Henry
as Robert Dudley
Andrew Bicknell
as John Dudley
Zelah Clarke
as Lady Anne Wharton
Lee Montague
as Renard, the Spanish Ambassador
Richard Vernon
as The Marquess of Winchester
Laura Clipsham
as Katherine Grey
David Waller
as Archbishop Cranmer
Richard Johnson
as The Earl of Arundel
Jeanette Fox
as Wedding Dancer
Clyde Pollitt
as Peasant Leader
Janet Henfrey
as Housekeeper
Brian Poyser
as Under Treasurer
Robert Putt
as Steward
Stewart Harwood
as Tavern Keeper
Carole Hayman
as Brothel Keeper
Denyse Alexander
as Dressmaker
Gabor Vernon
as Jeweler
Nicky Croydon
as Singing Maid
John Abbott
as Manservant
Alison Woodgate
as Wedding Dancer
Philippa Luce
as Wedding Dancer
Eliza Kern
as Wedding Dancer
Krzysia Bialeska
as Wedding Dancer
Cryss Jean Healey
as Wedding Dancer
Adele Anderson
as Lady Warwick
Anna Gilbert
as Lady Robert Dudley
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News & Interviews for Lady Jane

Critic Reviews for Lady Jane

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (1)

Overall, the movie is cloddishly composed, with awkward zooms and theatrical blocking.

January 3, 2018 | Full Review…

The movie is well-made and has excellent performances. [Full Review in Spanish]

March 10, 2020 | Full Review…

Staid and off-center.

February 12, 2003 | Rating: 3/5

About the short life of an English scholar, reformer, and religious martyr.

September 1, 2002 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Lady Jane

Superb! The history of the English Royals has never ceased to amaze me. The people that were closest to them, and were supposed to be there to support and protect them, were nothing but opportunists. This is the story of how they used two poor young people to get their way. Jane Grey and Guilford Dudley were forced into a marriage, and then used to obtain the throne of England. It was never their choice, and it was totally against their wishes. They were nothing but pawns. Unfortunately, when all went wrong in a very short time, they paid for it with their lives. This has to be one of the most tragic stories that came out of that era, and this movie really did a wonderful job telling it..even if they embellished a little with the romance stuff. If that was true or not, I dont know. But it made me enjoy it even more.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


I so rarely cry, but leave it to Helena Bonham Carter and Cary Elwes to do it. Dumb sweet, young romance. Henry the VIII and his aftermath is one of the most fascinating times in history to me, so I loved it in that sense, even if this wasn't all entirely true. Hey, it's Hollywood. But I still loved the story and the lesson. And I do love period piece. I loved the costumes, the acting, the story, the casting, everything. Even the stony end with Queen Mary.

Jennifer D
Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

Good drama of a sad chapter in England's history, the using of Lady Jane Grey as a political prawn and the calamities that result. It's romantized of course but still well acted and directed.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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