Film Lists

Queen Vic in Cinema: Judi Dench and who else?

Tony Black takes a look at the other Queen Victoria's in cinematic history...

PETER SELLERS in THE GREAT MCGONAGALL (1974)

An even more unusual one as, you guessed it, Peter Sellers isn’t exactly the right sex to portray Victoria. Nonetheless, in one of his less well-known pictures, Sellers portrayed the Queen in this humorous biopic of the Scottish poet William McGonagall, with Spike Milligan in the titular role. It pastiches the real-life event of the attempted assassination of Victoria by Roderick McLean, apparently motivated ironically by a curt reply to poetry he sent earlier to the Queen. Reputedly Sellers had so much fun playing Victoria he insisted on portraying the role on his knees, wearing roller-skates.

In what seems to be a trend for the more offbeat films featuring Victoria, The Great McGonagall was a flop, the latest in a string of flops for Sellers. It seems playing the Queen could be a blessing and a curse!

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