Mrs. Brown

1997

Mrs. Brown

Critics Consensus

Thanks to some top notch acting, the chemistry between its stars, and a witty, thoughtful script, Mrs. Brown delivers a nuanced and entertaining, if not entirely factual, account of a seldom explored historical relationship.

92%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 50

78%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,485
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Movie Info

Following her husband's death, Queen Victoria's inconsolable grief forced her into a seclusion that did not abate until feisty Scottish groom John Brown, entered her life and goaded her into living again. Their close friendship caused a major scandal. This factual drama offers an unusually intimate look into Victoria's life.

Cast

Judi Dench
as Queen Victoria
Billy Connolly
as John Brown
Geoffrey Palmer
as Henry Ponsonby
Antony Sher
as Disraeli
Gerard Butler
as Archie Brown
Richard Pasco
as Doctor Jenner
David Westhead
as Prince of Wales
Georgie Glen
as Lady Churchill
Catherine O'Donnell
as Lady In Waiting
Sara Stewart
as Princess Alexandra
Finty Williams
as Princess Helena
Clair Nicolson
as Princess Louise
Hattie Ladburty
as Princess Alice
Oliver Kent
as Prince Alfred
Alex Menzies
as Prince Arthur
Simon McKerrell
as Prince Leopold
Rupert Farley
as Bertie's Valet
Elaine Collins
as Mrs. Grant
Jimmy Chisholm
as Mr. Grant
Jason Morell
as Lord Stanley
Rebecca Charles
as Assistant Dresser
Cherith Mellor
as Mary Ann Disraeli
George Hall
as Speaker of the House
Robin Marchal
as Commons Counter
Oliver Ford Davies
as Dean of Windsor
Patrick Hannaway
as Journalist
John Ramsay
as Journalist
Delia Lindsay
as Society Lady
James Vaughan
as Sir Charles Dilke
Theo Steele
as Footman
View All

News & Interviews for Mrs. Brown

Critic Reviews for Mrs. Brown

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (46) | Rotten (4)

  • Mrs. Brown is reserved yet spirited.

    May 6, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Centering on a lesser-known chapter in the reign of Queen Victoria, this richly detailed drama about her intimate relationship with her servant that scandalized the country is extremely well-acted; Judi Dench deserves an Oscar nomination

    Jan 29, 2007 | Rating: B+

    Emanuel Levy

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Dench is magnificent as Victoria, a toy-sized, black-suited, dough girl of despair, a woman slowly recovering her wits and her expectations.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Judi Dench's glacial, reserved demeanour contrasts beautifully with Billy Connolly's natural, rebellious exuberance, and their resultant spark of chemistry is undeniable.

    Apr 17, 2001 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    William Mager

    BBC.com
    Top Critic
  • ''Mrs. Brown'' transcends its period setting not only with a keenly observed struggle between love and duty but also with the kind of controversy that envelops the Queen and her servant.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • Even as the film teases us with the underlying ''sensuality'' of the relationship, it fails to portray it as a convincing human bond. Mrs. Brown is stately yet depressed, like Victoria.

    Jul 18, 1997 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Mrs. Brown

  • Jun 22, 2014
    Stories of England's many queens have been overflowing in the past twenty years, "Mrs. Brown" being one of the first examples, followed shortly by "Elizabeth." Judi Dench is phenomenal, as always, and courts the film as a strong leader, a wailing widow, and a great friend to her manservant, John Brown. While the film alludes to the two having an intense bond, this is not a torrid romantic drama, and very much retains respect for the monarchy. Victoria is a grieving widow throughout, as she was in life, but Billy Connelly's performance as John Brown spices up her life and brings her out of seclusion. The ending would have to be the least enjoyable thing about this film, as it just sort of ends without much explanation, and this beautiful relationship that they've built up throughout the film is abandoned. It feels like there wasn't a point in the film in the first place and upends everything they've alluded to throughout the film. Otherwise it was an understated period piece that told a much underappreciated story with zest and life.
    Spencer S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 09, 2014
    Judi Dench deserved the Oscar for this. The academy made up for its mistake by giving it to her for a 15 minute performance in Shakespeare in Love. This is Judi at her best as Victoria and the awkward and unsure "relationship" that she has post Albert with the Scotsman Brown. Billy Connolly rises to his best as well as the often confused Brown.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 06, 2013
    When Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert dies, she goes into mourning. A highlander comes to court to take her out of her depression. Great cast.
    Candy R Super Reviewer
  • Feb 28, 2011
    Its one of Dench's finest performances and Billy Connolly is equally amazing. It would be easy to over sentimentalize the events that are depicted here, but we are given an equal dosage of moments with Victoria acting like she has a heart as well as her more well known icy disposition in full force (as when she flies into a rage over the desire of the Irish to have these things called 'rights'). Its a sadly little seen film, which is disappointing because Director John Madden's less interesting projects (i.e. 'Shakespeare in Love') get far more attention.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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