The mother died under the executioner's axe; the daughter rose to become England's greatest monarch -- the brilliant and cunning Queen Elizabeth I. Jean Simmons portrays young Bess in this rich tapestry of a film that traces the tumultuous, danger-fraught years from Elizabeth's birth to her unexpected ascension to the throne at a mere 25. Charles Laughton reprises his Academy AwardŽ-winning* role as her formidable father Henry VIII. Deborah Kerr plays her last stepmother (and Henry's last of six wives), gentle Catherine Parr. And Simmons' then real-life husband, Stewart Granger, adds heroics as Lord Admiral Thomas Seymour. In a resplendent world of adventure, romance and court intrigue, Young Bess reigns.