As for movies... We rented Elizabeth - The Golden Age the other day. If you haven't see it, - watch it! It's not too far off from the true history. The movie wonderfully protrays how God protected England from the Jesuits and the Spanish Armada/Roman Catholic Inquisition - a true miracle occured - in God's protecting His true Christian people. The movie was beautiful. :-)
I think "not too far off from the true history" might be a bit far off from the truth. Catholic film critic Steven Greydanus gives a much better review of the movie.
If someone says something like “God has spoken to me,” it’s a sure bet that (a) the speaker is a Catholic, and (b) whatever God had to say spells trouble for non-Catholics. Ditto any reference to “true believers,” “God’s work,” “legions of Christ,” you name it. In this world, God-talk is troubling Catholic behavior; Protestants don’t talk to, or about, God. Their religion is little more than a slogan for conscience, religious freedom, and of course heroic resistance to Catholic oppression.
“I will not punish my people for their beliefs — only for their deeds,” says Elizabeth, conveniently forgetting that in the last movie she rammed the Act of Uniformity through Parliament, outlawing the Catholic Mass and imposing compulsory attendance at Anglican services. In this version of history, the hosts of Catholics martyred under Elizabeth are all traitors and conspirators. “Every Catholic in England is a potential assassin,” Elizabeth’s advisors helpfully remind her in an early scene. Well, then, every Catholic in England is a potential political prisoner too.
The American Inquisition has a very amusing "myth-busting" biography of Queen Elizabeth available.
I think the three Tudors I have covered in this mini-series can be classified in the following manner:
King Henry VIII: a Bad Man and a Bad King.
Queen Mary I: a Good Woman and a Bad Queen.
Queen Elizabeth I: a Bad Woman and a Good Queen.
When people ask me why I have such admiration for a woman who executed Catholics, my response is generally that, while she was bad for the Church, she was, from an "objective" standpoint, a good ruler. It is undeniable that the country she inherited was shaky, bankrupt and in very bad shape, but the country she left behind was wealthy, powerful and unified.
The "myth-busting" of Elizabeth lies not so much in debunking myths about the things that she did, but in bringing to light the oft-neglected parts of her reign that are, shall we say, somewhat less than politically correct.