Released in 1953, the film Young Bess is a fictionalized biography of Queen Elizabeth I. Focusing on her life before she was crowned queen, the film is set in the late 1540s and stars Jean Simmons as Young Bess. The lavish, historically inspired costumes were created by Walter Plunkett, who had already earned a name for himself with his widely admired Gone With the Wind (1939) costumes. Plunkett began his career in film with a semi-successful attempt at becoming an actor in the early 1920s. He made the shift to costume designer in 1926 when he accepted a position as a wardrobe assistant at RKO Studios, eventually moving to MGM in the 1930s. Plunkett had no obvious background in costume design, apparently teaching himself the necessary skills on the job. This lack of formal training was clearly not indicative of his talents, as he quickly gained a reputation for creating historically evocative costumes for period films.