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Edward the King
Edward the King
Actors: Timothy West, Annette Crosbie, Robert Hardy, John Gielgud
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War
NR     2008     11hr 18min

"Engrossing and glittering" -- The Washington Post — "Superb performances" -- The New York Times The award-winning drama about England?s first truly 20th century monarch Though he waited nearly 60 years to become king and r...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Timothy West, Annette Crosbie, Robert Hardy, John Gielgud
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Drama, Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War
Studio: Acorn Media
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 09/30/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/1973
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1973
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 11hr 18min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaDVD Credits: 4
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Harold Wolf | Wells, IN United States | 09/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"You do not have to be British or even knowledgeable in British History to enjoy this 13-episode (each being about 51 minutes) story of the making of King Edward the 7th. It was originally broadcast on British TV (as Edward the Seventh) in the 70s but is so well done that it appears to be a 21th century release.

Queen Victoria (Annette Crosbie) begins as a young lady who married Prince Albert but initially left him out of government and British leadership. Her love for the Prince brings her to full devotion, even after his death in 1841. The role of the queen could be played no better. Watching the change through the episodes as the Queen (who reigned 50+ years) brings the role even more reality. The acting brings out your own emotion as you begin to almost feel a part of the family.

Bertie, who would become King Edward VII, played by Timothy West, is equal to Crosbie's stellar performance. West does such a good job of playing Bertie, who eventually the King after a 60 year wait due to Queen Victoria's refusal to relinquish her role. The viewer empathizes with Bertie in his struggle to make a difference in British lives. Between his coronation in 1901 and his death in 1910, King Edward VII became even more beloved by the UK people and known for his peacemaking abilities.

This is a story of a monarchy, particularly the years of Queen Victoria and her son Bertie, but the story is written to make the viewer feel their humanness and experience their struggles with politics and family, joys and grief--also very familiar to common people. This is so much more than a British history lesson.

Lillie Langtry's (Francesca Annis) relationship with Bertie, is included as well as his mistress Alice Keppel. Side note: Lillie's own story was placed into a British drama series of it's own in the 70s. "Lillie" is also a recommended DVD set. Both "Lillie" and "Edward the King" are must-own's for the British drama enthusiast.

Costumes, dancing, and the home furnishings in the sets are exceptional, as are many landscape scenic views. It is like a travelogue show depicting the British Monarchy from 1840s to 1910. But this is a story, mind, not a documentary; a performance, not a history lecture.

This Acorn Media release of the series is ENLARGED AND PACKED with special features that add so much more to the award-winning drama that has already proved itself over a couple of generations of viewers.

The BAFTA, "Best Drama Series", award proves this DVD's worth.
He Created the "Edwardian" Era
Stephanie DePue | Carolina Beach, NC USA | 11/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Edward The King," a 1975 British television drama about the life of Edward VII of Great Britain, has just been released in a box set, consisting of four DVD's, that comprise the original thirteen episodes of the series. It was originally broadcast in the U.K. as "Edward the Seventh," and was aired in the U.S. on public television stations and major network affiliates in the late 1970s. Evidently, it dates from the great age of British TV series, and like many of them, was made for Britain's ITV, Independent Television; it bears the hallmarks of those classic 1970's series: an all-star cast, tremendous production values - a cast of hundreds if not thousands, richly detailed sets and costumes. It won an Emmy for Outstanding Costume Design and three BAFTA Awards, including Best Drama Series and Best Actress. The box set boasts several special features; but, unfortunately, does not offer subtitles.

Timothy West (Bleak House) stars as the title character, and does an extraordinary job of taking Edward from young adulthood through old age. Annette Crosbie (Calendar Girls) costars as his remarkable mother, Queen Victoria, and must be said to do an equally remarkable job of taking her character from child-bearing young woman through old age. Other stars include Felicity Kendal (Rosemary & Thyme - The Complete Series), Robert Hardy (All Creatures Great and Small: The Complete Collection), Charles Dance (Bleak House), Michael Holdern, and Sir John Gielgud. Francesca Annis (Reckless), plays Lillie Langtry here, and was, in 1978, to play the well-known courtesan/actress again in her own estimable series, (Lillie).

As you might expect with thirteen episodes, the series also bears that British hallmark of leisurely story-telling; some viewers might prefer to initially skip the first DVD, about Edward's rather miserable childhood, then double back to it. Mind you, Edward's childhood was obviously privileged, in comparison with the rest of his country and his world, still, the poor young child was subject, from the age of seven, to a solitary and grueling educational program dreamed up by his father, Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's consort. (To some of us, indeed, Albert seems overwhelmingly to be the source of some of the least pleasant features of the period that bears his wife's name, the Victorian.)

Victoria was extremely long-lived: the celebration of her Diamond Jubilee (50 years as Queen), is shown in this production, and Edward waited nearly 60 years to become King. During most of that wait, his mother refused to allow him to play any part in the governance of the nation, sentencing him to a life of skirt-chasing, and society pursuits. He reigned for only nine years, from January 22, 1901, to May 6, 1910, continuing his philandering during that time. Nevertheless, his nine year reign was influential, and its period is generally known as the Edwardian. He did his level best to bring peace to Europe during his brief reign, but was, ultimately, unable to sufficiently influence his nephews, the German Kaiser Wilhelm, and the Russian Tsar Nicholas, and, four years after his death, World War I broke out, thereby putting an end to the leisurely luxurious Edwardian life the upper crust had enjoyed. Despite his years of frivolity, he was very popular with his countrymen, and indeed, in Europe, and the Americas. I was once, for whatever the reason, mooching through old "New York Times" microfiche, and came upon a story, published shortly after his death, that remarked that the black ebony earrings, then customarily worn by women in mourning (you certainly see them frequently in "Edward"), had sold out in New York after his death, and were not available at any price.

Anyone who is interested in history, be it British/European/world/political/military or royal, will find this an excellent, truly enjoyable picture of the period in question. It should find its place in many DVD libraries. It has in mine.
Just Watched It Again
gmaofmany | MT | 03/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Snow hit this country and I needed a good film to watch. I went to my cabinet and picked Edward The King to watch once more. It was even better the third time.

I like the era it was from and the acting was very good. Timothy West made a great older Bertie but was not very convincing in the younger days. Annette Crosbie was an amazing Queen Victoria. Her range of emotions shows well not only in the words she says, screams or cries, but her eyes tell you much more of what she is thinking. Outstanding work for her.
Overall, this is a good one to watch more than once so purchasing it makes some sense at the price. Costumes are nice, scenes are well done and of course the scenery in these period pieces is always a joy to behold."
Very cool
anne boleyn | australia | 02/11/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"A fantastically entertaining serial about english royalty in the mid 19th century and the early 20th century pre WW1
great portrayal of queen victoria by annette crosbie, prince albert by robert hardy, and edward vii by timothy west.
accurate costumes and social norms of high society at the time shown, as well as the goings on of world politics. well worth purchasing."