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The Lion in Winter
The Lion in Winter
Actors: Peter O'Toole, Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins, John Castle, Nigel Terry
Director: Anthony Harvey
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
PG     2001     2hr 14min

Katharine Hepburn delivers an amazing (Variety), OscarĀ(r)-winning* performance 'that must be seen to be believed (Boxoffice) in this dazzling (Los Angeles Times) all-star film that is not to be missed. Behind the gr...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Peter O'Toole, Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins, John Castle, Nigel Terry
Director: Anthony Harvey
Creators: Douglas Slocombe, John Bloom, Jane C. Nusbaum, Joseph E. Levine, Martin Poll, James Goldman
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Classics
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/19/2001
Original Release Date: 10/30/1968
Theatrical Release Date: 10/30/1968
Release Year: 2001
Run Time: 2hr 14min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 26
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish, French

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Member Movie Reviews

Ellen M. (EllenMargaret) from SMACKOVER, AR
Reviewed on 4/7/2015...
This is an interesting movie and if you read the other reviews, I agree that yes, it's very cleverly written and very well acted. However, if you're looking for action, adventure, and romance, it's a yawner. I tried my best to watch it twice and fell asleep both times. If you want to listen to a dysfunctional royal family snarking at each other inside a dreary medieval castle, that's mainly what it is. Sorry, I couldn't make it to the end.

Movie Reviews

Impeccably written and acted, this is a movie for the ages
namepeace | Nashville, TN United States | 01/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Yes, this movie is a period piece. But this movie, adapted from a wonderful play,is at the end of the day a powerful tale of an acutely dysfunctional family. Set during the Christmas season in 12th century England, this story is powerfully scripted and superbly acted by everyone. Peter O'Toole gives his tour de force performance as Henry II, a world-weary monarch intent on maintaining supremacy and establishing his legacy. Katherine Hepburn, in what is the among the finest movie performances I have ever seen, plays his deadly foil (and oh yes, estranged wife) Queen Eleanor of Acquitaine, who is determined to thwart his plans. The issue: which of their surviving children will inherit the throne of England, and marry Alais, the sister of the King of France? The pawns in this game are Alais and the English Princes, Richard the Lionhearted (Anthony Hopkins), John (Nigel Terry of Excalibur fame), and Geoffrey. Then of course, there is the wild card, the teenage French monarch, Philip (Timothy Dalton).In this movie you have all of the themes of familial dysfunction: the vitriol and wistfulness of an estranged couple, the frustrations of the "model" eldest child, the resentment of the neglected middle child, the eccentricities of the overindulged youngest child, a May-December affair triggered by a mid-life crisis, holiday depression, and it goes on and on. This movie is so adept at exploring these topics that it makes "American Beauty" (a good film in its own right) seem almost sophomoric.What makes this movie stand out is the writing. There is no other movie this side of "The Godfather" that has contained such enjoyable dialogue and character development. The dialogue in this movie is outstanding ("It's not the power I feel deprived of, it's the mention that I miss"; "Give me a little peace/A little? Why so modest? How about eternal peace? Now there's a thought.")I doubt there will ever be another movie that will be so skillful in weaving together historical material, political intrigue, and slice-of-life issues into so seamlessly. This is one of my 10 favorite movies. Please rent it, and if you can find it, buy it."
FXO | New York, NY | 06/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Could not resist adding my praise for such a superior motion picture. Set in a violent, unstable time of frequent wars and unrelenting political machinations, "The Lion In Winter" captures a vivid 12th Century reality. A story set in the latter part of the reign of England's Henry II (Peter O'Toole), it explores the convoluted dynamics of royal family politics and medieval intrigue. Eleanor of Aquitaine (Katharine Hepburn), Henry's Queen, is released from her confinement in an English castle to join Henry at the Christmas court in France (at this time, Henry ruled large parts of modern France as well as England). Eleanor was confined due to her support of Henry's sons in their uprising against him. Henry does not want a reoccurence. Their sons included Richard, the Lion-Hearted (Anthony Hopkins) and the Magna Carta's King John, who are also at the Christmas court. A truly amazing cast of characters are propelled by magnificent performances and just about the best written dialogue ever put on film. Miss Hepburn's Eleanor won her an Academy Award for best actress. A terrific accompaniment to the movie is Alison Weir's recent book "Eleanor Of Aquitaine". Eleanor was the wife of two kings, the mother of three kings, the great-grandmother of two saints and lived through two Crusades. A fascinating woman, she lived into her 80s, outliving eight of her ten children. Henry succeeded in building and holding together an empire that stretched from Scotland to the south of France."
"Fragile I am not; affection is a pressure I can bear."
mr_nasty | 04/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Without a doubt, if you are a lover of history and intrigue, then this video will be worth its weight in gold to you. Kate Hepburn and Peter O'Toole both should have won Oscars hands down (unfortunately, Cliff Robertson beat O'Toole, and Hepburn had to share her Oscar with Babs in Funny Girl). Hepburn is the definitive Eleanor of Aquitaine - a handsome, regal queen who is as devious, witty, and intelligent as her perfectly matched husband, Henry II, king of England, played to the absolute hilt by Peter O'Toole (his mannerisms and voice in this film recall Brian Blessed, pitching his voice to the balcony and gesturing broadly). Just to hear the Great Kate speak this dialogue is a treat for fans of the play ("Henry, I have a confession to make . . I don't much like our children."); and fans of British actors will enjoy seeing Anthony Hopkins as Richard and Timothy Dalton as Philip, king of France. I, for one, instantly developed a crush on the young actress who plays Alais, Jane Merrow (one wonders why she didn't make more films). Some may also recognize John Castle as Geoffrey; he also appeared almost 10 years later as Postumous in the BBC production of "I, Claudius". A story that, much like a soap opera, will keep you riveted until the very end (even if you know your history and you already know what's going to happen); I for one got a kick out of hearing certain characters seemingly pour their hearts out, only to see them five minutes later come clean and say it was merely an act. The dialogue is witty and yet extremely literate - the only drawback for me, personally, is that supposedly this film is the favorite of Sylvester Stallone (groan) - that in and of itself makes me ashamed to say that I find it a flawless, entertaining, imaginative look at the court of Henry II."