7.1/10
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The Lion in Winter (2003)

King Henry II meets with Eleanor of Aquitaine at Christmastide 1183 to choose one of his sons as his successor.

Director:

Andrey Konchalovskiy (as Andrei Konchalovsky)

Writers:

James Goldman (play), James Goldman (teleplay)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Glenn Close ... Eleanor
Andrew Howard ... Richard
Antal Konrád Antal Konrád ... Toastmaster
John Light ... Geoffrey
Soma Marko Soma Marko ... Young John
Jonathan Rhys Meyers ... Phillip
Rafe Spall ... John
Patrick Stewart ... Henry
Yuliya Vysotskaya ... Alais
Clive Wood ... William Marshall
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Storyline

King Henry II (Sir Patrick Stewart) keeps his wife, Eleanor (Glenn Close) locked away in the towers because of her frequent attempts to overthrow him. With Eleanor out of the way, he can have his dalliances with his young mistress (Yuliya Vysotskaya). Needless to say, the Queen is not pleased, although she still has affection for the King. Working through her sons, she plots the King's demise and the rise of her second and preferred son, Richard (Andrew Howard), to the throne. The youngest son, John (Rafe Spall), an overweight buffoon, and the only son holding his father's affection, is the King's choice after the death of his first son, young Henry. But John is also overly eager for power, and is willing to plot his father's demise with middle brother, Geoffrey (John Light) and the young King of France, Phillip (Jonathan Rhys Meyers). Geoffrey, of course sees his younger brother's weakness and sees that route as his path to power.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A fearsome father. A scheming mother. Three sons battling for attention. (DVD) See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 May 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lion in Winter See more »

Filming Locations:

Budapest, Hungary See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Patrick Stewart played Henry's son, Richard the Lionheart, in Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993). See more »

Goofs

Eleanor refers to syphilis in one of her speeches, an impossibility in 1183 England. Syphilis was not named such until 1530 by Hieronymus Fracastorius. Regardless of whether Europe even had the disease prior to 1200, it could not have been known by that name to the Queen. See more »

Quotes

Geoffrey: I know.
Geoffrey: You know I know.
Geoffrey: I know you know I know.
Geoffrey: We know Henry knows, and Henry knows we know it.
Geoffrey: We're a knowledgeable family.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 62nd Annual Golden Globe Awards (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
New adaptation for TV from classic film as brilliant as the original
24 May 2006 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This splendid picture is set in Christmas 1183 , the medieval monarch Henry II (Patrick Stewart who also played Henry's son, Richard the Lionheart , in Robin Hood : Men in thighs , 1993) finds surrounded by astute and ambitious relatives who want to regain politic and egoistic rewards . The king pretends announce his heir and he invites his estranged wife Eleanor of Aquitaine (Glenn Close) imprisoned by conspiracy , there also comes the mean King Philip II of France (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) . Both of whom confront wits over the succession to the English throne and much else . The heir election between the three sons , the valiant Richard (Howard) , the opportunist Geoffrey (Light) and the the vain , useless John (Spall) to be originated intrigues , blackmails and hates . The grown brothers are fraught with tension , rapidly changing alliances and completed with a cutting edge psychological manipulation . In spite of possession a kingdom spread all Great Britain and halve France , there's one thing which Henry II never could to control : his own family .

The film is inspired by true events , thus occurred certainly the sons' rebellion incited by Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine for the marriage to King Henry II inherited the occidental France ; however , the coup failed and Henry ordered her entry into a convent but she was freed when died Henry and then Richard Lionheart was crowned until the third crusade (intervening along with Philip II and Richard conquered Acre) when was crowned John with no Land . This English domain over France will cause an overlong conflict known as ¨Hundred Years War¨ (1339-1453) . Besides , there appears famous knight William Marshall (Clive Wood) and is mentioned the enemy archbishop Thomas Becket whom ordered to kill (played in previous film by Richard Burton and again Henry II performed by Peter O'Toole) . Besides , Philip Augustus II Capeto (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) who truly combated Henry II and his sons Richard and John whom defeated in Bouvines(1214) battle .

This television movie is an excellent costumer drama with superb dialog and magnificently characterized medieval roles . Patrick Stewart and Glenn Close make triumphant characterizations . This is a brilliantly script-written picture , being rendered from his own play by James Goldman . The atmospheric and spectacular musical score being magnificently composed by Richard Hartley . Sensational production design by Roger Hall . The film was well directed by Andrei Konchalovsky (Siberiada). The flick will appeal to medieval drama buffs and historical cinema enthusiasts .


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