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The Tragedy of King Lear (1982)

King Lear, old and tired, divides his kingdom among his daughters, giving great importance to their protestations of love for him. When Cordelia, youngest and most honest, refuses to idly ... See full summary »

Director:

Alan Cooke

Writer:

William Shakespeare (play)
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Shakespeare's classic tale of an aging king who splits up his kingdom for his three daughters to govern, but is misled about their affections, and driven into exile.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mike Kellin ... King Lear
Darryl Hickman ... Earl of Kent
Charles Aidman ... Earl of Gloucester
David Groh ... Edmund
Gela Nash Gela Nash ... Goneril (as Gela Jacobson)
Kitty Winn ... Cordelia
Melora Marshall Melora Marshall ... Regan
Sam Anderson ... Duke of Albany
Carl Strano Carl Strano ... Duke of Cornwall
Bart Braverman ... Duke of Burgundy
Brian Kerwin ... King of France
Joel Bailey ... Edgar
Daryl Anderson ... Oswald
Ben Fuhrman Ben Fuhrman ... Player #1
Vincent Caristi Vincent Caristi ... The Fool
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Storyline

King Lear, old and tired, divides his kingdom among his daughters, giving great importance to their protestations of love for him. When Cordelia, youngest and most honest, refuses to idly flatter the old man in return for favor, he banishes her and turns for support to his remaining daughters. But Goneril and Regan have no love for him and instead plot to take all his power from him. In a parallel, Lear's loyal courtier Gloucester favors his illegitimate son Edmund after being told lies about his faithful son Edgar. Madness and tragedy befall both ill-starred fathers. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 December 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

King Lear See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of King Lear: Episode #1.1 (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

 
MIKE KELLIN as LEAR??!! YES!!
12 October 2019 | by lrrapSee all my reviews

Apparently, the goal of the production was to convey the tone and style of a VINTAGE, authentic performance of Lear, and in that regard, I feel that it is very valuable and, in its own way, fascinating.

It is a simple production, shot with 2 or 3 cameras in fairly straightforward fashion. Nevertheless, it moves well and the various camera angles and the director's use of the limited space makes for a very interesting and involving experience--although one that it is admittedly rather low-key, even, dare I say, SUBTLE.

This is the all the more surprising, considering the actor who portrays LEAR---and this was my sole reason for purchasing the DVD. I have never seen a performance on film by Mike Kellin that was not in some way RIVETING. He was a most distinctive actor, usually cast as heavies in Westerns, military officers, criminal thugs, etc.

His onscreen persona was really something--a glowering, brutish intensity coupled with an almost tortured and pitiful vulnerability. Who could forget his performance as Brad Davis' angst-ridden father in "Midnight Express"?

Mr. Kellin's (and his name is constantly mispelled on the DVD as "KellEn"), portrayals often walked the edge of nervous, almost neurotic intensity and pathos. Yes, he could chew the scenery with the best of them, but was also capable of a remarkable, touching subtlety.

And it's the subtlety and sensitivity of his LEAR that makes this performance so commanding. It was taped in December of 1982, so Kellin had only 8 months to live, before succumbing to lung cancer at age 61. What a summation of a life's work as an actor! And don't you feel, from my description of Kellin's persona, that he would indeed make a fascinating and compelling Lear?

And, whereas the other reviewer blasts the cast, I must point out that the actor who portrays the doomed Duke of Gloucester, Charles Aidman, was one of early TV's finest stage-trained performers. He was (and in the present case IS) first-rate! Again, intense, subtle and commanding as an actor, and masterful in his performance in this production.

My advice would be to check out this restrained and very unadorned production, which relies, as Shakespeare should, upon the eloquence and conviction of the actors. True, the cast IS variable (with some pretty funky accents at times), there are numerous small nips and tucks in the text, plus there's a really cheesy, early 80's synthesizer score (minimal, though)--- but it's still very well done, especially since it gives us a last look at the unique Mr. Mike Kellin in all of his distinctive glory. LR


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