WAYS TO
WATCH:

See all
1183 AD: King Henry II's three sons all want to inherit the throne, but he won't commit to a choice. They and his wife variously plot to force him.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (play)
Reviews
Popularity
4,635 ( 314)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Becket (1964)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An English king comes to terms with his affection for his close friend and confidant, who finds his true honor by observing God's divine will rather than the king's.

Director: Peter Glenville
Stars: Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole, John Gielgud
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Mary Stuart, who was named Queen of Scotland when she was only six days old, is the last Roman Catholic ruler of Scotland. She is imprisoned at he age of 23 by her cousin Elizabeth Tudor, ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Jarrott
Stars: Vanessa Redgrave, Glenda Jackson, Patrick McGoohan
Drama | Music | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In Nazi-occupied Paris, a young accompanist named Sophie Vasseur gets a job with famed singer Irene Brice. As Irene's husband Charles, a businessman collaborating with the Nazis, wrestles ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Miller
Stars: Richard Bohringer, Elena Safonova, Romane Bohringer
Certificate: M Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Henry VIII of England discards one wife, Katharine of Aragon, who has failed to produce a male heir, in favor of the young and beautiful Anne Boleyn.

Director: Charles Jarrott
Stars: Richard Burton, Geneviève Bujold, Irene Papas
Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young man discovers his homosexuality and begins a relationship with a manipulative huster/petty criminal that he meets at a train station.

Director: Patrice Chéreau
Stars: Jean-Hugues Anglade, Vittorio Mezzogiorno, Roland Bertin
Dr. Petiot (1990)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Based on the real life of Dr. Marcel Petiot: During world war II Petiot, an MD living in occupied Paris, promised to help wealthy Jewish people among his patients to flee occupied France ... See full summary »

Director: Christian de Chalonge
Stars: Michel Serrault, Pierre Romans, Bérangère Bonvoisin
Don Giovanni (1979)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Screen adapatation of Mozart's greatest opera. Don Giovanni, the infamous womanizer, makes one conquest after another until the ghost of Donna Anna's father, the Commendatore, (whom ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Ruggero Raimondi, John Macurdy, Edda Moser
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarriage.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Robert Shaw
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In a vacation camp somewhere in the French country, 1960. Marc et Philippe are two of the counsellors. Marc is very virile, while Philippe is more reserved. A night, Marc surprises Philippe... See full summary »

Director: Claude Miller
Stars: Patrick Dewaere, Patrick Bouchitey, Christine Pascal
The Overcoat (1952)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Based on Nikolai Gogol's story with the location changed from Russia to Italy and the time changed to the present (1952), the story is about a poor city-hall clerk (Renato Rascel) whose ... See full summary »

Director: Alberto Lattuada
Stars: Renato Rascel, Yvonne Sanson, Giulio Stival
Isadora (1968)
Certificate: M Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A biography of the dancer Isadora Duncan, the 1920s dancer who forever changed people's ideas of ballet. Her nude, semi-nude, and pro-Soviet dance projects as well as her attitudes on free ... See full summary »

Director: Karel Reisz
Stars: Vanessa Redgrave, James Fox, Jason Robards
Elizabeth R (TV Mini-Series 1971)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

When Elizabeth Tudor comes to the throne, her (male) advisers know she has to marry. Doesn't she? Thus starts a decades-long political/ matrimonial game, during an age of high passions and high achievement.

Stars: Glenda Jackson, Ronald Hines, Robert Hardy
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Kenneth Ives ...
Queen Eleanor's Guard
...
Fran Stafford ...
Lady in Waiting
Ella More ...
Lady in Waiting
Kenneth Griffith ...
Strolling Player
Henry Woolf ...
Strolling Player
Karol Hagar ...
Strolling Player
Edit

Storyline

Christmas 1183--an aging and conniving King Henry II plans a reunion where he hopes to name his successor. He summons the following people for the holiday: his scheming but imprisoned wife, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine; his mistress, Princess Alais, whom he wishes to marry; his three sons (Richard, Geoffrey, and John), all of whom desire the throne; and the young but crafty King Philip of France (who is also Alais' brother). With the fate of Henry's empire at stake, everybody engages in their own brand of deception and treachery to stake their claim. Written by <jgp3553@excite.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The most significant reserved seat attraction of the year!


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

30 October 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El león en invierno  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (70 mm)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Broadway stage production written by James Goldman opened at the Ambassador Theatre in New York on March 3, 1966 and ran for 92 performances. The cast included Rosemary Harris as Eleanor of Aquitaine, Robert Preston as Henry II, and Christopher Walken as King Philip of France. Rosemary Harris won the 1966 Tony Award (New York City) for Actress in a Drama. A 1999 revival starred Stockard Channing as Eleanor and Laurence Fishburne as Henry II. See more »

Goofs

The song Alais sings while Henry is fighting John is called "Allon, Gay Bergeres." This chanson was written by Guillaume Costeley during the Renaissance, nearly 400 years after the events in the movie take place. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Henry II: Come for me!
See more »

Connections

Follows Becket (1964) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Magnificent cinematic medieval chess game, with every intricate move superbly thought out.
1 March 2001 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

"The Lion in Winter" is a crowning achievement in cinematic story-telling. Adapted by Oscar-winning James Goldman from his witty, triumphant 1966 Broadway play that originally starred Robert Preston and Tony-winner Rosemary Harris, the story evolves around aging King Henry II mulling over a successor to the Plantagenet throne among his male progeny, while bringing his estranged, hateful clan together for the Christmas holidays.

Sparks really do fly in this wickedly elaborate chess game as the family player pieces weave thick webs of deceit and hatch insidious plots against each another, forming unholy, protean alliances that put those "Survivor" contestants to shame. The pure joy comes from seeing all of them try to outmaneuver each other with every new and different playing piece put on or taken off the board, hatching alternative schemes as fast as one can say "Long live the King!"

Robust, boisterous Peter O'Toole is a raging marvel as the battered but not yet beaten monarch, agonizing over the untrusting, Machiavellian-like brood he's sired, yet relishing the absolute power he holds and dangles over them. The glorious O'Toole is alternately barbarous and bombastic in one of the best roles of his career, and his loss of the Academy Award over, of all people, John Wayne, remains a travesty of justice.

The king's "brood" includes eldest son and heir-apparent, Richard (known as The Lion-hearted) whose fierce courage and burly warrior stance masquerades a forbidden tenderness detrimental to his standing as a king. Anthony Hopkins, in an auspicious screen debut, embodies these tortuous complexities within Richard perfectly, especially in his scenes as "mummy's favorite." The youngest and pruniest of the three princes is John, a rumpled, drooling, inane man-child impossibly spoiled as the King's favorite, played to pathetic amusement by a terrific Nigel Terry. Neglected middle son, Geoffrey, excellently portrayed with jaded, sliver-eyed cunning by John Castle, is a human blueprint of treachery and deceit. Resentful at being overlooked as even a possible contender, he's willing to sell his parents and brothers down the river for exact change.

Also invited to Christmas court is King Phillip II of France, on a revenge mission himself, who locks horns with Henry over lost lands and becomes a willing participant in these under-handed games. Timothy ("007") Dalton drips with smug, venal charm as the slender, softer, inexperienced king who can only battle Henry with words and wit, not weight. The only unblemished pawn here is Alais, the King's adoring young mistress, who is maliciously thrown to the lions by all as lady-in-waiting bait for the dueling princes. Demure, fragile Jane Merrow is the perfect choice for this innocent songbird with nothing and everything to lose

I have saved the best performance for last. As the King most duplicitous irritant, the inimitable Katharine Hepburn portrays Henry's duly banished Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine with all the unparalleled skill and inspired passion imaginable. Handed on a silver platter the lion's share of the best lines, Hepburn more than delivers the goods here, stealing the ripe proceedings from her talented co-stars. To watch her consummate Eleanor is to see the art of acting in its most passionate form. She is a revelation of perks and prods, of vibrant colors and shadings. She inhabits the passion, the power, the breeding, the deceitfulness, the desperate longing owed this character. Imprisonment (for inciting rebellions against her husband), has not dampened the fighting spirit nor dulled the sharp, calculating mind of this Queen. As in chess, this player is the game's most venturesome and versatile piece, and Hepburn more than lives up to its reputation, a worthy opponent with the best odds to check-mate her King. I have been known to say that the four-time Oscar winner was awarded for all the wrong movies -- excepting this one. She is unforgettable.

Topped with a glorious, inspiring, sometimes furious score (Oscar-winner John Barry), "The Lion in Winter" makes up for its stark, one-note surroundings with its bold, rich characters and ingenuous plotting. It is a hallmark of Gothic temperament and tone. As the old adage goes, "it's not who wins, it's how you play the game." 'Tis so true. So let the games begin!


115 of 127 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
But ... TheAcadian
My favorite part of the movie santol321
The needlework alone can last for years? wintersnowman
Oh how I do love Kate Hepburn! alextaber1
WHich is your FAVORITE line? irot13
Didn't like Alais SpacePirateRita
Discuss The Lion in Winter (1968) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?