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The Lion in Winter (1968)

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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.

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(screenplay), (play)
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Won 3 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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

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Cast

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

It's Christmas 1183, and King Henry II is planning to announce his successor to the throne. The jockeying for the crown, though, is complex. Henry has three sons and wants his boy Prince John to take over. Henry's wife, Queen Eleanor, has other ideas. She believes their son Prince Richard should be king. As the family and various schemers gather for the holiday, each tries to make the indecisive king choose their option. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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The most significant reserved seat attraction of the year!


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

30 October 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El león en invierno  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,339 (USA) (16 December 2016)

Gross:

$18,177 (USA) (20 January 2017)
 »

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Timothy Dalton's first film role. See more »

Goofs

Christmas trees were an obscure German tradition, unknown to the English until its introduction by Queen Victoria's husband over 700 years later. Furthermore, even the concept of decorating with glass balls was even unknown to the Germans until long after this era. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Henry II: Come for me!
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Connections

Referenced in Memories of Videodisc (1986) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Possibly the best dialogue ever written for a film... ever.
11 July 2000 | by (Storrs, CT) – See all my reviews

I love this film. I love this film. I am not sure that I can say that phrase enough when describing this movie. Lion in Winter is quite simply one of the strangest and most beautiful movies that I have ever seen. It is some wierd amalgam of a 'home for the hollidays' type family drama, and Machiavellian political intrigue.

The essential plot is that it is 1183 and Henry II must declare his successor to the Plantagenet throne. He invites his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine (played by Katherine Hepburn), who is in exile, and his sons to along with king of France, to Christmas dinner. Over the course of the evening truths are told and arguments are had, the film rolls over all of the conventions of the many genres that it plays with and turns them into something new and beautiful.

The film could have been written by Machiavelli himself, and often smacks of the Mandragola. The film demonstrates family disfunction within a very interesting, medieval paradigm. While the film is about issues such as family, loyalty and love, ultimately is most gratifying as a vehicle for O'Toole and Hepburn to chew the scenery and dig into a few truly juicy roles.

It is fantastic film that any lover of dialogue driven drama-comedy should rent and watch over and over again.


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