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The Lion in Winter (1968) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • 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>
  • Henry the II and Eleanor meet with their three surviving sons at Christmas to decide which of them should become the new king after Henry's death. Originally a stage play, the action is mostly in the speeches the people make. Each of the sons has some flaw that makes the decision difficult, but the pair have spent their lives fighting for position and even at the end can't possibly stop.

    - Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>
  • In 1183 Henry II summonses his sons Richard, John, and Geoffrey to join him and his prison-bound wife Eleanor at Chinon for a family Christmas, along with King Philip II of France and his sister Alais, Henry's mistress. Philip is insisting Alais now marries John as agreed years before else he wants her dowry, the lands of the Vexen, back. As Eleanor has already given the province of Aquitaine to Richard, the outcome of this may decide the very future of England. Everyone present except perhaps Alais are masters of double-dealing and deceit, so it could be a lively Yuletide.

    - Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

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