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 »

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Douglass Watson ...
Kent
...
Gloucester
...
Edmund (as Raúl Juliá)
...
King Lear
...
Goneril
...
Cordelia
Ellen Holly ...
Regan
Robert Stattel ...
Albany
Robert Lanchester ...
Cornwall
Lou Quinones ...
Burgundy (as Louis Quinones)
Jean-Pierre Stewart ...
France
...
Edgar
...
Oswald
...
Fool
...
Gentleman
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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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20 February 1974 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Originally broadcast on Great Performances (1971). See more »

Connections

Version of King Lear: Episode #1.3 (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

 
memorable and significant
23 April 2006 | by See all my reviews

This was one of the great experiences of my life, seeing this production on television, and it formed an impression that helped me develop my love for Shakespeare. The open stage in Central Park at night, with nature and the city looming in the background is the ideal venue for this great play. The titanic James Earl Jones makes Lear a force of nature, and the storm does indeed seem to be coming from inside him. I have seen other Lears, but this is the only one that represents the life and breadth and humor of this play with reducing it to an existentialist parade of stereotypes. And Rene Auborjonois' portrayal of Edgar is the quintessential performance of the role.

I also have a vivid memory of Nikki Giovanni's answer to the question of this Lear being accessible to urban audiences, "You don't know King Lear, you don't know your Mama."

Right on.


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