An aging King invites disaster when he abdicates to his corrupt, toadying daughters and rejects his one loving, but honest one.

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Colin Blakely ...
Anna Calder-Marshall ...
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Robert Lang ...
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Dorothy Tutin ...
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Edward Petherbridge ...
Geoffrey Bateman ...
John Cording ...
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Storyline

Lear is an aging King who wants to retire by abdicating to his three daughters. However, in an act of petty ego stroking, he asks them who among them loves him most. While two daughters eagerly toady to him, his one loving daughter, Cordelia, refuses play along with this foolish charade. In a rage, Lear exiles her along with his one loyal aide who dares to stick up for her. This foolish move works to Lear's sorrow as his two remaining daughters cruelly and gradually strip him of his status and possessions until he is rendered an insane hermit attended only by his fool. All the while, the illegitimate son of another lord is plotting his own ambitions while contributing to this tragic tale of ego and familial cruelty. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@home.com>

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26 January 1984 (USA)  »

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Kung Lear  »

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4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The executive producer David Plowright was the brother-in-law of Laurence Olivier (King Lear). See more »

Quotes

King Lear: How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child!
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Connections

Version of King Lear (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Robert Lindsay amazingly good
23 November 2006 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

A very good version of _King Lear_ - Olivier plays it poignantly, you can see his Lear's overweening vanity and his profound humility. Robert Lindsay is my favourite Edmund ever - you immediately love him and wish him well despite the fact that he is a b*ftard (in all senses of the word - haha). Dorothy Tutin's Goneril has the most disapproving glare you have ever seen and her frolicking mutton act is painful to watch if you're a middle-aged woman. Hurt's fool is a wee bit too pathetic and Cordelia's weepiness is not appealing -- Diana Rigg's Regan is certainly convincing at getting across the hidden nastiness that outdoes Goneril. Gloucester is quite perfect in his rough affection. I've seen this many times and I still enjoy watching it for the nuances. The fight between Ed and Ed is a little much. It's too bad it looks quite so made-for-TV. I'm looking forward to Branagh blowing all the meanings up into big cartoons for us when he does his version of Olivier's _Lear_.


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