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King Lear (1983)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama  |  26 January 1984 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 572 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 1 critic

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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Title: King Lear (TV Movie 1983)

King Lear (TV Movie 1983) on IMDb 7.7/10

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

Shakepeare's classic tale of an aging king who splits up his kingdom for his three daughters to govern, but is misled about their affections, and driven into exile.

Director: Michael Radford
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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)  »

Also Known As:

Kung Lear  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The last specifically made-for-television production of a Shakespeare play (to date) to have its American TV premiere on commercial network television, an occurrence that was much more common in the 1950's, '60's, and '70s. See more »

Quotes

Gloucester: As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods. They kill us for their sport.
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Connections

Version of King Lear (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

tour de force for the ageing Olivier
18 April 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This TV production was Laurence Olivier's final great performance, playing Lear at the age of 75 (beyond him perhaps on stage but cleverly done here).

He is supported by a large cast of stage actors - Dorothy Tutin, Anna Calder-Marshall and Diana Rigg as his daughters; Robert Lindsay and David Threlfall as the warring brothers Edmund and Edgar; Colin Blakely as Kent; Leo McKern as Gloucester; John Hurt as The Fool - all of which make their impact. The staging is memorable and pulls the viewer in to the action.

Comparable to really being there watching the greats at work in the theatre, and a fantastic piece of television drama.


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