In this Derek Jarman version of Christopher Marlowe's Elizabethan drama, in modern costumes and settings, Plantagenet king Edward II hands the power-craving nobility the perfect excuse by ... See full summary »



(play), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Collins ...
Lightborn, the Jailor
Piers Gaveston
Dudley Sutton ...
Bishop of Winchester
Jody Graber ...
Prince Edward
Chorus of Nobility
Barbara New ...
Chorus of Nobility
Andrea Miller ...
Chorus of Nobility
Brian Mitchell ...
Chorus of Nobility
David Glover ...
Chorus of Nobility
John Quentin ...
Chorus of Nobility


In this Derek Jarman version of Christopher Marlowe's Elizabethan drama, in modern costumes and settings, Plantagenet king Edward II hands the power-craving nobility the perfect excuse by taking as lover besides his diplomatic wife, the French princess Isabel, not an acceptable lady at court but the ambitious Piers Gaveston, who uses his favor in bed even to wield political influence - the stage is set for a palace revolt which sends the gay pair from the throne to a terminal torture dungeon. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A classic tale of sex, revenge, and love.


Drama | History | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and sexuality, and for some language | See all certifications »






Release Date:

18 October 1991 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Eduardo II  »

Box Office


£750,000 (estimated)


$694,438 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Steven Waddington. See more »


[first lines]
Edward II: My father is deceased. Come Gaveston, and share the kingdom with thy dearest friend.
See more »


Version of Edward II (1982) See more »


Jingle Bells
Composed by James Pierpont
Performed and arranged by Simon Fisher-Turner
See more »

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User Reviews

Not worth watching
22 April 2004 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

I should start off by mentioning that Edward II is a very strange movie. All the sets look the same, most of the actors aren't young and glamorous, and everyone speaks Elizabethan English even though it takes place in 1991.

There were times that I felt I just wasn't "getting" it. But after a while I realized I was getting it -- it's just that I wasn't offered very much to begin with.

This movie is so completely visually dull with its dirt floors and bare concrete walls (did I mention this takes place in 1991?) that I felt my eyes getting heavy. Would I have missed much if I had closed them? Well, a couple of softcore man-on-man sex scenes (did I mention that the actors aren't young and glamorous?) but other than that, looking at the inside of my eyelids wouldn't have been much less interesting.

Edward II's script is also quite lacking. I don't know if this is the case with the play (the only Marlowe play I've ever actually read is Dr. Faust) but in any case, I see no sense in making a movie from the script. I can't imagine someone reading the script and saying, "this looks good." The characters are all so coldly obsessed with whining about their own petty problems that there's no way someone could really care about them. Even their bratty children have their own agendas. Anytime someone was killed, I wasn't sure whether to be glad a character I hated was gone, or to be unhappy that another character I also hated had succeeded.

My only praise for this movie is the acting. Given what these actors had to work with, I think they made a good attempt. Unfortunately, this was not enough to make this particular movie worth watching.

11 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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