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Edward II (1991)

R  |   |  Drama, History  |  18 October 1991 (UK)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,810 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 19 critic

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

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Title: Edward II (1991)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Kevin Collins ...
Lightborn, the Jailor
...
...
Spencer
Dudley Sutton ...
Bishop of Winchester
...
...
Kent
Jody Graber ...
...
...
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
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Storyline

In this Derek Jarman version of Christopher Marlowe's Elisabethan 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

Plot Keywords:

throne | nobility | lover | gay | king | See All (154) »

Taglines:

A classic tale of sex, revenge, and love.

Genres:

Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

18 October 1991 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Eduardo II  »

Box Office

Gross:

$694,438 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The poem which Allan Corduner reads from in front of the King is Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in The Gospel According to St Derek (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Every Time We Say Goodbye
Written by Cole Porter
Performed by Annie Lennox
See more »

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User Reviews

 
a troubled adaptation of a strange Elizabethan play
22 December 2000 | by (San Francisco, CA) – See all my reviews

I've watched this movie at least half a dozen times while adapting and directing my own stage version of this brilliant, but somewhat long-winded and un-focused Marlowe play. That said (and my bias revealed), I have to admit that I don't care much for this film- though I do admit it has some strengths- namely the visual elements, which reflect the director's background as a painter (he knows how to frame and arrange a shot, and he picks beautiful lines and colors to illustrate his story). Tilda Swenton's performance is amazing (has she ever been bad?) and provides the emotional thrust of the movie- we believe she wants Edward so badly that she's willing to kill him so no one else will have him. Unfortuneately, Gaveston just comes off as a twisted psychotic and Waddington's performance as Edward renders the king weaker than Marlowe writes him, and yet devoid of the inner vulnerability that ultimately makes the King sympathetic- I never once believe they really love each other, let alone madly enough to topple a whole nation. But plot and character don't seem to be a priority of the film as much as statements about gay rights and strange, arty and really heavy-handed intrusions. Too bad, really. There's so much to be dug out of the script- and some of those gems DO appear in this film... but so many seem not only undiscovered, but lost in a lot of camp, confusion, violence and raw, un-erotic sex. Don't get me wrong- the film is worth seeing... I just hope that one day, I get to make a new interpretation.


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