To Play the King (1993)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Drama
8.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.5/10 from 2,108 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 5 critic

Francis Urquhart, unscrupulous but cunning Conservative politician, managed to become the British prime minister and crush all significant opposition. But his survival on the top is ... See full summary »

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $1.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 29 titles
created 24 Jun 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 15 Dec 2012
 
a list of 45 titles
created 20 Apr 2014
 
a list of 31 titles
created 5 months ago
 
a list of 23 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "To Play the King" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: To Play the King (1993– )

To Play the King (1993– ) on IMDb 8.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of To Play the King.

User Polls

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1993  
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Final Cut (TV Mini-Series 1995)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Francis Urquhart is too experienced a politician not to know that everything must end, even his long career as British prime minister. In order to secure his retirement and establish ... See full summary »

Stars: Ian Richardson, Diane Fletcher, Paul Freeman
House of Cards (TV Mini-Series 1990)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

Francis Urquhart is the chief whip of the Conservative party. When Margaret Thatcher resigns as leader, he remains neutral and after a general election where the conservatives are returned ... See full summary »

Stars: Ian Richardson, Susannah Harker, Miles Anderson
Savage Play (1995)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
Director: Alan Lindsay
Stars: Peter Bland, James Fleming, Paris Jefferson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

When Ruth Matthews's husband is killed in a fall at an archaeological dig, her daughter Sally handles her father's death in a very odd manner. As Sally's condition worsens, Ruth takes her ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Lessac
Stars: Kathleen Turner, Tommy Lee Jones, Asha Menina
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2/10 X  

An elite firm of assassins must face their own mortality as they are hunted down one by one by a mysterious assailant. Caught up in the drama is a disgraced journalist who is more connected to the assassins' world than he could ever know.

Director: Ian Chinsee
Stars: Benjamin Alldridge, Daniel Cason, Ian Chinsee
An Ungentlemanly Act (TV Movie 1992)
History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Royal Marines defend Government House from Argentine invaders during the events that triggered the Falklands War.

Director: Stuart Urban
Stars: Ian Richardson, Rosemary Leach, Ian McNeice
Action | Thriller

A member of the British Parliament unravels a global conspiracy when he disrupts a terrorist group's hostage plans.

The Gravy Train Goes East (TV Mini-Series 1991)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Stars: Francesca Annis, András Bálint, Jeremy Child
House of Cards (TV Movie 2001)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  
Stars: Joe Walsh, Jeff Bryan Davis, Delaina Mitchell
Drama

A chronicle of events during the 1962 Cuban Missle Crisis.

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Paul Seed
Stars: Neil Pearson, Mark Benton, Brian Murphy
House of Cards (Video 2013)
Short | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Two young lovers are brought together by a seemingly innocent deck of cards. Their life together grows and flourish, but when tragedy strikes one of them, the other's faith is put to the ultimate test.

Director: Christopher M. Cline
Stars: Faith Benson, Steven Cox, Alexia Joubert
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Francis Urquhart (4 episodes, 1993)
...
 The King (4 episodes, 1993)
Kitty Aldridge ...
 Sarah Harding (4 episodes, 1993)
Colin Jeavons ...
 Tim Stamper (4 episodes, 1993)
Diane Fletcher ...
 Elizabeth Urquhart (4 episodes, 1993)
...
 David Mycroft (4 episodes, 1993)
...
 Chloe Carmichael (4 episodes, 1993)
Leonard Preston ...
 John Stroud (4 episodes, 1993)
Erika Hoffman ...
 The Lady (4 episodes, 1993)
Jack Fortune ...
 Ken Charterhouse (4 episodes, 1993)
...
 Corder (4 episodes, 1993)
...
 Mattie Storin (archive footage) (4 episodes, 1993)
...
 Princess Charlotte (3 episodes, 1993)
...
 Sir Bruce Bullerby (3 episodes, 1993)
...
 Andrew Harding (3 episodes, 1993)
Frederick Treves ...
 Lord Quillington (3 episodes, 1993)
Tom Beasley ...
 Young Prince / ... (3 episodes, 1993)
...
 Graham Gaunt (3 episodes, 1993)
Paula Tilbrook ...
 Speaker (3 episodes, 1993)
John Bird ...
 Bryan Brynford-Jones (2 episodes, 1993)
Kate Ricketts ...
 Current Affairs Lady (2 episodes, 1993)
Merelina Kendall ...
 Hilda Cordwainer (2 episodes, 1993)
Anthony Smee ...
 John Staines (2 episodes, 1993)
John Paul Connolly ...
 Sturdy Beggar (2 episodes, 1993)
Soo Drouet ...
 Big Woman (2 episodes, 1993)
Edit

Storyline

Francis Urquhart, unscrupulous but cunning Conservative politician, managed to become the British prime minister and crush all significant opposition. But his survival on the top is threatened by a liberal monarch and some skeletons in the closet. Written by Dragan Antulov <dragan.antulov@altbbs.fido.hr>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 October 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kongehuset  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(4 parts)

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Stamper confronts Francis about having a job in higher office after the election, like Home Secretary, but Francis rejects him. In the first House of Cards, Francis was promised a higher post like Home Secretary from Collingridge, but was rejected. See more »

Quotes

Francis Urquhart: We are by God a nation of fierce bad rabbits.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits Ian Richardson is shown in close up saying "God save the King" See more »

Connections

Followed by The Final Cut (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Not Her Majesty's Humbert
26 January 2013 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

Compared to the first House of Cards, this is a retread of familiar ground, far-fetched in spots, and fizzles out in the 'explosive' finale. It is still fun to watch, and together with Cards, a great primary text.

The narrative tension arises from the fact that the protagonist—Francis Urquhart, now Prime Minister after the events of the first one—is both an actor inside the story and the capricious narrator who in telling it attempts to control that story and his environment, Lolita-wise. (which Ian Richardson has not only known, as anyone in his trade can be expected to, but actually played on the stage, in Albee's Broadway version as apparently Nabokov himself)

We are roped in the story, by Urquhart making the camera a co- conspirator on his side.

This could have been of more interest than the first. The issue of co- conspiratorial viewing more ambiguously rears its head here, because mixed with parliamentary intrigue, the great deceiver is beginning to show signs of doubt and remorse, but knowing him to be a demagogue, can we trust him? Is he lucidly toying with us? Do we open up? It all comes back to Lolita, the seduced younger woman, his mirrored nemesis the current Chief Whip. It is good material, a good text to work from.

Alas, the same problem persists as in Cards.

Urquhart's doubt grows from memories of the first film, the whole Mattie Storin affair. If you haven't seen Cards, he has done something horrible even by his standards, and tormenting visions begin to seep into and disrupt his control.

Now there are two types of film when dealing with cinematic memory, mostly distinct of each other.

Films where memory is a narrative device and the reminiscing self fetches the images as insight into some past story, a category of which this is a part of, and can be relied on for a good jigsaw but hardly much else. Hitchcock usually worked in this way.

And films, much fewer, where true to the function of memory, images steal into the story as insight of the narrating self, images not always in the right order or logical that partly create the self. All the great films (as well as Lolita) fall in this latter category.

So the narrative is clean and logical, which the British do better than anyone. The acting is fine, Richardson above all. But, there is no reason whatsoever for Urquhart to be truly confiding to the viewer, especially now that we see aspects of Urquhart he does not control. Everyone else is being lied to, uncertain and fumbling, but we are not. This is as if Lolita was just a chronicle of mischiefs, missing layers.


2 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Was Stamper a closeted gay? dmyriounis
Abdication? zboston3
Princess Charlotte Clunie7
Childrens' choral thingy Khedive214
Lack of leadership by the King dazzyboy2004
Something the King Said to Assistant clomax-1
Discuss To Play the King (1993) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?