7.2/10
466
20 user 2 critic

Bertie and Elizabeth (2002)

A chronicle of the life of George VI, who was forced to become King following the abdication of his brother Edward VIII, and his relationship with his wife, Elizabeth.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Princess Mary
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James Stuart
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Elizabeth
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Equerry
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...
Young Woman
Nicholas Pritchard ...
J.C. Davidson
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Geoffrey Beevers ...
Earl of Strathmore
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Storyline

The duke of York, nicknamed Bertie, was born as royal 'spare heir', younger brother to the prince of Wales, and thus expected to spend a relatively private life with his Scottish wife, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, and their daughters, in the shadow of their reigning father, George V, and next that of his elder brother, who later succeeded to the British throne as Edward VIII. However, Edward decides to put his love for a divorced American, Wallis Simpson, above dynastic duty, and ends up abdicating the throne, which falls to Bertie, who reigns as George VI. He expects to be, as constitutional monarch, little more then a figure head, but again fate has other ideas: Nazi Germany proves such a formidable war challenger to the British Empire that the desperate nation looks to the royal couple as a comforting symbol of its unbroken spirit, a part they play with great success, while hosting chased monarchs and governments from continental Europe. After victory, life returns to normal, but ... Written by KGF Vissers

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Drama

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Release Date:

4 June 2002 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Bertie e Elizabeth  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Denis Lill (Clement Attlee) previously played King George VI in The Gathering Storm (1974) and his paternal grandfather King Edward VII in Lillie (1978). See more »

Goofs

When Montgomery comes to the palace after the Battle of Alamein, Princess Elizabeth is wearing ATS uniform. Alamein was in 1942. Elizabeth didn't join the Army until 1945 (she was only 16 in 1942). See more »

Quotes

[First lines]
King George VI, aka 'Bertie': [Looking at his reflection in the mirror] I don't like your face, Bertie. I don't think it's the kind of face that should be seen in society.
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Connections

Follows Edward & Mrs. Simpson (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

If You Were the Only Girl (In the World)
(uncredited)
Music by Nat Ayer (as Nat D. Ayer)
Lyrics by Clifford Grey
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User Reviews

 
Charming, historically inaccurate romance
6 September 2007 | by See all my reviews

If you want historical accuracy, look elsewhere. Fact, distortion, omission, and plain fiction are so interwoven in this picture that I almost wanted to see a disclaimer at the start of the film.

However! If you can chuck all that aside and just focus on the film itself, it's a charming, sweet, no-brainer movie with uplifting moments tossed in.

The portrayal of the struggles between David and Bertie, who'd always been close, after the arrival of Wallis, is the most "poison pill" version I've seen. David is portrayed as a flat-out cad, while Wallis is a scheming, grasping "rhymes-with-'itch.'" The devastation of Bertie and the poise of Elizabeth are in sharp contrast to the "bad couple."

This is just one example of how the writers used elements to highlight the tremendous tension between public and private royal life in the 20th century, and how personal feelings *must* be sacrificed to duty. Obviously, this dynamic still plays out in the 21st century.

What shines through above all in this picture is the love between Bertie and Elizabeth. As such, it is a charming romance film with some lovely costumes and sets, and some moving historical references thrown in. The steadfastness of B & E's relationship, and how it allowed both of them to survive some of the most crushing episodes of their lives, is inspiring to watch.

And then one wants to grab a book to find out what *really* happened. :-)


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