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The Lion in Winter (1968)

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1183 A.D.: King Henry II's three sons all want to inherit the throne, but he won't commit to a choice. They and his wife variously plot to force him.

Director:

Anthony Harvey

Writers:

James Goldman (screenplay), James Goldman (play)
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Won 3 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter O'Toole ... Henry II
Katharine Hepburn ... Eleanor of Aquitaine
Anthony Hopkins ... Richard
John Castle ... Geoffrey
Nigel Terry ... John
Timothy Dalton ... Philip II
Jane Merrow ... Alais
Nigel Stock ... William Marshal
Kenneth Ives Kenneth Ives ... Queen Eleanor's Guard
O.Z. Whitehead ... Bishop of Durham
Fran Stafford Fran Stafford ... Lady in Waiting
Ella More Ella More ... Lady in Waiting
Kenneth Griffith Kenneth Griffith ... Strolling Player
Henry Woolf ... Strolling Player
Karol Hagar Karol Hagar ... Strolling Player
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Storyline

It's Christmas 1183, and King Henry II is planning to announce his successor to the throne. The jockeying for the crown, though, is complex. Henry has three sons and wants his boy Prince John to take over. Henry's wife, Queen Eleanor, has other ideas. She believes their son Prince Richard should be king. As the family and various schemers gather for the holiday, each tries to make the indecisive king choose their option. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The most significant reserved seat attraction of the year!


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 October 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lion in Winter See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,339, 16 December 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$22,276,975, 20 January 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Haworth Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (70 mm)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Mono (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Anthony Hopkins told Jonathan Rhys Meyers that Peter O'Toole was constantly late on-set, and that Hopkins would help out by mimicking his voice off camera for certain shots. Peter O'Toole arrived one day to find Hopkins doing his voice, and after that forbade him from doing it again. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the film, Henry has Eleanor returned to confinement. In fact, Henry released Eleanor from confinement in 1183 -- the final request of their son, Young Henry, who died that June after his rebellion against Henry failed (Eleanor alludes to Young Henry when Henry tells her he intends to get an annulment). Eleanor was not with Henry at Christmas in 1183, but did return to England, under guard, in 1184 to rejoin the royal household and resume her duties as Queen Consort. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Henry II: Come for me!
See more »

Alternate Versions

A 70mm version was released in Australia in 1969, and in the UK in 1973. See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Woman of Substance: Katharine Hepburn Remembered (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Extraordinary battle of wits and verbal warfare between O'Toole and Hepburn
22 January 2008 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This excellent costume drama with box office success is set in Christmas 1183 . The medieval monarch Henry II Plantagent (Peter O'Toole which played again in Becket) encounters surrounded by astute and mean relatives who wish ambitious rewards . The king pretends announce his heir and invites his estranged wife Eleanor of Aquitaine (awesome Katharine Hepburn which took her third , she is the only movie star to win four Academy Awards) imprisoned by conspiracy . Eleanor married first to Louis VII , King of France , and subsequently Eleanor's marriage to Henry II , King of England . There also comes their throughly dislikeable sons and king Philip II of France (Timothy Dalton , screen debut . Everybody confronts wits over succession to the British throne and much else , including a game of verbal chess . The heir election between three sons , Richard (Anthony Hopkins , screen debut) , Geoffrey (John Castle) and John (Nigel Terry's first film role) will cause intrigues , hateful , blackmail and psychological manipulation . In spite of possession a kingdom spread all England and great portion France , there's one thing that Henry never can to control, his rebel family .

This film is a rich pageant of fun for drama enthusiastic and history lovers . This is a magnificent film inspired on real events and writings by James Goldman adapted from his own play , which deservedly won an Oscar . Superb drama with top-notch performances , duo starring gives triumphant characterizations . Fantastic and evocative musical score fitting to medieval times by John Barry with Academy Award included . Sensational production design shot on location and with an impressive castle ; furthermore , an atmospheric cinematography by Geoffrey Unsworth , reflecting splendidly Middle Age . The tale was marvellously directed by Anthony Harvey at his best film , but after this , he strayed into the critical , though not commercial hits . Remade recently for television in inferior version by Andrei Konchalovsky with Patrick Stewart (Henry II) and Glenn Close (Eleanor of Aquitaine).


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