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)
Reviews
Popularity
4,584 ( 228)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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 ... Strolling Player
Henry Woolf ... Strolling Player
Karol Hagar Karol Hagar ... Strolling Player
Edit

Storyline

It's Christmas 1183, and King Henry II (Peter O'Toole) 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 (Nigel Terry) to take over. Henry's wife, Queen Eleanor (Katharine Hepburn), has other ideas. She believes their son Prince Richard (Sir Anthony Hopkins) should be King. As the family and various schemers gather for the holiday, each tries to make the indecisive King choose his or her option. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"The Lion in Winter" is about love and hate between a man and a woman and their sons. It's also about politics, vengeance, greed and ambition. It other words it's about life. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Narrating the Turner Classic Movies' filler on Katharine Hepburn, Sir Anthony Hopkins recalled how Hepburn took him under her wing, advising him: "Don't act. Just speak the lines." He found it to be great advice. See more »

Goofs

Henry says to Eleanor: "Sleep, and dream of me with croutons. Henry, à la mode." The word "crouton" dates from the 17th century. The phrase "à la mode" dates from the 15th century. See more »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

The roadshow release included an overture and entr'acte, and had an intermission, but the general release version did not. See more »

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: Medieval Special 2 (2012) See more »

User Reviews

 
This film makes a great educational tool!
27 October 2004 | by KidRalphSee all my reviews

I am a high school history teacher, and I use this film to give students insight to the way Medieval kings, queens, and princes plotted and schemed with and against one another, how marriages were arranged with political motives, and how the relationships between these self-important royals shaped the history of the time. When I first introduced the films plot to my student, I was met with apathy and predisposed boredom, but they quickly were caught up in the intrigue and plot twists. At each major turn (an impromptu wedding, a surprise revelation about one of the character's sexuality, etc.), the students were often literally gasping.

As for the film itself, I can not think of a movie with more solid acting from the headliners (O'Toole and Hepburn) to the other principal players (Hopkins, Dalton, Terry, and especially Castle), and even the other characters are well cast (Merrow as Alais is not especially solid, but she is at least adequate in her portrayal as "the only pawn" in this game of kings, queens, and knights).

It is, of course, not to be seen as wholly accurate historically, as it would be near impossible to achieve such for events that took place 800 years ago, but the major themes are true to form, and the film is wonderfully engrossing. Highly recommended!


65 of 75 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 194 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 October 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lion in Winter See more »

Filming Locations:

Wales, UK See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,339, 18 December 2016

Gross USA:

$18,177

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,177
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 »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed