Best Movies by Farr

The Lion in Winter

The Lion in Winter Poster
The Lion in Winter Poster

Released

1968

Runtime

134

The Lion in Winter

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What's it About

Hoping to retain his grip on power, 12th-century King Henry II (O'Toole) summons his estranged, exiled wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine (Hepburn), for a Christmas Eve meeting with their three sons, Richard the Lion-Hearted (Hopkins), Prince Geoffrey (Castle), and Prince John (Terry), to determine who will succeed to the throne. As Henry and Eleanor lock in a vicious battle of words, the remaining family members — including Henry's mistress Alais (Merrow) and her teenage brother King Philip of France (Dalton) — try to outmaneuver each other in their quest for dominance.

Why we love it

Shot on location in France and the British Isles, and based on an excoriating play by James Goldman, "Lion" is a wit-fueled, magnificently acted parable of power-lust and extreme family dysfunction. O'Toole and Oscar winner Hepburn are superb as the grizzled, sarcastic regent and his cunning wife, locked in a never-ending exchange of venomous criticisms. A youthful Anthony Hopkins, in a spirited turn, pops off some of the best insults. Aside from the endless machinations of various family members, Harvey adds period flavor with authentic costumes and gloomy, tone-perfect settings. When this "Lion" roars, you'll be hooked.