[Flower logo of the Medieval History Course] The Lion in Winter

    *The Lion in Winter (1968)
    UK, Historical/Drama, 135 min, No rating, Color
    Director: Anthony Harvey
    Cast includes: Katherine Hepburn (Eleanor), Peter O'Toole (Henry II), Anthony Hopkins (Richard the Lionheart)
    subtitle: Chinese
    -[PBH Comment] Probably the greatest of all "medieval movies" for sheer enjoyment. The intra-familial disputes of the Plantagenets are quite accurately depicted. What does not come across is that by the late 12th century dynasticism, although it still had legs, was supplemented by increasingly elaborate state structures.
    And then there is Hepburn. Magnificent as ever, it must be remembered that she never played anyone but herself.
    Recommended for teaching simply as a way to excite student interest.

    Plot Summary
    Christmas 1183--an aging and conniving King Henry II plans a reunion where he hopes to name his successor. He summons the following people for the holiday: his scheming but imprisoned wife, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine; his mistress, Princess Alais, whom he wishes to marry; his three sons (Richard, Geoffrey, and John), all of whom desire the throne; and the young but crafty King Philip of France (who is also Alais' brother). With the fate of Henry's empire at stake, everybody engages in their own brand of deception and treachery to stake their claim.
    Summary written by {jgp3553@excite.com}

    In 1183 Henry II summonses his sons Richard, John, and Geoffrey to join him and his prison-bound wife Eleanor at Chinon for a family Christmas, along with King Philip II of France and his sister Alais, Henry's mistress. Philip is insisting Alais now marries John as agreed years before else he wants her dowry, the lands of the Vexen, back. As Eleanor has already given the province of Aquitaine to Richard, the outcome of this may decide the very future of England. Everyone present except perhaps Alais are masters of double-dealing and deceipt, so it could be a lively Yuletide.
    Summary written by jwp@aber.ac.uk

    THE LION IN WINTER from Magill's Survey of Cinema, 15 Jun 1995 (realitymouse.com).
    The Lion in Winter - Wikipedia