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The Lion In Winter

HD   PG

Anthony Harvey

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About the Movie

A fierce personal drama adapted by James Goldman from his play of Britain's Henry II deliberating over a successor on a fateful Christmas Eve. Having been accustomed to his wife's long exile to a faraway castle, King Henry (Peter O'Toole) takes a step in reuniting his family, however hoping to maintain a stronghold on his Empire and prevent the balance of power to shifting to his wife, Eleanor, or to one of his sons. Despite Henry's efforts to keep his wife at arm-(and throne’s)-length, Eleanor will assure that her power will not only be restored, but that it will last long past her own passing. Also starring Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins (in his feature debut), John Castle, Nigel Terry, Jane Merrow, and Timothy Dalton. Directed by Anthony Harvey.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

91%
  • Reviews Counted: 34
  • Fresh: 31
  • Rotten: 3
  • Average Rating: 8.3/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: ...outdoorsy and fun, full of the kind of plotting and action people used to go to just plain movies for. – Renata Adler, New York Times, Jul 14, 2014

Fresh: An intense, fierce, personal drama put across by outstanding performances of Peter O'Toole and Katherine Hepburn. – Variety Staff, Variety, Jul 14, 2014

Fresh: All that's ever mattered about The Lion in Winter are Hepburn and O'Toole, and the pleasure we take from watching two masters inspire each other to greatness. Scenery chewing has rarely been so artful. – Chuck Wilson, Village Voice, Dec 12, 2016

Fresh: One of the most revered films of all time...with hallmark performances from Peter O'Toole and Katharine Hepburn and the film debuts of Anthony Hopkins, Timothy Dalton, Nigel Terry and John Castle. – Martie Zad, Washington Post, Aug 24, 2006

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Absolute Perfection.

There is a reason this film is beloved as one of the greatest movies -- because it is. The writing is so exceptionally smart (and it is almost ALMOST word for word the same as the popular Broadway play upon which it is based -- natch, there have been some changes; there always are). The comedy is biting and the drama is exciting. The direction by Anthony Harvey is superlative, not to mention to art direction and costuming. John Barry's score won him an Oscar (deservedly) and the entire cast is over the top with excellence; but most notably the leads, Peter O'Toole and Katharine Hepburn (Oscar winner for best actress).

Worth

Watching

Eleanor and Henry

What an authentic revelation this movie was, and still is, showing how in the 12th century even the royal and mighty Plantagenets walked through the mud with chickens following them. Paints an unforgettable picture of a dark era that almost pales in comparison to the amount of emotional pain and darkness one family inflicts upon itself. Best script and dialogue of all time.

The lion in winter

Totally agree with everything the two previous reviewers wrote. This is easily one of my all time favorite movies. It has stood the test of time. Not at all dated as some older movies. The acting is superb! This movie started my lifelong fascination with Eleanor of Aquitaine.