The Lion in Winter
The Lion in Winter (1968)

The most royal of the cycle of '60s films dealing with the history and castle intrigues of medieval England, Anthony Harvey's The Lion in Winter returns in a new 4K restoration by Studiocanal. At Christmas Court in 1183 King Henry… More

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Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: October 30, 1968
DVD Release Date: June 19, 2001
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Critic Score: 91% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Sharper and wittier than your average period piece, The Lion in Winter is a tale of palace intrigue bolstered by fantastic performances from Peter O'Toole, Katharine Hepburn, and Anthony Hopkins in his big-screen debut.

Chuck Wilson
Village Voice

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.

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Variety Staff

An intense, fierce, personal drama put across by outstanding performances of Peter O'Toole and Katherine Hepburn.

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Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy

A commanding blend of the high and low, a thoroughly sordid family melodrama designed for over-literate history buffs.

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TIME Magazine

Henry and Eleanor are reduced to a TV-sized version of the sovereigns next door, their epic struggle shrunk to sitcom squabbles.

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Mark Bourne

Director Anthony Harvey opened up Goldman's play into authentic spaces far from any proscenium, and remained faithful to an energetic drama propelled by its performances and dialogue.

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Kate Muir
Times (UK)

[A] humdinger of medieval powerplay.

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Don Druker
Chicago Reader

James Goldman's screenplay, so chic and sophisticated to the ears of suburbanites, is chock-full of the worst kind of sophomoric fiddling with what Goldman takes to be genuine highfalutin lingo.

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Rod McShane
Time Out

Harvey's direction is intelligent enough, though the reduction of power struggles to fits of personal pique -- where the fate of nations hangs in the balance -- becomes a little irritating. Enjoyable for its two lead performances, however.

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Adrian Turner
Radio Times

While the script and the performances are simply dazzling, it is notable, too, for the screen debuts of Timothy Dalton and a combustible Anthony Hopkins.

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More reviews for The Lion in Winter

Flixster Audience Score: 90% Flixster User Reviews
jay nixon
wonderful war of words among masters.
Kevin M. Williams
The old king (O'Toole) must choose an heir thus beginning this chess game of plots and counter- plots between the family members involved. Included are… More
Jim Hunter
King Henry II invites his estranged wife and three children to celebrate Christmas with his mistress, and the three sons vie for the throne. Only slightly… More
paul sandberg
The Lion In Winter takes place in 1183 during the reign of Henry II (grandson of William The Conqueror), King of England. The film focuses on the political… More
Matthew Slaven
Riveting. Dialogue of razor-sharp wit, layers of motives and intimate revalations, and captivating performances. Can't find a modern movie with dialogue… More
Aj V
This is a great historical movie and it has a great cast, Hepburn and O'Toole are great. The only problem I had with this movie was that it was too talky,… More

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