The Lion in Winter

The Lion in Winter

Anthony Harvey (1968)

12 Certificate
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Our Score
Katharine Hepburn is on Oscar-winning form while verbally sparring with Oscar-nominated Peter O'Toole in this celebrated adaptation of James Goldman's play about Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Set mostly within austere castle ramparts over the Christmas festival, it's a story of a family squabble that has geopolitical import, a medieval dynastic war. 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 who, like O'Toole, was a protégé of Hepburn's. John Barry's beautiful, melancholy score also won an Oscar.


The ageing Henry II is coming to the end of his life and must choose one of his three surviving sons to inherit the throne. He summons all three, his wife Eleanor, his mistress and the king of France, to join him during a bleak Christmas in 1183, where all parties conspire to achieve the outcome they desire. Oscar-winning historical drama, with Peter O'Toole, Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins and Timothy Dalton.

Cast & Crew

King Henry II Peter O'Toole
Queen Eleanor Katharine Hepburn
Prince Richard Anthony Hopkins
King Philip of France Timothy Dalton
Princess Alais Jane Merrow
Prince Geoffrey John Castle
Prince John Nigel Terry
William Marshall Nigel Stock
Director Anthony Harvey
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Anglo EmbassyGuidance: May be edited for language.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray