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The Lion in Winter is a 1968 historical costume drama made by Avco Embassy Pictures, based on the Broadwaymarker play by James Goldman. It was directed by Anthony Harvey and produced by Joseph E. Levine from Goldman's adaptation of his own play, The Lion in Winter. There was a remake in 2003.

Synopsis

The Lion in Winter is set during Christmas 1183, at Henry Plantagenet's château and primary residence in Chinonmarker, Anjoumarker, within the Angevin Empire of medieval Francemarker. Henry wants his son Prince John (1166-1216, the future King John of England 1199-1216) to inherit his throne, while his wife Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine (whom he keeps locked in Salisbury Tower) wants their son Prince Richard the Lionheart (1157-1199, the future King Richard I of England 1189-1199). Meanwhile, King Philip II of France, the son of Eleanor's ex-husband, has given his half-sister Alais, who is currently Henry's mistress, to the future heir, and demands either the wedding or the return of her dowry.

As a ruse, Henry agrees to give Alais to Richard and make him heir. He makes a side deal with Eleanor for her freedom in return for Aquitaine, to be given to John. The deal is revealed at the wedding, making Richard refuse to go through with the ceremony. Eleanor, having lost again, masochistically asks Henry to kiss Alais in front of her, and then looks on in horror as they perform a mock marriage ceremony. Having believed Henry's intentions, John, at the direction of his other brother Prince Geoffrey, Duke of Brittany (1158-1186), plots with Philip to make war on England. Henry finds out, dismisses all three sons as unsuitable, and locks them in the dungeon. He makes plans to travel to Rome for an annulment, so that he can have new sons with Alais, but she says he will never be able to release his sons from prison or they will threaten the new sons. Henry sees that she is right and condemns them to death, but cannot actually put them to death and lets them escape. He and Eleanor go back to hoping for the future.

The Lion in Winter is fictional: there was no Christmas Court at Chinon in 1183; there was a Christmas court at Caenmarker in 1182; none of the dialogue and action is historic, though the outcomes of the characters and the background are historically accurate. In reality, Henry had many mistresses and many illegitimate children; the "Rosamund" mentioned in the film was Henry II's mistress until she died. The article on the Revolt of 1173-1174 describes the historical events leading to the play's events.

Cast



Background and production

The film debuted on October 30, 1968 (December 29, 1968 Londonmarker premiere).

The film was shot at Ardmore Studios in Braymarker, County Wicklowmarker, Irelandmarker and on location in Ireland, Walesmarker, and in Francemarker at Abbaye de Montmajourmarker, Arlesmarker, Château de Tarascon, Tarasconmarker, and Tavasson, Saône-et-Loiremarker.

Hepburn won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role. The musical score by John Barry also won an Oscar, as did Goldman's adaptation of his play.

Awards and nominations

Academy Awards

The film received seven nominations.

Wins

Nominations

BAFTA Awards

Wins

  • Best Actress - Katharine Hepburn
  • Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music - John Barry

Nominations

  • Best Cinematography - Douglas Slocombe
  • Best Costume Design - Margaret Furse
  • Best Screenplay - James Goldman
  • Best Sound Track - Chris Greenham
  • Best Supporting Actor - Anthony Hopkins
  • UN Award - Anthony Harvey

Golden Globe Awards

Wins

Nominations

  • Best Actress - Katharine Hepburn
  • Best Motion Picture Director - Anthony Harvey
  • Best Original Score - John Barry
  • Best Screenplay - James Goldman
  • Best Supporting Actress - Jane Merrow

Other Awards

Wins

David di Donatello Awards
  • Best Foreign Production - Martin Poll
Directors Guild of America Awards
  • Outstanding Directorial Achievement - Anthony Harvey
Laurel Awards
  • Female Dramatic Performance - Katharine Hepburn
New York Film Critics Circle Awards
  • Best Film
Writers' Guild of Great Britain
  • Best British Screenplay - James Goldman
Writers Guild of America
  • Best Written American Drama - James Goldman


External links




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