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The Lion In Winter [DVD] [2003]

2.5 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: John Light, Glenn Close, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Julia Vysotsky, Rafe Spall
  • Directors: Andrei Konchalovsky
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Brightspark Productions
  • DVD Release Date: 27 April 2009
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001THPPCG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,620 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Historical drama starring Patrick Stewart and Glenn Close. In 1183, after the death of his eldest son, King Henry II (Stewart) must decide which of his three remaining sons will succeed him. As the time for him to announce his successor approaches, Henry frees his imprisoned wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine (Close), who he held captive after she plotted to overthrow him. It soon becomes clear, however, that Eleanor favours first child Richard (Andrew Howard), while Henry sees his youngest, John (Rafe Spall), as the next in line but, in the weeks ahead, the King begins to have serious doubts if any of his sons are capable of becoming the new ruler.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I'm confused. It says on the cover "With stunning battle scenes and an incredible cast this is the must see historical film of 2012". Within minutes of watching the film, I realised this was a televised version of a play called "The Lion in Winter". Went onto IMDb to investigate and sure enough, it is "The Lion in Winter"...and it was made in 2003 under the same title.

Why is it now being called "Lionheart"? Where are the battle scenes? And why does it clearly state on the cover that "Run time 257 mins approx" when the film only lasts 75 minutes? That's VERY "approx"!

Has there been some mistake in production or is this a direct con?
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Format: DVD
I've seen this before in 2003 and although it's packaged like a new movie (the same happened with the Empire tv series being repackaged as Rome Blood and Sand) it's a lie. This is the remake of A Lion in Winter and was released in 2003. It's nowhere near as good as the original with Peter O'Toole but to repackage something in the hope you trick the public into buying a film you've already seen under a different name is pathetic.

It box makes it look like it's a new action film about Richard the Lionheart but the film is about Henry II and his relationship with Eleanor of Aquitaine and his children (the Devil's Brood) and is based on a 1966 play so there is little action. Although a young Prince Richard does feature in the movie he is a minor character and far away from his Lionheart title. If you haven't seen the movie you may like it but it is poor compared to the original (which is a fantastic movie) but if you have had the misfortune the see this remake don't be tricked into buying it again under a new title.
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Format: DVD
Being a great fan of the original version of this film starring Peter O'Toole and Katherine Hepburn, I was quite excited about this remake - especially as I like a lot of Patrick Stewart's other work.

I have to say though that it's not a patch on the original, despite following the identical script. Stewart's and Close's acting is disappointingly wooden; this version lacks the verve and heart of the original.

It was always going to be a tough order to follow O'Toole and Hepburn (as well as their strong supporting cast that included Timothy Dalton and Anthony Hopkins) but, to be honest, I expected better from this remake.

For those who have never seen any version of this film I would strongly advise you to buy the original. To those who have seen the original I would sadly advise you to not waste your hard-earned money on this version.

2 stars for a half-hearted effort, which is what it seemed like.
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Format: DVD
The genius of James Goldman's perfect script for The Lion in Winter is the way it takes great historical figures and not only makes them all-too-recognisably human but also makes their faults serve as the world in microcosm. And it does it with wit, drama and genuine emotion as its two titans battle each other with a great hatred born of a once great love while their unlovely brood jockey for position and the crown of England in an ever escalating web of one-upmanship and betrayal. As such, it's foolproof and virtually idiot proof, the kind of thing that not even a talented director could ruin. Unfortunately one of the reasons the play has been so rarely revived is because it also managed to spawn a film version so close to perfection for all its budgetary limitations and technical faults that it must seem pointless to anyone to attempt to match it. So it's no great surprise that Andrei Konchalovsky's 2003 TV version leaves you feeling a bit like you've brought a ticket to the hottest show on Broadway only to find that the entire cast has gone down with food poisoning and the rep company from Des Moines will be taking their roles for tonight's performance.

The biggest problem is that all these people have all too obviously seen the 1968 movie and fail to make the parts their own. Patrick Stewart fares best, but he lacks Peter O'Toole's delivery or comic timing although, to his credit, he doesn't try an impersonation. Unwisely, Glenn Close DOES slip into the odd spot of mimicry of Hepburn inbetween the odd half-hearted bout of Norma Desmond, but she makes surprisingly little impact until the second half of the game.
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Format: DVD
THE LION IN WINTER Second outing not so good

I was fortunate to be in NY in 1966 and was taken by friends to the Colonial Theatre to see the stage production of James Goldman's play starring the incomparable Robert Preston. I must admit that I was not terribly impressed with the play although Robert Preston's performance was marvellous.
The Lion in Winter is a fictional account set during Christmas 1183, at Henry 's court in France. Henry wants his favoured younger son John to inherit his throne, whilst Richard is suported in his claim by Queen Eleanor who has been temporarily released from captivity by the King, and the third brother Geoffrey, Duke of Brittany conspires with Philip of France and John to declare war against their father. In fact there was no Christmas court at Chinon in 1183 and there is no historical record confirming that Henry, Eleanor, their sons and Philip of France were ever gathered together at this time, and some characters such as Henry's mistress are a merging of more than one real life persons; but the events and issues are historically correct.

The 1968 film with Peter O'Toole and Katherine Hepburn is one of my all time favourite movies and it was with some reserve that I purchased this made for TV remake, mostly because I am a great fan of Patrick Stewart who is one of Britain's finest actors.
I was disappointed, both Stewart and Glenn Close are fine actors and gave good performances but the special magic of the 1968 version was missing and I found the production somewhat lacklustre.

I believe that it is almost always a mistake to attempt a remake of a classic film, which is what the 1968 version has become, even using the best of actors.
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