Wallis And Edward [DVD]
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Television drama starring Joely Richardson. When Wallis Simpson (Richardson) meets Edward (Stephen Campbell Moore), Prince of Wales, he is charmed by her flirtatious and straight-talking manner and begs her to divorce her husband, Ernest (David Westhead). George V (Clifford Rose) dies and Edward becomes King, but he has no desire to give up Wallis for a life of Royal duty. As a constitutional crisis grips the nation, Edward and the British Government lock horns. The Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin (Richard Johnson), insists that Wallis cannot become Queen. Despite Wallis's pleas for him to remain King, Edward feels forced to choose between his royal destiny and the woman he loves.
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At this opening, Thelma Furness, Lady Furness, is not portrayed in good light. She was a little more relaxed than the character is written here in this film at the beginning of the film and subsequently at Fort Belvedere. Never mind.
The main gist of the story of Edward and Mrs Simpson is achieved with this film, although it rapidly moves to 1936, I guess because of length of production.
What is very clear and accurate is that Wallis enjoyed the station and status but became very aware of the consequences of Edward's intentions far earlier than he did (if indeed he ever did!). He was totally besotted, no doubt, and so was very blinkered to the reality of the situation. As for Wallis, there is plenty to suggest here that she knew far more than she let on. What was abundantly clear was come the wedding day, exile was inevitable and their lives would become mundane - him without a role or job and she unable to live up to her party-hostess role that she had become accustomed in London and at The Fort as the Prince's and then King's woman. There are times in the film when the writers want you to feel sorry for Wallis - I believe this is a step too far. In my opinion, it is the adolescent Edward that we should feel sorry for. The interactions with his father, George V, are portrayed well in this film but there is an inaccuracy in the story as to how Queen Mary announces to Edward that he is King - it actually took place in George V's bedroom chamber in Sandringham and not in the lounge at Sandringham. Small detail but important me thinks!
I prefer the TV series Edward And Mrs Simpson [DVD] rather than this film, but the film is worth a look at the low price.
The movie is not an accurate picture but is pretty much indicates what happened and shows the main characters in a way I feel is pretty close to reality. Edward was the glamour prince of the 1920th. His boyish (not very manly looks) appealed to many and he was seen as the modern way of life compared to his rather stiff and conservative parents.But he is shown - and rightly so - as an immature boy who seems to believe in his own glamour and behaves rather selfish. There is something very shallow about him. His sense of duty is highly underdeveloped and he rather needs guidance. Wallis is of course much stronger, but as well ambitious. Whether her ambition is money or position is difficult to assess, but here money comes with position. Interesting are the scenes when she realizes that when marrying Edward after abdication she will be completely bound to him. While he follows her a bit like a puppy dog, it is his position (not his personality) that sets the stage. There is something desperate about it which is difficult to describe but one feels.
The Duchess herself made this clear in her famous statement summing up her life after the marriage."You have no idea how hard it is to live out a great romance."
The movie is not a fantastic one, the acting not too bad, the 30s' era is well re-created. It is enjoyable and gives an easy access to the drama of the day.
I was surprised at the content.
But I will say that changed my thoughts about the abdication.
Thankfully Edward did give up the throne.
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