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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 28 November 2002
The love story that began awkwardly. The younger brother with no higher expectations than to perhaps be left to pursue its hobbies.
And then the Abdication of Edward VIII and the Royals are in quite a panic. Hence the enthronement of George VI (Bertie) played very subtly by the much under-appreciated James Wilby - making his Elizabeth of the title (tour-de-force performance again this time by Juliet Aubrey). Elizabeth that many generations after the events here depicted knew only as the sweet old Queen Mother.
But there's more to each of the main characters' lives than struggling with Bertie's horror of speaking in public because of his stutter. And we don't get to see Elizabeth, The Queen Mother much in her retiring years.
We do get to see a romantic, epic story against the backdrop of war-torn England.
The supporting cast (if we can call it that and not diminish their achievement) features the likes of Eileen Atkins as Queen Mary to Alan Bates' George V. Robert Hardy as President Roosevelt has less to work with, but it is a pleasure to watch him at anytime.
I admit it. I was moved by this syrupy view of History! And yet I am not so sure the essential tale was not well told.
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on 2 May 2011
Pre Kings Speech smash hit - This made for tv film account is wonderfully acted by all with an exceptional cast inluding Alan Bates and Dame Eileen Atkins. Very entertaining. James Wilby is excellent as Bertie.
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on 7 July 2011
Excellent film, in several ways better than the 'King's Speech' since it put everything in context. Well photographed and the characters believable sometimes looking more like the actual people, viz. Churchill.
Very enjoyable.
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When I was researching docudramas about the abdication of King Edward VIII, I found one that looked at it through the lens of his younger brother, the future King George VI. Curious how this movie would view it, I decided to watch Bertie and Elizabeth, a movie I mostly enjoyed.

Originally made for PBS’ Masterpiece Theater, this movie follows the life of the future king and queen of England from their first meeting at a dance to George’s death in the 1950’s. That’s a lot of ground to cover, but they do a pretty decent job of making sure we follow the changing times.

Over the course of the film, we watch the two fall in love. The scene where Bertie (James Wilby) proposes to Elizabeth (Juliet Aubrey) is delightfully funny. We also watch as King George V (Alan Bates) cracks down hard on both of his sons. And we are there for the first meeting of Edward (Charles Edwards) with Wallis Simpson (Amber Sealey), the woman he would give us his throne to marry. Once Bertie becomes King George VI, we watch him deal with the growing threat of Hitler and World War II and marrying off his daughter, Princess Elizabeth, before falling to lung cancer in his 50’s.

In many ways, it is a love story, and one I enjoyed watching. The relationship between Bertie and Elizabeth was always loving and supportive. The movie does touch on his speech impediment (made famous recently in the film The King’s Speech). And watching Elizabeth help him fight it and the strength he drew from her was touching. I also enjoyed seeing him interacting with his two daughters.

On the other hand, I was surprised by how Edward and Mrs. Simpson were portrayed. Unlike the last movie I watched, which treated it like a grand romance, this one treats Edward’s actions as one of selfishness in the face of duty. The truth, as always, lies somewhere between the two, and I don’t expect a movie to cover the issues at hand. What did bother me were the scenes where Mrs. Simpson treated Bertie and Elizabeth horribly. Maybe there is some basis in them, but even so, the scenes were just cruel. If they are true, I could definitely understand why the two shunned her much of her life. And the strain the entire event put on the brothers was hard to watch.

Speaking of hard to watch, when the film reached its natural conclusion, I found myself tearing up. I knew it was coming, but I’d gotten so attached to the characters that I didn’t want it to end there.

The acting by all the leads was good. It allowed me to get lost in the story and pulled out the emotions I was feeling for the characters.

Clocking in around an hour and 45 minutes, this film just scratches the surface of the story. It does provide an interesting overview, and that’s all it truly needed to do. If you want more detail, a movie is never the place to find it.

But all I was looking for was another take on this period of English history. And as such, I am glad I watched Bertie and Elizabeth.
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on 21 September 2011
This film is truly fabulous. We watched it inconjunction with the King's Speech (another great film), where it all ties in. It gave a great insight into the royal family during the Wallace Simpson era and, indeed, the war years after Edward's abdication. I would thoroughly recommend this film.
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on 1 September 2004
This was a high-quality production and pretty accurate historically, at least as far as I can tell from my reading of various biographies and other books relating to the British Royal Family. The only problem I had with this teleplay was its presentation of the character of Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor.

There is one scene in particular, which shows him grabbing Wallis Simpson's backside, which is completely out of character for him. Anyway SHE would have bitten his head off if he'd tried anything like that with her in "real life", because she was always (despite anything else that can be said about her) very conscious of her dignity, as he was also...I suppose the filmmaker needed to "dramatize" what a selfish, self-centered person Edward was, but the characterization given to him in this teleplay is just not accurate, & for me, it stuck out like a sore thumb. Just showing Edward as the weak, stubborn, manipulated man he was, would have been enough -- the teleplay made him downright sleazy, which I don't think is a fault you can put down to the Duke of Windsor, tho' he had many others!
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on 24 February 2011
If you think the King's Speech was good you haven't seen this yet. It's the whole story of George VI and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. As Duke and Duchess of York they begin a quiet family life then the abdication of Edward VIII happens. Life is changed for ever and the stammering George is thrust into the spot light as king of England. With Elizabeth's support (played deliciously by Juliet Aubrey)the couple lead Britain through the last war. Sadly the stress of it all helps to cause George's untimely death in 1952 leaving Elizabeth a widow for the next 50 years.

Brilliantly acted by James Wilby and Juliet Aubrey the entire film is set at Longleat House in Wiltshire (Yes the home of the famous lions) Various state rooms in the house are used to represent Buckingham Palace, Windsor, Holyrood,etc. A stirring cameo performances by Alan Bates as George V and Eileen Atkins as Queen Mary. This television film is a must!
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on 10 January 2015
Although not microscopic in detail, this is a splendid portrayal of King George V1, first as the shy Duke of York and then as king.
Stress is laid on his tremendous courage and strong sense of duty, both elicited and enhanced by his wife Elizabeth whose support
was invaluable,
The story is handled with respect and a great dealof affection for both protagonists
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on 14 December 2015
What a truly wonderful tale from the first meeting of the future King George VI and Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, through World War II and to the death of the King, this DVD would accompany the movie "The Kings Speech" perfectly.
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on 5 May 2015
This DVD is about wat the title says our Queens parents it starts when they first met and for her father it was love at first sight, it goes on through their marriage and up to when his elder brother abdicated and George became King.
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