Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Lion in Winter
The Lion in Winter is a 1966 Broadway play by James Goldman. It was adapted to film by Anthony Harvey debuting on October 30, 1968 starring Peter O'Toole as King Henry II of England and Katharine Hepburn as his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine.
The story, set during Christmas 1183 at Henry's chateau and primary residence in Chinon, Normandy (current day France), centers on the conflict between the estranged couple and their adult sons and heirs to the throne: Prince Richard the Lionhearted (the future King Richard I of England, played by Sir Anthony Hopkins in his film debut), Prince John (the future King John, played by Nigel Terry ), and Geoffrey Duke of Britanny (played by John Castle ). Timothy Dalton also debuts as King Philip II of France, the son of Eleanor's ex-husband.
The story is a work of fiction, there was no Christmas Court at Chinon in 1183, although there had been a Christmas court at Caen in 1182 that brought family members together. None of the dialogue or actions is historic; however the outcomes of the characters and the background of the story are historically accurate.
One unusual note of trivia regarding the movie was the longevity of its cast. The film was made in 1968, yet no major cast member died until Katherine Hepburn's death in 2003, thirty five years later.
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