It's Christmas 1183, and King Henry II (Peter O'Toole) is planning to announce his successor to the throne. The jockeying for the crown, though, is complex. Henry has three sons and wants his boy Prince John (Nigel Terry) to take over. Henry's wife, Queen Eleanor (Katharine Hepburn), has other ideas. She believes their son Prince Richard (Sir Anthony Hopkins) should be King. As the family and various schemers gather for the holiday, each tries to make the indecisive King choose his or her option.
extramarital affair, throne, based on play, power struggle, medieval times, political intrigue, 12th century, dysfunctional marriage, dysfunctional family, battle of the sexes, england, sword fight, husband wife relationship, royalty, aristocrat, knight, dagger, infidelity, disarming someone, reference to aristotle
All that's ever mattered about The Lion in Winter are Hepburn and O'Toole, and the pleasure we take from watching two masters inspire each other to greatness. Scenery chewing has rarely been so artful.
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