Lion in Winter Poster“Of course he’s got a knife. He always has a knife. We ALL have knives. It’s 1183 and we’re barbarians!”
        – Eleanor of Aquitaine, The Lion in Winter

“I could have conquered Europe, but I had women in my life.”
        – Henry II, the Lion in Winter

My wife shakes her head, but this is still one of my favorite movies.

The sets, the costumes, the atmosphere are all 1183. My favorite cultural detail – Henry, first thing in the morning, in his bedroom, breaks the ICE on the bucket of water in order to wash his face. Instant reality check for those who think life in a medieval castle was glamorous or luxurious.

Watched it again today, with several of the daughters. Film note: Includes the film debuts of both Timothy Dalton (King Philip of France) and Anthony Hopkins (Richard the Lion-Hearted). Also of note, when the film was shot in 1968, Katherine Hepburn was 61 years old, the exact age of Eleanor of Aquitaine in 1183. Peter O’Toole was only 36 at the time, but does a good job of playing Henry II as if he were 50. Hepburn won the Oscar for best actress for her performance. O’Toole was nominated for best actor for his.

-Rob Shearer
  Director, Schaeffer Study Center

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