The Lion in Winter

Synopsis: It's Christmas 1183, and King Henry II 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 to take over. Henry's wife, Queen Eleanor, has other ideas. She believes their son Prince Richard should be king. As the family and various schemers gather for the holiday, each tries to make the indecisive king choose their option.
Director(s): Anthony Harvey
Production: Nelson Entertainment
  Won 3 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 18 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
134 min

Come for me!

You're gaining on it, Johnny.

Am I, father? Am I really?

Off you go now.

Run along and practice.

He'll make a good king.

He'll be ready.

That's the way.

Come on, my son!

Have you found religion,


Will you look down from heaven and

see who's sitting on your throne?

I must know before I die.

There's a legend of a king called

Lear, with whom I have a lot in common.

Both of us have kingdoms

and three children we adore,

and both of us are old,

but there it ends.

He cuts his kingdom into bits.

I can't do that.

I've built an empire, and

I must know it's going to last.

All of Britain,

half of France...

I'm the greatest power in a thousand

years, and after me comes John.

I'm going to lose you,

Henry, aren't I?

Alais, in my time I've known...

contessas, milkmaids,


and novices,

whores, gypsies, jades...

and little boys,

but nowhere in God's western world

have I found anyone to love but you.

And Rosamund?

- She's dead.

- And Eleanor.

The new Medusa,

my good wife?

How is your queen?

Decaying, I suppose.

No, don't be jealous

of the Gorgon.

She is not

among the things I love.

How many husbands do you know

who dungeon up their wives?

I haven't kept the great bitch in the keep

for ten years out of passionate attachment.

- There's Captain Marshal.


We will be holding

Christmas court at chinon.

We have asked the king of France

to join us.

I want Richard there and Geoffrey.

Go find my boys and tell them.

Then go fetch the queen

from Salisbury tower.

If the queen refuses?


She wouldn't miss this

for the world.



Hello, Richard.






Father wants to see me.

Your majesty.

There's to be

a Christmas court.

Yes, madam.


At chinon.

Henry, what if, just for once,

I didn't do as I was told?

It's going to be

a jungle of a day.

If I start growling now,

I'll never last.

You'll last.

You're like the rocks at

stonehenge... nothing knocks you down.

In these rooms, Alais, on this

Christmas, I have all the enemies I need.

You have more than you think.

Are you one?

Has my willow

turned to poison oak?

If I decided to be trouble,

Henry, how much trouble could I be?

Not much.

I could give away your plans.

You don't know what they are.

I know you want to disinherit

Richard. So does Eleanor.

She knows young Henry's dead.

The young king died in summer, and I haven't

named an heir. She knows I want John...

on the throne, and I know she wants

Richard... we are very frank about it.

Henry, I can't be your mistress

if I'm married to your son.

Why can't you?

Johnny wouldn't mind.

I do not like your Johnny.

He's a good boy.

He's got pimples,

and he smells of compost.

He's just 16!

He can't help the pimples.

He could have a bath!

It isn't such a dreadful thing

to be queen of England.

Not all eyes will weep for you.

Will yours?

I don't know.

Very likely.

All I want is not to lose you.

Can't you hide me?

Can't I simply disappear?

You know you can't.

Your little brother Philip's king of France now,

and he wants your wedding or your dowry back.

I only took you for your

dowry. You were seven...

two big knees and two big eyes,

and that's all.

How was I to know?

Hey. What's the matter, lad? Nothing.

- Geoff!

- Johnny!

Is that for me?

I love Christmas.

What difference does

my dowry make?

Let Philip have it back.

It isn't much. I can't.

The vexin is a little county,

but it's vital to me. And I'm not.

It's been my luck to fall

in love with landed women.

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James Goldman

James Goldman (June 30, 1927 – October 28, 1998) was an American screenwriter and playwright, and the brother of screenwriter and novelist William Goldman. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Lion in Winter" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 15 Jan. 2021. <>.

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