The Lion in Winter (1968)

Katherine Hepburn was quite the actress of her day. She has portrayed several characters that earned her four Academy Awards. The Lion in Winter she portrays Eleanor of Aquitaine, where she won one of her four Oscar’s.

The movie takes place around Christmas time in 1183 in France. Henry the II is vacationing there for the holiday. However, a quiet holiday is not something Henry will receive. He has his estranged with Eleanor of Aquitaine, who he had imprisoned, to worry about. When she shows up an argument ensues about which son should take the throne of England once Henry has passed on. Eleanor favors his son Richard, while Henry wants John to become king. With the argument unsettled, Eleanor’s ex husband and her half sister show up. It is revealed that Henry is having an affair with Eleanor’s half sister. As this goes on, more arguments happen between Eleanor and Henry leading Henry to bring his sons to France. Once they have arrived things start to go awry between Henry and his sons. Henry tries to make a deal with Eleanor that he will give Henry what is left of Aquitaine so John can be king. However, the only way this could happen is if Richard were to marry against his will. Upset at this idea, Richard leaves angry with both of his parents. With John there, Henry begins to realize that there was a plot against him with John involved. Once this is out, Henry decides that John cannot be King of England. With deeming all of his sons unsuitable for the throne, Henry locks them in the dungeon and condemns them to death. However, he is unable to order them to be executed. Henry leaves France hoping for a better future. While Eleanor is on her way back to prison.

Katherine Hepburn won her third Oscar for her role as Eleanor of Aquitaine. On May 12, 1907, this well known, yet shunned from Hollywood society actress was born. Katherine Hepburn refused to conform to the Hollywood lifestyle and chose to be independent. In the 1968 film, The Lion Winter, she is able to show some of that by her powerful betrayal of Eleanor of Aquitaine. This is just one of her man inspirational roles.

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