THE LION IN WINTER
1968, Rialto Pictures, 134 min, UK/USA, Dir: Anthony Harvey

At Christmas court in 1183, King Henry II (Peter O’Toole) argues with his estranged wife, Eleanor (Oscar winner Katharine Hepburn) over whether Prince John (Nigel Terry) or Richard the Lionheart (Anthony Hopkins in his film debut) shall inherit the throne. Complicating matters is King Philip II of France (Timothy Dalton, also his debut) who seeks his own fortune by demanding his half-sister Alais (Jane Merrow), currently Henry’s mistress, be betrothed to Richard. The most royal of the cycle of '60s films dealing with the history and palace intrigues of medieval England.


THE PHILADELPHIA STORY
1940, Warner Bros., 112 min, USA, Dir: George Cukor

Katherine Hepburn had been declared “box office poison” before this delightful romantic comedy, adapted from the Broadway play in which she’d starred, revived her career. She plays Philadelphia socialite Tracy Lord, who is just about to get married when her ex-husband (Cary Grant) and a reporter (James Stewart) enter the picture. Stewart and screenwriter Donald Ogden Stewart both earned Oscars for this almost unimprovable screwball gem, later remade as the musical HIGH SOCIETY.


HOLIDAY
1938, Sony Repertory, 93 min, USA, Dir: George Cukor

Society girl Katharine Hepburn falls in love with her sister's idiosyncratic fiancé (a pitch-perfect Cary Grant), and the result is the greatest nonconformist comedy ever made. Working with Philip Barry's play as his foundation, director George Cukor considers serious issues about the human condition and what it means to be truly independent, yet does it all with a light, hilarious and charming touch.


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