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House of Cards: To Play The King


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House of Cards: To Play The King + House of Cards: Final Cut
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ian Richardson, Michael Kitchen, Kitty Aldridge, Colin Jeavons, Diane Fletcher
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Warner Bros. Home Video
  • Release Date: Aug. 26 2003
  • Run Time: 215 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009MGGZ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #83,727 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

Ian Richardson (From Hell, M. Butterfly) returns as villainous statesman Francis Urquhart in this acclaimed sequel to the Masterpiece Theater thriller House of Cards. The sardonic statesman's Machiavellian schemes have brought him to the pinnacle of government, but at the moment of his triumph, an idealistic and determined young King stands in his way. How far will Urquhart go to maintain his grip on his growing power? As he threatens to expose a royal scandal, he seems unstoppable, but someone out there knows the secret that could bring him down. Brilliantly adapted by Andrew Davies (The Tailor of Panama, Bridget Jones's Diary), from Michael Dobbs's best-selling novel, this satirical trilogy took home a primetime Emmy, a Peabody, two BAFTAs and a Writers' Guild Award.

Amazon.ca

In To Play the King, the second installment of this deliciously wicked political satire, Francis Urquhart (who rose to power in House of Cards) appears to have everything he wants. He is the prime minister, he has no immediate rivals, and everyone who knows of his crimes is either on his side or dead. But a new challenge arises when the queen dies and the new king (Michael Kitchen doing a perfect Prince Charles) proves to be a thorn in Urquhart's side.

The king is troubled by the side effects of the prime minister's policies: homelessness, poverty, and an ever-widening gap between the haves and the have-nots. When he criticizes Urquhart in public, it becomes clear that the king must be dealt with, and quickly. Francis Urquhart may be a staunch defender of the monarchy as a concept, but an individual sovereign is fair game if he proves to be a threat. A fat princess, the king's ex-wife, scandal-mongering newspapermen, and a kidnapping all play their part when Urquhart sets his plan in motion, but somebody very close to the prime minister has information that could destroy him.

With an Andrew Davies script that pokes fun at British politics and the antics of the royal family as well as a terrific cast led again by Ian Richardson, To Play the King maintains the high standard set by House of Cards. In Francis Urquhart, Davies and Richardson have created one of the screen's greatest villains, and his brazen scheming is a delight to watch. --Simon Leake --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: VHS Tape
This is the second part of the "House of Cards" trilogy by Michael Dobbs and the continuing story of Francis Urquhart who, now Prime Minister, is engaged in a political struggle with the newly crowned king, a thinly disguised version of Prince Charles, and in a romantic liaison with a woman whom his wife chose for him and who is almost his equal in cold-bloodedness though not in utter and absolute villainy. In this second work we are no longer taken in by the superficial charm of Urquhart. His cleverness has given way to brutality, rage and deceit, and he has lost our sympathy. We look with a certain coldness even on his moments of remorse and hauntings of conscience. He begins, for all his political triumphs, to show his essential weakness, and his wife is now emerging as the strength of their partnership. The work is well worth seeing despite some weakness of plot and is fascinating because of the unusual conflict between HRH and the PM though most of all because of the continued stupendous acting of Ian Richardson. It is, however, not quite up to the same level as "House of Cards," the first part of the trilogy.
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Format: VHS Tape
To enjoy this series, you need to like subtle, stabbing humor, a phenomenal cast, unique camera perspectives, and a great script. I saw this series when it first aired (more years ago than I care to remember!) and never forgot it. Now my whole family is hooked too, and we re-watch every few months just because it is so incredibly well done. I love the way the cast plays to each other, and it seems as though they chose the perfect person for each role. I just wish the BBC would release it on DVD before my tapes fail!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 38 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely Brilliant Sept. 3 2006
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This is the best of the three- the first two are great, the third is to be missed. The viewer is drawn into the villainy of an evil PM with Shakespeareian ease and expertise. I disagree with a comment of a prior reviewer that there is "no redeeming social value." In fact, the point - power corrupts, often irredeemably so- is probably too obvious to mention. Any failure of the subplots to tie together completely at the end is far outweighed by the brilliantly protrayed spectacle of evil.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Witty and Wicked July 20 1999
By Carl Mayes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
Ian Richardson returns as the ruthless yet compelling Francis Urquhart, a fictional albeit realistic (and relevant) Prime Minister of England. In this episode, Urquhart finds himself in a royal battle with a newly appointed King. The King (portrayed with finesse by actor Michael Kitchen) launches an assault on Urquhart's "hard line" policies and enlists the aid of Urquhart's political enemies to gather against him. Adding to the balance of forces is Mrs. Sarah Harding (played by Kitty Aldrige), a young and attractive media pollster who becomes Urquhart's "personal political consultant" and, eventually, his mistress. Sarah soon uncovers incriminating information that can destroy Urquhart. Will she use it against him? Or will she end up like Mattie Storin, Urquhart's previous mistress who died under mysterious circumstances?

Giving the entire episode a strong allusion to 'Macbeth' is Urquhart's occasional remorse for the brutality of his past, and the brutality he must inflict to gain/hold power. Speaking directly to the camera (and us, the viewer), he provides insight into his cunning yet tortured thought process. Diane Fletcher's role as Urquhart's wife, Elizabeth, completes the 'Macbeth' allusion. Elizabeth exhibits a Lady Macbeth ruthlessness that matches Urquhart's ambitions. Of the King, she tells her husband, "Bring him down, Francis. Make him fall."

But can Urquhart really bring down a king? Find out and be entertained along the way.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Top-Notch Acting, A Must See Production July 27 2001
By Peter Fennessy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
This is the second part of the "House of Cards" trilogy by Michael Dobbs and the continuing story of Francis Urquhart who, now Prime Minister, is engaged in a political struggle with the newly crowned king, a thinly disguised version of Prince Charles, and in a romantic liaison with a woman whom his wife chose for him and who is almost his equal in cold-bloodedness though not in utter and absolute villainy. In this second work we are no longer taken in by the superficial charm of Urquhart. His cleverness has given way to brutality, rage and deceit, and he has lost our sympathy. We look with a certain coldness even on his moments of remorse and hauntings of conscience. He begins, for all his political triumphs, to show his essential weakness, and his wife is now emerging as the strength of their partnership. The work is well worth seeing despite some weakness of plot and is fascinating because of the unusual conflict between HRH and the PM though most of all because of the continued stupendous acting of Ian Richardson. It is, however, not quite up to the same level as "House of Cards," the first part of the trilogy.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Best from the Brits Feb. 17 2003
By Quilterski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
To enjoy this series, you need to like subtle, stabbing humor, a phenomenal cast, unique camera perspectives, and a great script. I saw this series when it first aired (more years ago than I care to remember!) and never forgot it. Now my whole family is hooked too, and we re-watch every few months just because it is so incredibly well done. I love the way the cast plays to each other, and it seems as though they chose the perfect person for each role. I just wish the BBC would release it on DVD before my tapes fail!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Predecessor to the Kevin Spacey series. March 4 2013
By T. Neff - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is the predecessor to the Netflix series with Kevin Spacey, but darker. The British series from the early 90's is almost like a Greek tragedy. Reviews of the Netflix series generally do not credit this earlier series, which pioneered the direct to the audience commentary and has characters and plot line very similar.


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