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The Last King

Rufus Sewell , Rupert Graves    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 76.89
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The Last King + Anne Of The Thousand Days / Mary, Queen Of Scots
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Most helpful customer reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant movie, worth the viewing of a king June 1 2004
"The Last King" showcases the often-disputed kingship of Charles the Second. This movie is made with the introspection and lyricism found on the stage while bringing to that the professional look and feel of the big screen. But most impressively, this A&E production is fair to the universe of difficulty in deciphering Charles II. He was a difficult person to comprehend, as we all are. And to determine what to put to film can prove a tough task. Often, it is too easy for filmmakers when trying to organize a cohesive representation of a large figure (i.e., Charles II, Napoleon, Joan of Arc) to rely on one point-of-view, to romanticize or to take complete liberty in order to make a life understandable. This film, on the other hand, shows its audience a Charles that is both sex-crazed and loving, patient yet quick to anger, lazy in some politics, yet highly motivated in others, selfish, yet selfless, and overall a sort of complicated man. The acting is superb from everyone, as many reviewers have already noted. Rufus Sewell is absolutely brilliant as Charles II, Helen McCrory turns Barbara Villiers, the Countess of Castlemaine and mistress to Charles II, into a wonder. And you can't help fall in love with the queen, Catherine of Braganza, played by Shirley Henderson. Her religious devotion (which in lesser hands would have been turned into a quaint trait.) is actually admired by watching this film. Too often films that have religion as a major underpinning rely on standardized cliches.) But this movie does not. It is as difficult as the story must be while keeping it comprehensible. One reviewer claimed that you must read about Charles II before watching the movie. I disagree. Though the movie can be enhanced by knowing just a simple bit about him, ([...]) you don't need a primer. It is easy to follow. Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top notch drama from BBC and A&E. March 25 2004
There is a reason why the 16th and 17th centuries will always remain a popular choice as a subject of TV and film dramas. With its topics relating to the rights of royal succession, familial conflicts, religious strife, morality, greed and a monarchy-in-chaos (and the occasional bodice ripping), these stories will always whet the appetite of viewers.
"The Last King" is no exception. Like the stories based on Henry VIII and his wives, Elizabeth I and Marie Antoinette, the story of King Charles II of England is filled with high drama and conflict that provides ample entertainment to viewers. For the sake of oversimplifying, I would liken it to a cross between the film "Elizabeth" (starring Cate Blanchett) and the TV miniseries "Tom Jones" (starring Max Beesley).
When the story begins we find Charles in dire straits - he is in exile from his home country; his father, Charles I, has been murdered; and Oliver Cromwell now 'governs' England. Upon the death of Cromwell, Charles is invited back to rule England where he finds his country torn apart between Catholics and Protestants. Throughout his rule, Charles II earned a reputation as the 'merry monarch' - a man who loves art and music and counts gambling and women among his vices. He collects many mistresses throughout his lifetime - most notably Barbara Villiers (Helen McCrory) and the actress Nell Gwynn (Emma Pierson) - and has a childless marriage with the Portuguese princess Catherine de Braganza (Shirley Henderson). While he remains Protestant, his wife is Catholic and his younger brother (and heir) James converts to Catholicism, which only fuels the fire with the predominantly Protestant Parliament.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A BBC Masterpiece!! April 10 2004
I was channel surfing one night and happened to come across The Last King on A&E and have been obsessed with it ever since. This is truly a masterpiece!!
The casting is wonderful. The acting is brilliant. The costumes are gorgeous. The writing is captivating. Every time I watched it, it was just as wonderful as the time before. I opted to buy the DVD because I felt cheated when I heard it was a 4 hour drama. A&E only had it as a 3 hour. What wonders did I mess out on?!
There is nothing about this series that I didn't like. It had the right balance of politics to help understand what a King's duties are-without making it dry and boring. There's enough tasteful romance in it to keep it racy without being obscene. I was impressed with the historical accuracy. You CAN make a period drama interesting without compromising it's integrity.
I cannot say enough about this drama. It is perhaps the best movie I have ever watched!!
My only question: Did the king love the queeen? Is that the reason he stayed married to her?
I can't wait until I get my copy so I can watch it again!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FABULOUS May 3 2004
This film (T.V. program) is fabulous (and I don't use the "F" word lightly). The production is wonderful as are the sets and recreation of the era. MOST OF ALL the actors are superb! However, the true stand out, as far as acting is concerned, is Diana Rigg--when she is on the screen all others are simply blown off of the screen! That is some accomplishment since she is surrounded by great actors that are really into their roles.
This production is a treasure. Buy it!
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars doltdolt
The last King is more about the last time he and his friend had sex and when they would have more sex and with whom than what his monarchy was about. Read more
Published on May 17 2012 by doltdolt
4.0 out of 5 stars The Last King - The good and not good
I will start off by saying that I would recommend this dvd to anyone who is interested in the life of King Charles II, as it is a lavish and interesting production. Read more
Published on July 17 2004 by Lola Latte
4.0 out of 5 stars great- but not long enough
great period piece of a my fav english period-- wish it was longer- so many characters of the king's court and time were so interesting to study, it would take many hours to... Read more
Published on July 9 2004 by Cpea
3.0 out of 5 stars What was A&E thinking?
Other reviews have treated this DVD fairly, both in its good and bad points. The worst of all, as has been noted, is that for some foolish reason, A&E cut an hour out of the... Read more
Published on June 23 2004 by Sean C
1.0 out of 5 stars Simply dreadful
Wonderful costumes and sets and fine actors cannot help this miniseries. It was torture to watch. The story of this king is compelling and deserves better treatment, but the... Read more
Published on June 9 2004 by "cplogo"
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular! Breathtaking! Mesmerizing!
I just finished sitting through the whole four hour version of this film. It was breathtakingly beautifully filmed and the story was totally mesmerizing. Read more
Published on April 12 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant period drama, this version has been cut
Brilliant period drama as only the BBC can produce. 17th century England and the return of Charles II to the throne after the English Civil War. Fabulous costumes and sets. Read more
Published on March 28 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars The Merry Monarch
With a life full of lust and intrigue, Charles II (1630-1685) makes a good subject for this A&E/BBC production, which is lavish and wonderful to look at. Read more
Published on March 22 2004 by Alejandra Vernon
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