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Wallis and Edward

2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Joely Richardson, David Westhead, Lisa Kay, Helena Michell, Stephen Campbell Moore
  • Directors: David Moore
  • Writers: Sarah Williams
  • Producers: Alan Harris, Charles Pattinson, Gary Tuck, George Faber, Mark Pybus
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: eOne Films
  • Release Date: May 1 2007
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 1.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NTM9ZW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #50,765 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

"Affecting and richly enjoyable" 'Radio Times'. He gave up the throne. What she gave up was perhaps even more painful.

Was American divorcée Wallis Simpson a scheming seductress bent on becoming Queen of England? Or did she get caught up in something she did not understand and could not stop? Based on extensive research, this new drama'starring Joely Richardson (Nip/Tuck, 101 Dalmatians) and Stephen Campbell Moore (A Good Woman, Bright Young Things)'marks the first time the famous love story has been told from her point of view.

When their love affair begins, Edward, Prince of Wales, is a charismatic playboy, and Wallis is married to her second husband, businessman Ernest Simpson. Because Edward has had a string of mistresses, his affair with Wallis does nothing more serious than raise a few aristocratic eyebrows. But once he becomes King, the establishment demands that he give up Wallis. His refusal to do so puts her in the middle of the bitter struggle between the King's heart and his duty to the royal family and the nation.

Also starring Miriam Margolyes (The Age of Innocence, Ladies in Lavender) and Margaret Tyzack (The Forsyte Saga, Match Point).

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE interview with writer Sarah Williams, production notes, production photo gallery, historical photo gallery, and cast filmographies.

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By George Jones TOP 500 REVIEWER on Dec 4 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
We've watched some excellent historical movies for English royalty, but this isn't one of them. It seems that much of the portrayal of Wallis and Edward was based on someone's imagination and not on reality. The emphasis on their sex life was overdone. It was very bland in every way. When we finished watching it, we threw it out. I wouldn't recommend it.
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By Richard TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Jan. 11 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I ordered the film because of Joely Richardson and was very disappointed in the whole film. It was choppy and the fake American accents were pathetic. I don't know why the director cut the storyline into such small, disjointed bites but, there you have it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 44 reviews
53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
A Totally New Point of View July 21 2007
By B. Eversberg - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This "Wallis and Edward" story is totally unlike any I have seen. I'm fascinated by the story, or I wouldn't be buying all the versions. I would have liked it to be longer, of course, with more detail, but the length (less than 2 hours) could be considered an advantage.

This version presents things the way Wallis may have viewed them. Very unusual is the idea that she didn't want to divorce Ernest Simpson at all, she considered they had a good "partnership," she was sure the future king (Edward)would eventually tire of her and move on to a new fling. This is in contrast with the 7 CD set by the BBC, which gives all the details of the parliamentary involvement and the legal issues, and which presented Wallis as thinking she could become Queen of England and setting out with a definite plan to totally captivate Crown Prince Edward and remove him from the influence of his other married paramours.

It's also totally different from the portrayal of Wallis and Edward in "Bertie and Elizabeth," which paints both Wallis and Edward in a very negative light, especially in comparison to Bertie and Elizabeth, well respected for their exemplary lifestyle and sacrifice and courage during WWII.

Since obviously there are details of the Wallis/Edward relationship and history that no one, perhaps not even the persons involved, can ever really know, the film would have to be labeled "based on history." But Joely is fabulous and the actor who portrays Edward is also quite good, although other performances have captured better the physical appearance, voice, and mannerisms of the famous lovers.

Summary: I highly recommend this film for aficionados of the British Royal Family.
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
A simply brilliant, informed, and entertaining production May 11 2007
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Format: DVD
Edward, Prince of Wales was first in line for the British throne when he first met Wallis Simpson and her husband Ernest. They were Americans visiting in England on business when Edward and Wallis began what seemed to be just another affair in Edward's long string of mistresses. When Edward became King of England after his father's death, his affair with Wallis escalated with her divorcee from her husband. Edward was adamant that he would married Wallis and make her his Queen, despite her status as a twice divorced American woman of common background. The scandal rocked all of England and resulted in the only time a British monarch would renounce his throne in order to marry the woman he loved. "Wallis & Edward" is a brilliant BBC production of a royal love that would change history on the eve of the second world war. Truly tour-de-force performances are provided by every member of the multiple cast. The costumes and sets are picture perfect. This 94-minute film is now available in a DVD format allowing for the addition of an interview with writer Sarah Williams, production notes, a production photo gallery, an historical photo galley, and cast filmographies. A simply brilliant, informed, and entertaining production, "Wallis & Edward" is enthusiastically recommended for personal, family, and community library DVD collections.
32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
One side of the story July 14 2009
By Jay Dickson - Published on
Format: DVD
Even today the British seem to have trouble figuring out how to present a balanced portrait of the 1936 abdication crisis. The best and most even-handed version by far remains the witty 1978 miniseries EDWARD AND MRS. SIMPSON, which is sympathetic to most of the parties involved and their torments over the split between the uncrowned Edward VIII's heart and his duties. More often than not, however, the future Duke and Duchess of Windsor are viewed as selfish monsters. The 2005 TV movie BERTIE AND ELIZABETH, for example, presented things from the point of view of his brother and successor George VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth, depicting Edward as a spoiled and callow child and his future wife Wallis Simpson as a brittle society harpy.

This lavishly produced two-hour television film takes the exactly opposite view. Edward here (as depicted by Stephen Moore Campbell, a dead ringer for the King) is an articulate defender of his inalienable human right to love freely, and Wallis (Joely Richardson, with a bizarrely harsh and unconvincing American accent that sounds nothing like the real woman from her appearances on television) wants nothing more than what's best for the British people and for her dear, dear second husband Ernest. In this account, she just can't seem to get Edward to leave her alone with his passionate intensity for her: he seems to be some sort of curse visited upon her. Meanwhile, Queen Mary (Margaret Tyzack, great as always at playing society gargoyles) and King George V (Clifford Rose) gnash their teeth at what they mistake to be Mrs. Simpson's incredible presumption, and Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin (Richard Johnson) and other Establishment monsters plot her annihilation. There's no talk of Wallis's scheming against Edward's other mistresses, and hardly any mention of her incessant social climbing; she just seems somehow to have blundered into the whole affair without a plan in the world. Still, it's nice for once to get things from the Windsors' point of view, even if it does almost as if they paid (from beyond the grave) to have this produced as propaganda. If anything this film is worth seeing just for the clothes: since both Wallis and Edward were famous clotheshorses, the costumes for this film are absolutely spectacular.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Sympathetic portrayal of one of the 20th century's great romances March 1 2009
By Z Hayes - Published on
Format: DVD
I grew up hearing stories of British royalty and their scandals as my mother is an avid fan of all things royalty and the epic romance of Edward, Prince of Wales and later King Edward VIII and Mrs Wallis Simpson was one which always fascinated me. Though I'm not a fan of the couple [because they were known Nazi sympathizers], I do find their romance fascinating, and used to wonder as to what kind of woman would so intoxicate a king as to persuade him to give up his throne.

This screen adaptation of their love story is told from Wallis' point of view and is quite a sympathetic portrayal of Wallis. Though I'm no expert on the history of this romance, I did wonder as to how much of this version was fact because the traditional versions seem to point a very accusatory finger at Wallis' role behind Edward's decision to abdicate his throne to be with the woman he loves.

What comes across clearly is Edward's [played magnificently by Stephen Campbell Moore] infatuation and obsession with Wallis [Joely Richardson, more recently seen in the tv series Nip and Tuck], an American woman who had been divorced and was married to American businessman Ernest Simpson [David Westhead]when the pair meet. Very soon, Edward, Prince of Wales who was famous for being a playboy [much to the detriment of his royal parents, King George and Queen Mary] takes Wallis as his lover, but their affair doesn't draw too much attention until he openly displays Wallis at official functions and shows his partiality towards her. When Ernest asks Wallis for a divorce [supposedly embroiled in an affair himself] after a civil meeting with Edward, all hell breaks loose as the British PM, Stanley Baldwin [Richard Johnson] and other influential people begin to realize the very real threat that Wallis poses to the monarchy should Edward decide to legalize their union by marriage once Wallis' second divorce comes through.

The specter of a marriage between Edward and Wallis at the time was deemed a catastrophe as Edward, who became King Edward VIII upon the death of his father, was the head of the Church of England, and which forbade remarriage for anyone whose divorced spouse was still living [and in this case, both of Wallis' ex' were still living].

The rest of the story tells of Edward's futile attempts at convincing the British government to grant a morganatic marriage. This version portrays Wallis as a woman prepared to sacrifice Edward for the sake of his throne, telling him NOT to abdicate, but has us believe that Edward was acting of his own volition in abdicating.

I found Edward's portrayal by Stephen Campbell Moore to be very credibly done and one of the most poignant scenes in the movie is when he is talking to his younger brother Bertie, who went on to become King George VI after Edward's abdication. Joely Richardson also does an admirable job as the much vilified Wallis, and this particular screen version of the romance portrays a very sexual side of the relationship between Edward and Wallis, which is made all the more believable by the authentic chemistry shared between the two leads. The sexual aspect of the pair's relationship is often ignored in other versions, but not here. One gathers that though Wallis was not endowed with great beauty in the traditional sense, often seeming almost manly, she nevertheless exuded a very potent sexual charisma that undoubtedly attracted Edward to her, among many other things.

All in all, "Wallis and Edward" may veer away from the traditional version of events but it nevertheless makes for riveting viewing.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The Abdication: Wallis' Point Of View Sept. 13 2009
By John D. Cofield - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Most depictions of the Abdication Crisis of 1936 have concentrated on Edward VIII, his brother George VI, or on the politicians like Baldwin and Churchill. Wallis Simpson has usually appeared as a necessary but not well depicted player in the drama. Now in Wallis and Edward we see her side of the story, or rather, the side as she would have preferred it to be depicted.

In the early 1930s Wallis Simpson was a happily married American woman living in London with her second husband Ernest. The Simpsons circulated on the very edge of Society, occasionally receiving invitations to parties where they might come in contact with the Prince of Wales. The Prince noticed her, and was attracted by her forthright and informal manner. Soon he was in love with her. For her part, Wallis was excited but troubled, especially when Ernest began to resent the Prince's attentions to her. Eventually the Simpsons filed for divorce, and the now King Edward VIII made it clear to the Prime Minister and his family that he intended to marry Wallis as soon as she was free. This precipitated a constitutional crisis and forced the King off his throne.

This version of the story glosses over Wallis and Edward's less attractive qualities: acquisitiveness, petulance, and above all ignorance. It is well worth viewing, however, for the very fine acting and beautiful costumes. Joely Richardson's Wallis is the first depiction I have seen that actually gets her Baltimore accent right, and Margaret Tyzack's Queen Mary captures that indomitable matriarch perfectly. There are a few historical missteps here and there, the most glaring being Churchill addressing the Prince of Wales as "Your Majesty" at King George V's Jubilee Ball.

You will enjoy Wallis and Edward, but if you want a more thorough (and much longer) chronicle of the Abdication Crisis you should also watch the magnificent Edward and Mrs. Simpson.