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Edward II (1991) - movie overview

Edward II (1991)

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Plot Description

Release Date
Mar 20, 1992 (USA)
DVD Release Date
 R1: Jun 14, 2005

MPAA Rating

Running Time
1 hour, 30 minutes

Country UK

Studio BBC, British Screen, New Line Cinema, Working Title Films

More info on

Other Titles
• Edward II

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Genre: Drama, Gay/Lesbian, Betrayal, Racy, Biography, Period Piece, Tragedy

Plot: In EDWARD II, director Derek Jarman revisits Christopher Marlowe's play of bloodletting and royal intrigue, bringing the homosexual theme to the forefront. Steven Waddington stars as Prince Edward II, who upsets England's noblemen by sharing his throne with his commoner lover, Gaveston (Andrew Tiernan). Tilda Swinton costars as Edward's scorned wife, Queen Isabella, whose seething jealousy and hatred lead her into the arms of Mortimer (Nigel Terry), a power-hungry nobleman who seeks to topple Edward's reign. Jarman focuses on the passionate romance between Edward and Gaveston in this tragic tale of desire and persecution. Sparsely designed, Jarman's film combines period and modern costumes to evoke a timeless quality--Isabella is dressed like a 20th-century upper-crust socialite, while Edward and Gaveston wear simplistic period attire. A series of mazelike stone corridors and open rooms theatrically convey the castle where the royals fight for the throne. Jarman cuts between the Edwardian castle and more modern images of gay rights marches, creating a subversive commentary on the ever-present struggle for acceptance and equality. The film also features vocalist Annie Lennox singing Cole Porter's "Every Time We Say Goodbye."

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 Directed by
Derek Jarman
Caravaggio, Jubilee, Wittgenstein
 Written by
Ken Butler
Steve Clark-Hall
Love and Death on Long Island, The Winter Guest, Margaret's Museum
Tilda Swinton
Vanilla Sky, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Constantine
Annie Lennox
Revolution, Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, Basements
Steven Waddington
Sleepy Hollow, The Last of the Mohicans, The Hole
Andrew Tiernan
Snow White: A Tale of Terror, Playing God, The Bunker
John Lynch
Sliding Doors, The Secret Garden, The Secret of Roan Inish
Dudley Sutton
The Pink Panther Strikes Again, The Football Factory, Orlando
 Music By
Simon Fisher-Turner
Croupier, Nadja, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

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