I would understand if you told me you’d never heard of The Lion in Winter, I don’t think time has been very good to this story (despite it being the first major film role for Anthony Hopkins and the film debut of Timothy Dalton). The film is an adaptation of the 1966 Broadway play of the same name and tells the story of the personal and political troubles of Henry II of England, his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine and their three (surviving) sons: Richard, Geoffrey and John during Christmas in the year 1183.
I watched this film many times several years ago (I had a fascination with medieval history) and I remember the music stood out to me as being particularly good. That’s really no surprise because it was composed by John Barry, perhaps best known for composing the music to 11 James Bond films. However, while I acknowledge the beauty of this score, I don’t think it should’ve won the Oscar; that honor should have gone to Jerry Goldsmith for Planet of the Apes. We all know that film is a classic, and it still pains me that Goldsmith only received the one Oscar during his long career.
Barry’s win (I should add) is also an example of that rare occasion where the winner is not present to accept the Oscar. Most of the time (in my experience), if a nominee is not available, they usually send someone who can accept in their place. In this case, however, Gregory Peck, one of the presenters, chose to accept on Barry’s behalf. I can’t help but wonder what kept Barry away from the Oscars. I know that if *I* ever won an Academy Award and missed the chance to accept it, it would eat me alive for years to come! (But then again, I don’t see that happening to me any time soon). But I digress…here’s to The Lion in Winter and its Oscar win for Best Original Score!
For more Oscar winners, check out the page here: Let’s Go to the Oscars
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