Magic Lantern Video & Book Store

Kings & Queens Film Festival

1883 coronation of Tsar Alexandr III and Empress Maria Fyoderovna             brief essay

books about
kings & queens on film


selected films about royalty
Great Britain
Europe & Russia
Latin America
Africa & Middle East
Asia & Pacific Islands

"It is good to be king!"
Mel Brooks, in "History of The World, Part 1" [1981]

          This online festival of films is about the very real and disappearing monarchies of the world, and not about fairy tales like "Cinderella" and "Sleeping Beauty" and "The Lion King". Some of these selected films are objective documentaries, some are objective narrative films – 'what the king did during the war' – and some are attempts to show the personal workings of the distinct individuals and relationships within the various monarchy establishments.
All choices here are subjective; suggestions for other films or books are welcome.

Books About Kings & Queens On Film {if any}

L i n k s {if any}

Selected Films About Royalty

Fifties Newsreels Royalty  
"The Unforgettable Fifties: The Newsreels - Volume 5: Royalty" [1996]
Marathon Music & Video b&w VHS [1996] out of prodn/used
not listed on IMDb
Royal Inquest TV series  "Royal Inquest" TV docuseries [Discovery/TLC April 2009]
Six hour-long episodes for The Learning Channel; subjects include: Diana's thieving butler; the intruder at Buckingham Palace; Princess Grace's car accident; a bloodbath in Nepal; a shooting accident in Spain; and the remains of the Romanovs
Hosted by David Shih; written by Jennifer Silverman
T.L.C. widescreen color DVD [undated] 2 disks for $7.10
bare credits at IMDbofficial movie site

Kings & Queens of Great Britain

King Arthur Page at Spirit of America Bookstore

G.E. Nordell's "King John Project"

Kings & Queens of England book by Nigel Cawthorne  "The Kings and Queens of England: A Royal History
From Egbert To Elizabeth II" [2012]
by Nigel Cawthorne

Arcturus Publng 9¾x7¼ hardcover [7/2012] out of print/used
Kings & Queens of England book by Robert J. Parker  "The Kings & Queens of England" [2014]
by Robert J. Parker

Amberley 9¼x6½ pb [2/2014] for $11.29
·            ·

"The Lion In Winter" []

"Edward II" (2005) Starring Steven Waddington, Andrew Tieman, John Lynch

'Shakespeare On Film' / Henry IV & V & VI Plays

The Tudors, Henry VIII & His Wives

"Anna Boleyn" [1920] Starring Henny Porten, Emil Jannings, Paul Hartmann DVD /tt0010962/

"When Knighthood Was in Flower" (1922) /tt0013750/

"The Private Life of Henry VIII" (1933) with Charles Laughton /tt0024473/

"The Sword and the Rose" aka "When Knighthood Was in Flower" (1953) /tt0046387/

"A Man for All Seasons" (1957) (TV) /tt1667059/

"A Man for All Seasons" (1966) Played by Robert Shaw /tt0060665/

"Anne of The Thousand Days" (1969) with Richard Burton /tt0064030/

"The Six Wives of Henry VIII" (1970) TV episodes /tt0066714/

"Carry on Henry VIII" (1971) /tt0066894/

"Henry VIII and His Six Wives" (1972) /tt0070170/

"The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: Henry VIII" [1979] /tt0080860/

"A Man for All Seasons" (1988) (TV) /tt0095578/

"Henry VIII" (1991) (TV) /tt0253121/

"The Wives of Henry VIII" [2002] Starring David Starkey DVD

"Henry VIII" (2003) /tt0382737/

"The Other Boleyn Girl" (2003) (TV) /tt0357392/

"The Madness of Henry VIII" (2006) (TV) /tt0497406/

"The Other Boleyn Girl" [2008] Natalie Portman DVD /tt0467200/

"Henry VIII: Mind of a Tyrant" [2009] /tt1381359/

"The Tudors" [2010] /tt0758790/

Mark Twain's 1881 novel involves Prince Edward, son of England's King Henry VIII, who became boy king
Edward VI (at age 9); the Errol Flynn film is included here, while several others are on
Spirit of America Bookstore's Mark Twain [1835-1910] Page

"The Prince and the Pauper" [1937] starring Errol Flynn, Claude Rains, Henry Stephenson

Queen Elizabeth I
Likewise with 'Queen Bess', the bulk of the many, many movies about her are coded at the
Elizabeth I Section of Magic Lantern's 'Shakespeare On Film' Festival

"Elizabeth" [1998] portrayed by Cate Blanchett

sequel "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" [2007]
portrayed by Cate Blanchett, with Geoffrey Rush & Clive Owen

"Lady Jane (1986) Helena Bonham Carter (debut), Cary Elwes (Actor), Trevor Nunn (Director)

"Edward and Mary: The Unknown Tudors" (2002) /tt0483967/

"Mary of Scotland" [] starring young and exquisite Katherine Hepburn, Frank Baker, Robert H. Barrat

"The Twisted Tale of Bloody Mary" (2008) /tt1255905/

"Mad King George"

"The Duchess" (2008) Ralph Fiennes (Actor), Simon McBurney (Actor), Saul Dibb (Dir) : DVD

"The Young Victoria" [] Emily Blunt DVD

"Victoria & Albert" [] Starring Victoria Hamilton, Jonathan Firth, James Callis DVD

"Great Queens of England: Queen Victoria" (2006)

"Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown" [1997] Starring Judi Dench, Billy Connolly, Geoffrey Palmer, Antony Sher

"The Lost Prince" [] Miranda Richardson DVD

"The King and The Queen Returning From Westminster" [1902] /tt0364461/
depicting Edward VII and Queen Alexandra

"Edward The King" aka "Edward The Seventh" (2008 TV) /tt0072925/
starring Timothy West, Annette Crosbie, Robert Hardy

Oscar-winner "The King's Speech" []
The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy" (Nov 26, 2010) by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi

"Edward & Mrs. Simpson" [] Edward Fox DVD

"Wallis & Edward" [] ~ Joely Richardson DVD

Madonna's "W.E." []

"Bertie and Elizabeth: The Reluctant Royals - The Story of King George VI & Queen Elizabeth" [2005] DVD
Starring James Wilby, Juliet Aubrey, Alan Bates and Eileen Atkins

"The Queen Mother: A Royal Century" [2001] DVD

Helen Mirren as "The Queen" []

"Days of Majesty / Queen Elizabeth II" (2007) DVD

"National Geographic: The Last Royals" (2005) DVD

"Windsor Castle: A Royal Year" (2006) Starring Barbara Flynn, Michael Ball, Arnaud Bamberger\DVD

Monarchy Complete Collection DVD box set  "Monarchy Complete Collection: Royal Rule From The Saxons To Queen Victoria"
DVD Box Set [Channel 4 UK Oct 2004-Dec 2007]

captivating 17-part series documenting a 1,500-year history of power, passion and glory
bare series credits at IMDbofficial Channel 4 series homepage
Athena U.K. edition widescreen DVD [8/2010] 5 disks {run time 776 min.} for $33.49
contains 17 episodes of 50 minutes each: Episode 1: A Nation State; Episode 2: Aengla Land; Episode 3: Conquest; Episode 4: Dynasty; Episode 5: A United Kingdom; Episode 6: Death of A Dynasty; Episode 7: The Crown Imperial; Episode 8: Henry VIII, King and Emperor; Episode 9: The Shadow of The King; Episode 10: The Stuart Succession; Episode 11: Oliver Cromwell, The King Killer; Episode 12: The Return of The King; Episode 13: The Glorious Revolution; Episode 14: Rule Britannia; Episode 15: Empire; Episode 16: Survival; and Episode 17: The House of Windsor
the Acorn releases are described as the first 11 episodes edited down to ten {run time 317 + 239 mins.}
Acorn Media widescreen color DVDs [9/2006] 6 episodes on 2 disks for $26.99
Acorn Media Set 2 widescreen color DVDs [10/2007] 6 episodes on 2 disks for $26.99

"Queen and Country" 4-part documentary [PBS-TV July 2012] /tt2233972/
Produced & directed by Alastair Layzell; featuring Trevor McDonald & Queen Elizabeth II

"The Audience": Helen Mirren reprises her Academy Award-winning role as Queen Elizabeth II in the highly-anticipated
West End production, recorded earlier in 2013 and broadcast as part of National Theatre Live

Charles, Diana, William, Harry, and Camilla

"Diana - Her True Story Starring Serena Scott Thomas, David Threlfall, Elizabeth Garvie (2005)

"Diana: Life Through a Lens (2007) Starring Princess Diana and Jayne Fincher DVD

"Princess Diana: The Uncrowned Queen Starring Kate Courtney (2001)

"King Charles Queen Camilla (2005)

"Charles & Camilla - Whatever Love Means Starring Laurence Fox, Olivia Poulet, Simon Wilson (2006) DVD

"Diana" [Oct 2013?]
Announced 5/2012: Naveen Andrews is added to cast as Dr. Hasnat Khan; actress Naomi Watts already set to
portray Princess Diana; Oliver Hirschbiegel’s biopic written by Stephen Jeffreys will follow the last two years
of Diana's life, before her fatal car crash in 1997 • latest info at IMDb
watch 8/2013 official trailer [2:16] at YouTube

Kings & Queens of Europe

"Queen Christina" [1933] starring Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, directed by Rouben Mamoulian

"Fall of Eagles" [BBC-TV 1974] /B000EMGF2Q/
In the latter half of the XIXth Century, three ruling houses dominated Europe: the Hapsburgs of Austria-Hungary, the Romanovs of Russia, and Hohenzollerns of Germany. Centuries of despotism, a continued lack of social reform, and the advent of the devastating First World War caused the vultures of revolution to start circling. This 13-part epic drama features an all-star cast including Patrick Stewart, Gemma Jones, John Rhys-Davies, Gayle Hunnicutt

"The Prince and Me" [2004] starring Julia Stiles /tt0337697/
Fictional prince of Denmark gets tired of royal pressures, runs off to college in America, and falls for a commoner.

Kings & Queens & Emperors of France

"Madame Du Barry" hand-tinted silent short [Pathé Frères 1912] /tt0433658/

"Madame Du Barry" [Fox Dec 1917] /tt0008241/ starring Theda Bara {this film is considered lost}

"Madame DuBarry" silent feature [1919] /tt0002423/
Directed by Ernst Lubitsch; starring Pola Negri, Emil Jannings, Harry Liedtke

"Madame Du Barry" [1934] /tt0025443/ starring Dolores del Rio & Reginald Owen

"Marie Antoinette" [1938] /tt0030418/ starring Norma Shearer, Tyrone Power, John Barrymore

"If I Were King"  [Paramount Sept 1938]
If I Were King poster  While Paris is under seige (in 1463), the king goes undercover to track down traitors. When a poet-rogue kills one high-level traitor, the king asks him to replace the dead man as Grand Constable of France. Co-produced & directed by Frank Lloyd; script by Preston Sturges, based on the 1901 Broadway play by Justin Huntly McCarthy; starring Ronald Colman, Basil Rathbone, Frances Dee, Ellen Drew, C.V. France, Sidney Toler & William Farnum; 4 Oscar noms
Universal b&w VHS [8/98] out of prodn/used
full credits from IMDb

"Desiree" [1954] starring Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Merle Oberon

"Madame du Barry" color feature [France Oct 1954] /tt0047201/
starring Daniel Ivernel, Gianna Maria Canale, Jean Paradis, Marguerite Pierry, Isabelle Pia, Martine Carol

"Marie-Antoinette" TV movie [TF-1 France Dec 1975] /tt0276694/

"History of The World, Part 1" [1981] by Mel Brooks and his stock company = MBrooks History/world Blu-ray

"Queen Margot (La Reine Margot)" [1994]
Based on a novel by Alexandre Dumas concerning the events behind the infamous Massacre of St. Bartholomew
in 16th-century France; produced by Claude Berri, directed by Patrice Chereau; starring Isabelle Adjani,
Daniel Auteuil, Virna Lisi, Vincent Pérez

"Ridicule" [France 1996] /B0000DZ3C6/
A provincial nobleman invades the corrupt, sycophantic court of King Louis XVI and with the help of his own sharp tongue, the coaching of a retired marquis, and the love of the marquis's beautiful, nature-loving daughter hopes to win funds for his project to drain the fever-infested swamps of his homeland.

"Marie Antoinette" documentary film [PBS-TV Sept 2006]
Written & directed by David Grubin; starring Philippe Altier, Antoine de Baecque, Caroline Bernard

"Marie Antoinette" [Oct 2006] /tt0422720/ directed by Sofia Coppola
"The Making of Marie Antoinette" short [Feb 2007] /tt0969295/

"Marie-Antoinette" TV movie [Canada Dec 2006] /tt0475982/

Tsars & Tsarinas of Russia

"The Scarlet Empress" (1934) Marlene Dietrich, directed by Josef von Sternberg

"Fanny & Alexander" [1982] directed by Ingmar Bergman

movies about Rasputin

"Catherine the Great" (2001) Starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paul McGann, Ian Richardson DVD

"National Geographic: Russia's Last Tsar" (2010)

Kings & Queens of Germany

"Mad Ludwig"

Kings & Queens of Greece



"The Trojan Women" [] Katharine Hepburn, Vanessa Redgrave, director Mihalis Kakogiannis

Kings & Queens of Rome & Italy & Ptolemy Egypt

WS "Caesar"

"Cleopatra" [Universal 1934] directed by Cecil B. DeMille, starring Claudette Colbert, Warren William & Henry Wilcoxon 75th Anniversary Edition

"Cleopatra" [] starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison

"Antony and Cleopatra (2004) Starring Richard Johnson, Janet Suzman, Rosemary McHale

"Two Nights With Cleopatra (1964) Sophia Loren , Alberto Sordi , Mario Mattoli (Director)

"Cleopatra" [] Starring Billy Zane, Timothy Dalton, Rupert Graves, Leonor Varela

Kings & Queens of Spain & Portugal

Ferdinand & Isabella & Christopher Columbus

"Mad Love" (2001) Pilar López de Ayala (Actor), Daniele Liotti (Actor), Vicente Aranda (Director)
bodice-ripper version of the true story of Isabella's daughter Joan

The Principality of Monaco

"Grace Kelly, American Princess" [2004] starring Grace Kelly and Princess Grace of Monaco

"Biography - Grace Kelly: Hollywood Princess" starring Grace Kelly [2006]

"Grace of Monaco" [The Weinstein Company Spring 2014?]
Announced 8/2012: Pierre-Ange Le Pogam & Udaf Chopra are producing; Olivier Dahan is directing from a script by Arash Amel;
stars include Nicole Kidman {as Grace Kelly}, Paz Vega {as diva Maria Callas}, Tim Roth, Parker Posey, Frank Langella & Milo Ventimiglia;
film is set in 1962 when the city-state/tax haven of Monaco got into a heated dispute with France's Charles De Gaulle who gave Prince Rainier
six months to change his tax laws; the actress/royal maneuvered behind the scenes to save Monaco from a coup;
added 9/2013: TWC bumped the film's release to Spring 2014 • latest info at IMDb

Kings & Queens of Africa & The Middle East

"Biography: Queen Noor" (2005) DVD

"ABC News Nightline: King Abdullah"
Barbara Walters' exclusive interview with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia

Kings & Queens of Ancient Egypt

"Das Weib des Pharao (The Loves of Pharaoh)"
[E.F.A. USA Feb 1922, Germany March 1922; restoration Sept 2011]
The Loves of Pharaoh / Wife of Pharoah 1922 silent by Ernst Lubitsch  Complete print long thought lost; restored in 2005 to 100 minutes, including original tinting, from German, Russian & Italian elements by Alpha Omega Digital GmbH. The King of Ethiopia offers his daughter to the Egyptian Pharoah in hope of a peaceful alliance; but Pharoah Amenes prefers the Ethiopian slave girl Theonis; the humiliated Ethiopians start a war and Amenes is killed in battle; several endings exist, including a happy romantic ending for American audiences. Directed by Ernst Lubitsch; written by Norbert Falk & Hanns Kräly; starring Emil Jannings, Dagny Servaes, Harry Liedtke, Paul Wegener, Paul Biensfeldt, Friedrich Kühne, Albert Bassermann, Lyda Salmonova
DVD/Blu-ray not yet available • full credits at IMDbmovie entry at Wikipedia
official movie site (with German-language trailer)
German-language restoration info (with videos)

"Land of The Pharoahs" [1955] /tt0048283/
Produced & directed by Howard Hawks; co-written by William Faulkner, Harry Kurnitz & Harold Jack Bloom

"Nefertiti Resurrected" (2003) Starring Tamara Tunie, Joann Fletcher, Jason Yates

"National Geographic: Nefertiti and the Lost Dynasty" [2007)
starring Hebat Abbas, Ayat Abbass, Mohamed Ahmed, Hany Amer DVD

Kings & Queens of Ancient Israel

"King David" with Richard Gere

"David & Bathsheba" [] with Gregory Peck

"The Bible: Solomon" (2000) Starring Ben Cross, Anouk Aimée, Vivica A. Fox, Max von Sydow DVD

"Story of David" (2009) Starring Timothy Bottoms and Jane Seymour DVD

"Solomon & Sheba [] Yul Brynner DVD

"Esther and the King (1960) Joan Collins (Actor), Richard Egan (Actor), Mario Bava (Director), Raoul Walsh (Director)

Other Ancient Kingdoms

"One Night With The King" (2006) Tiffany Dupont (Actor), Luke Goss (Actor), Michael O. Sajbel

"The Queen of Sheba [Italy] Leonora Ruffo (Actor), Gino Cervi (Actor), Pietro Francisci (Director)

Kings & Queens of Asia & The Pacific Islands

Kings & Queens of China

"The First Emperor"

"The Last Emperor"

Royalty of Japan

recent movie on Hirohito?

Kings & Queens of Thailand

"Anna and the King of Siam" [] starring Irene Dunne

"The King & I" /tt0049408/

"Anna and The King" [1999] /tt0166485/

"The King & I" /tt0160429/

Kings & Queens of Hawai'i

King Kamehameha

Duke Kahanamoku

"American Experience: Hawaii's Last Queen" (2006) Starring David McCullough and Anna Deavere Smith

Royalty of Latin America

Because artifacts quickly disintegrate in the tropical jungle environment, not much of the Maya, Aztec, Toltec or Inca civilizations are preserved for study. Most movies on this subject are documentaries about carved stones or mummies or long-lost cities, but we will include dramatic and documentary films about those cultures – albeit academic or popular conjecture – as they are located.

"Kings of The Sun" [Mirisch / United Artists 1963] /tt0057225/
A Mayan ruler in pre-Columbian Yucatan leads his people across the Gulf of Mexico by boat and into the American Southwest, where they are attacked
and pursued by Toltec invaders. A noble Indian chief comes to their aid, but then is betrayed and captured to use as a sacrifice to the gods.
Directed by J. Lee Thompson; starring Yul Brynner, George Chakiris, Shirley Anne Field, Richard Basehart

The history of Mexico includes the Second Mexican Empire of Emperor Maximilian and Empress Carlota. They arrived from Europe in April 1864 to an
environment rife with internal conflicts as well as beset by rebels led by Benito Juárez. The French withdrew their army, Carlota fled to Europe seeking help, and Maximilian was captured and executed by firing squad in June 1867. The empire's 3-year existence was dramatic, and several films have been made on the subject.

"Juarez and Maximillian" [1934] /tt0140300/

"Juarez" [1939] /tt0031516/
starring Bette Davis (as Empress Carlotta von Hapsburg}, Paul Muni, Brian Aherne

"The Mad Empress" [1939] /tt0032740/

"Maximilian von Mexiko" 3-hour TV movie [Germany 1970] /tt0379886/

Kings & Queens of Other Places

"A King In New York"
[Chaplin/Attica U.K. Sept 1957; USA release 1973]
King in New York video/DVD  Charlie Chaplin plays an exiled king who is suspected of Communist symapathies and ordered to testify before a panel similar to the House Un-American Activities Committee. Produced, written, directed & original music by and starring Charlie Chaplin; co-starring Maxine Audley, Jerry Desmonde, Oliver Johnston, Dawn Addams, Sid James, Joan Ingram & Michael Chaplin
Warner double bill DVD with "A Woman of Paris" [3/2004] 2 disks for $8.99
Fox b&w VHS [1989] for $2.89 {sic}
full credits from IMDb

"The Man Who Would Be King" [] Rudyard Kipling [1865-1936]

"King of Hearts" [France 1966]
aka "Le Roi de Coeur"
King of Hearts movie  The inmates of an insane asylum get loose, but they may be more sane than the outside world. A delightful, surreal, farcical anti-war fairytale. Co-produced & directed by Philippe de Broca; starring Alan Bates, Geneviève Bujold, Jean-Claude Brialy, Adolfo Celi & Micheline Presle
MGM/UA letterbox DVD [4/2001] with Eng/Span/Fr subtitles for $16.99
MGM/UA widescreen VHS [11/2001] with English subtitles for $16.99
full credits from IMDb

Visit Our Other Online Film Festival Pages
Afro-American Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Atomic Film Festival at Spirit of America Bookstore
Auto-Racing Movies Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Ayn Rand Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Baseball Movies Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Beatnik Film Festival at Maison d'Être Philosophy Bookstore
'Biker Movies' Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Boxing Movies Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Circus Film Festival at Spirit of America Bookstore
Classic Movies & Cinema Masters Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Culver City, California Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Cyber Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Economics Film Festival at Maison d'Être Philosophy Bookstore
Education Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Existentialist Film Festival at Maison d'Être Philosophy Bookstore
Films Noir Festival at BlackHat Mystery Bookstore
Football Movies Film Festival at Magic Lantern
47 Rônin / Chüshingura Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Gangster Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Hollywood Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Horse-Racing Movies Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Human Rights Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Magic Lantern Video & Book Store's Kings & Queens / Royalty Film Festival   « « you are here
'Knights of Yore' Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Labor Movement Films Festival at Spirit of America Bookstore
Movie Musicals Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Muscle-Head Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Native American Film Festival at 'Readers of The Purple Sage' Bookstore
Oscar-Winning Western Movies Page at 'Readers of the Purple Sage' Bookstore
Philosophy Film Festival at Maison d'Être Philosophy Bookstore
Pirate Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Political Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Railroad Film Festival at Spirit of America Bookstore
'Rat Race' Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Road Movies Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Rock Music Film Festival at Spirit of America Bookstore
Samurai Films at Magic Lantern
'Shakespeare On Film' Festival Pages at Magic Lantern
Sherlock Holmes Film Festival at BlackHat Mystery Bookstore
Sports Film Festival Pages at Magic Lantern
War [& Anti-War] Film Festival Pages at Magic Lantern
Western Movies Film Festival at 'Readers of the Purple Sage' Bookstore

... and others on the Online Film Festivals Index Page

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