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The White Queen: Series 1 DVD

Various (TV), 2013

£17.49

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Film Details

Directed by Various (TV)

Produced in 2013

Main Language - English

Countries & Regions - British Film

MovieMail's Review

A vibrant tale of love, loss, seduction and deception in the Wars of the Roses, told from the perspective of its women. It's balanced between soap opera and epic saga, writes Milo Wakelin.

The BBC’s answer to Game of Thrones has no need for dragons: set in 1464, this ten-part adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s account of the Wars of the Roses features enough historical intrigue and fire-breathing drama without resorting to fantasy (though a little old-fashioned witchcraft always livens things up).

Rebecca Ferguson plays Elizabeth Woodville, a beautiful Lancastrian widow whose chance meeting with Edward IV (Max Irons) leads to an unlikely marriage. The unexpected ascent of the White Queen causes a schism in The House of York between Edward and his scheming cousin, Lord Warwick (James Frain).

The Red Queen, Margaret Beaufort (Amanda Hale), mother of Henry Tudor, seizes the opportunity and conspires with Warwick, in the hope of putting her son on the throne. Warwick uses his youngest daughter, Anne Neville as an additional pawn against The House of York by wedding her to the Edward of Lancaster.
 
Irons and Frain will set pulses racing as dashing hero and saturnine villain, respectively, but, fittingly, the actresses dominate: Janet McTeer is superb as Jacquetta, Elizabeth’s mother, whose ambition for her daughter veers into supernatural territory, Hale is fearsome as an equally fanatical matriach, and Ferguson is a serene, ethereally beautiful presence as the central character around which everything revolves.
 
Shot on location in Belgium, the film's sets, costumes and makeup are lavish (if, like the characters’ teeth and nails, perhaps a little too good to be true). As a historical account, The White Queen would be at home in Downton Abbey; its compelling story is more concerned with the sweep of history than the detail.
 
The ‘Kings and Queens’ school of history may have fallen out of fashion in the classroom, but retelling the Wars of the Roses from the perspective of the women involved brings fresh interest to the subject, and this big budget series strikes an engrossing balance between soap opera and epic saga.

Milo Wakelin on 25th July 2013
Author of 106 reviews

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Film Description

Based on Philippa Gregory's bestselling The Cousins' War series, The White Queen is a rich tale of love and loss, seduction and deception, betrayal and murder, vibrantly woven through the stories of three different yet equally driven women - Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort and Anne Neville.

The year is 1464 and England has been at war for nine years over who is the rightful King of England. This is a war between two sides of the same family, The House of York and The House of Lancaster in The War of the Roses. The House of York's young and devilishly handsome Edward IV (Max Irons) is crowned King of England with the help of the master manipulator Lord Warwick (James Frain). But when Edward falls in love and secretly marries a beautiful young widow, the commoner Elizabeth Woodville (newcomer Rebecca Ferguson), Warwick's plan for control over the English throne comes crashing down around him. Frustrated by the new Queen's influence, he will stop at nothing to maintain his grip on the crown. Meanwhile, Elizabeth's most fierce adversary is the staunchly loyal Lancastrian Margaret Beaufort (Amanda Hale) - a damaged and highly religious woman who would willingly lay down her life to see her young son Henry Tudor take the throne.

DVD Details

Certificate: 15

Publisher: Anchor Bay

Length: 600 mins

Format: DVD Colour

Region: 2

Released: 19th August 2013

Cat No: ABD1129

DVD Extras

  • 4 discs
  • A Conversation with Philippa Gregory
  • The Making of The White Queen.

Film Stills

The White Queen: Series 1 The White Queen: Series 1 The White Queen: Series 1 The White Queen: Series 1 The White Queen: Series 1 The White Queen: Series 1

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