Charles II: The Power and the Passion (The Last King) (2003)

 

 

Starring: 

Rufus Sewell .... King Charles II

Rupert Graves .... George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, 1 of 5 in the Cabal

Helen McCrory .... Barbara Villiers, Countess of Castlemaine, bore Charles II 6 children

Christian Coulson .... James, Duke of Monmouth, illegitimate son of Charles II

Ian McDiarmid .... Sir Edward Hyde, adviser to the King

Shirley Henderson .... Catherine of Braganza, childless wife of Charles II

Martin Freeman .... Lord Shaftesbury, one of the 5 politicians in the powerful Cabal

Charlie Creed-Miles .... James, Duke of York who became James II

Anne-Marie Duff .... Minette

Shaun Dingwall .... Earl of Danby, investigator of the Popish Plot

Emma Pierson .... Nell Gwynn, mistress to the king

David Bradley .... Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey

Diana Rigg .... Queen Henrietta Maria, mother of Charles II

Alice Patten .... Lady Frances Stewart

Garry Cooper .... General Monck, the Governor of Scotland who marches on London

Thierry Perkins-Lyautey .... Louis XIV

Cyrille Thouvenin .... Monsieur

Martin Turner .... Charles I

James Babson

Nick Bagnall .... Hopkins

Sean Biggerstaff .... Henry, Duke of Gloucester

Predrag Bjelac .... Portuguese Courtier (as Pedja Bjelac)

Vitezslav Bouchner .... Victim #3

Adam Bradley .... Shrewsbury's Second

Sarah Cameron .... Young girl

Brian Caspe .... Doctor #2

Robert East .... Arlington

Zuzana Hodkova .... Lady in Waiting to Queen Henrietta Maria

Ryan James .... Courtier

Dorian Lough .... Clifford

Eddie Marsan .... Titus Oates

Curtis Mathew .... Victim #2

Thomas Q. Napper .... Sir Peter Lely

Ryan Nelson .... Young Monmouth

Jan Nemesovsky .... Victim #1

Michael Pober .... Tutor

Richard Rowlands .... Sir Roger Palmer

Joel Sugerman .... Antwerp servant

Jochum ten Haaf .... William of Orange

Mlanie Thierry .... Louise de Kroualle

Tabitha Wady .... Anne Hyde

Peter Wight .... Ormonde

Andrew Woodall .... Essex

Simon Woods .... Captain Churchill

 

This was a mini series for the A&E network (Arts and Entertainment). 

The series makes for a long movie, but my wife and I enjoyed it.  The intermixture of the politics of king versus Parliament and the juicy sex life of King Charles II makes for an interesting drama. 

Cromwell and the Parliamentary forces almost put an early end to the absolute power of monarchs in England in the English Civil War.  The lack of any Parliamentary leader strong enough to replace Cromwell and prevent anarchy, led to the comeback of the son of Charles I, as Charles II.  Charles II takes a nasty revenge on those who ordered the execution of his father, Charles I. 

Charles II foresaw that his weak successor, James II, his brother, would lead to the destruction of all that Charles held dear and the resurgence of the Parliamentary forces.  True to Charles II's vision, James the II did not last long, being overthrown by the Parliamentary forces which backed the reign of William and Mary (monarch who would proved more amenable to Parliament).  Charles II was the last of the true absolute monarchs in England. 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.

 

 

 

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