Remembering Peter O’Toole (1932 – 2013)

Peter O'Toole
I’m pretty sure that anyone that has turned on the TV or picked up a newspaper today has learned that the World has lost a great actor of film and stage with the passing yesterday of Peter Seamus O’Toole.

Perhaps it had been his length of time as an actor that made me feel as if I knew him but when I read the news yesterday it really affected me, it hit me hard, as if I had lost a friend. I sat down and thought about all of the great roles Peter O’Toole had obtained and some of the not so great but no matter what character he was portraying he seemed to be having a fantastic time, there was that mischievous twinkle in his eyes. So today I felt it would be best if I shared with you some of my favorite films from his career, those that I think about most often when talking about Peter O’Toole…some choices might be more obvious than others.

When I first began working at the Razorback Theater I picked up a saying whenever we would learn of someone of great stature passing away in the entertainment industry and I continue to use it to this day, a sign of respect on the loss of such a person.

“Dim the lights in the auditorium.”

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
[Via] Movie History

The Lion in Winter (1968)

[Via] NTJ

Man of La Mancha (1972)

[Via] MCT

My Favorite Year (1982)

[Via] WarnerVOD

Club Paradise (1986)

[Via] WarnerVod

The Lion In Winter (1968)

The Lion In Winter - IMP Awards
When Director Anthony Harvey and playwright James Goldman (The actual playwright for the Theater production) teamed up to deliver a theatrical film adaptation of the Lion in Winter I wonder if they had an inkling of just how powerful a film they would end up creating. Upon all of that talent behind the camera they secured the likes of Peter O’Toole, Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins, Timothy Dalton, John Castle, Nigel Terry, and Nigel Stock.

[Via] NTJ

If you have not had the pleasure of catching this classic film on Turner Classic Movies or on DVD you owe it to yourself to hunt it down immediately. The story deals with the Christmas of 1183 at the court of King Henry II (O’Toole) where plans within plans are hatched as to who shall next claim the throne. Henry wants his youngest son Prince John (Terry) to be the successor to the crown but his estranged Wife Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine (Hepburn) who has been locked away in Salisbury Tower at Windsor Castle favors to have their oldest child Prince Richard (Hopkins) to be heir. To complicate matters King Philip II of France (Dalton) is in attendance during the Holiday, the son and successor of Louis VII of France, Eleanor’s ex-husband, Philip II has given his half-sister Alais, who is currently Henry’s mistress, to the future heir, and demands either a wedding or the return of her dowry.

I’ll go no further as to avoid spoilers but I must add that you just thought Clark Griswold had it bad during the Family gathering of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation…way until you get a load of King Henry’s kin.

The Lion in Winter was nominated for seven Academy Awards and ended up winning three of them for Best Actress (Hepburn), Best Adapted Screenplay (Goldman), and Best Music Score (John Barry). The dialogue could be made an actual physical meal in itself it is so…dense and meaty.


Thanks to IMP Awards for the awesome poster you see up top! Make sure to follow the link to see it in full size as well as the variant posters that were available back in 1968.