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Wallis & Edward (2005)

Joely Richardson , Stephen Campbell Moore , Dave Moore  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Joely Richardson, Stephen Campbell Moore, David Westhead, Lisa Kay, Helena Michell
  • Directors: Dave Moore
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: ACORN MEDIA
  • DVD Release Date: May 1, 2007
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NTM9ZW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,851 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Wallis & Edward" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

"Affecting and richly enjoyable" —Radio Times

He gave up the throne. What she gave up was perhaps even more painful.

Was American divorcée Wallis Simpson a scheming seductress bent on becoming Queen of England? Or did she get caught up in something she did not understand and could not stop? Based on extensive research, this new drama—starring Joely Richardson (Nip/Tuck, 101 Dalmatians) and Stephen Campbell Moore (A Good Woman, Bright Young Things)—marks the first time the famous love story has been told from her point of view.

When their love affair begins, Edward, Prince of Wales, is a charismatic playboy, and Wallis is married to her second husband, businessman Ernest Simpson. Because Edward has had a string of mistresses, his affair with Wallis does nothing more serious than raise a few aristocratic eyebrows. But once he becomes King, the establishment demands that he give up Wallis. His refusal to do so puts her in the middle of the bitter struggle between the King’s heart and his duty to the royal family and the nation.

Also starring Miriam Margolyes (The Age of Innocence, Ladies in Lavender) and Margaret Tyzack (The Forsyte Saga, Match Point).

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE interview with writer Sarah Williams, production notes, production photo gallery, historical photo gallery, and cast filmographies.

Wallis Simpson was the been-around-the-block American siren who lured a King of England from his throne, forever changing history. Or was she? The layered and gripping Wallis & Edward a lushly produced British film, dares to look at the infamous affair from the point of view of Mrs. Simpson, and rather sympathetically at that. Simpson, played with an enticing wry humor by the splendid Joely Richardson, is quite happy with her second husband, Ernest, when we meet them at the beginning of the story. Mutual friends introduce them to the Prince of Wales, a callow, rather feckless playboy (played by Stephen Campbell Moore), who becomes transfixed by Mrs. Simpson's refusal to fawn over him. And the chase is on. Richardson is a wonder in the role, bringing sympathy and anguish to the choices faced by her character. If some of the plot points seem a bit hard to swallow--that, say, Ernest, after having a man-to-man with the prince, is the one who encourages a divorce and essentially hands over his wife to Edward--the overall execution is delightful, and, no small feat for a story so well known, completely involving until the end. The behind-the-scenes scheming of the monarchy and those invested in its continuation is sometimes chilling, but always entertaining. At a gala ball, where the Simpsons have arrived as reluctant guests, Edward's mother, the Queen--so laden in jewels virtually none of her hair, neck, or shoulders is visible--sniffs at the vulgarity of the American who dares to wear "rubies and emeralds." There'll always be an England--and there'll always be a fascination with the affair that brought down a King. --A.T. Hurley

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Totally New Point of View July 21, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This "Wallis and Edward" story is totally unlike any I have seen. I'm fascinated by the story, or I wouldn't be buying all the versions. I would have liked it to be longer, of course, with more detail, but the length (less than 2 hours) could be considered an advantage.

This version presents things the way Wallis may have viewed them. Very unusual is the idea that she didn't want to divorce Ernest Simpson at all, she considered they had a good "partnership," she was sure the future king (Edward)would eventually tire of her and move on to a new fling. This is in contrast with the 7 CD set by the BBC, which gives all the details of the parliamentary involvement and the legal issues, and which presented Wallis as thinking she could become Queen of England and setting out with a definite plan to totally captivate Crown Prince Edward and remove him from the influence of his other married paramours.

It's also totally different from the portrayal of Wallis and Edward in "Bertie and Elizabeth," which paints both Wallis and Edward in a very negative light, especially in comparison to Bertie and Elizabeth, well respected for their exemplary lifestyle and sacrifice and courage during WWII.

Since obviously there are details of the Wallis/Edward relationship and history that no one, perhaps not even the persons involved, can ever really know, the film would have to be labeled "based on history." But Joely is fabulous and the actor who portrays Edward is also quite good, although other performances have captured better the physical appearance, voice, and mannerisms of the famous lovers.

Summary: I highly recommend this film for aficionados of the British Royal Family.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Edward, Prince of Wales was first in line for the British throne when he first met Wallis Simpson and her husband Ernest. They were Americans visiting in England on business when Edward and Wallis began what seemed to be just another affair in Edward's long string of mistresses. When Edward became King of England after his father's death, his affair with Wallis escalated with her divorcee from her husband. Edward was adamant that he would married Wallis and make her his Queen, despite her status as a twice divorced American woman of common background. The scandal rocked all of England and resulted in the only time a British monarch would renounce his throne in order to marry the woman he loved. "Wallis & Edward" is a brilliant BBC production of a royal love that would change history on the eve of the second world war. Truly tour-de-force performances are provided by every member of the multiple cast. The costumes and sets are picture perfect. This 94-minute film is now available in a DVD format allowing for the addition of an interview with writer Sarah Williams, production notes, a production photo gallery, an historical photo galley, and cast filmographies. A simply brilliant, informed, and entertaining production, "Wallis & Edward" is enthusiastically recommended for personal, family, and community library DVD collections.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One side of the story July 14, 2009
Even today the British seem to have trouble figuring out how to present a balanced portrait of the 1936 abdication crisis. The best and most even-handed version by far remains the witty 1978 miniseries EDWARD AND MRS. SIMPSON, which is sympathetic to most of the parties involved and their torments over the split between the uncrowned Edward VIII's heart and his duties. More often than not, however, the future Duke and Duchess of Windsor are viewed as selfish monsters. The 2005 TV movie BERTIE AND ELIZABETH, for example, presented things from the point of view of his brother and successor George VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth, depicting Edward as a spoiled and callow child and his future wife Wallis Simpson as a brittle society harpy.

This lavishly produced two-hour television film takes the exactly opposite view. Edward here (as depicted by Stephen Moore Campbell, a dead ringer for the King) is an articulate defender of his inalienable human right to love freely, and Wallis (Joely Richardson, with a bizarrely harsh and unconvincing American accent that sounds nothing like the real woman from her appearances on television) wants nothing more than what's best for the British people and for her dear, dear second husband Ernest. In this account, she just can't seem to get Edward to leave her alone with his passionate intensity for her: he seems to be some sort of curse visited upon her. Meanwhile, Queen Mary (Margaret Tyzack, great as always at playing society gargoyles) and King George V (Clifford Rose) gnash their teeth at what they mistake to be Mrs. Simpson's incredible presumption, and Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin (Richard Johnson) and other Establishment monsters plot her annihilation.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I grew up hearing stories of British royalty and their scandals as my mother is an avid fan of all things royalty and the epic romance of Edward, Prince of Wales and later King Edward VIII and Mrs Wallis Simpson was one which always fascinated me. Though I'm not a fan of the couple [because they were known Nazi sympathizers], I do find their romance fascinating, and used to wonder as to what kind of woman would so intoxicate a king as to persuade him to give up his throne.

This screen adaptation of their love story is told from Wallis' point of view and is quite a sympathetic portrayal of Wallis. Though I'm no expert on the history of this romance, I did wonder as to how much of this version was fact because the traditional versions seem to point a very accusatory finger at Wallis' role behind Edward's decision to abdicate his throne to be with the woman he loves.

What comes across clearly is Edward's [played magnificently by Stephen Campbell Moore] infatuation and obsession with Wallis [Joely Richardson, more recently seen in the tv series Nip and Tuck], an American woman who had been divorced and was married to American businessman Ernest Simpson [David Westhead]when the pair meet. Very soon, Edward, Prince of Wales who was famous for being a playboy [much to the detriment of his royal parents, King George and Queen Mary] takes Wallis as his lover, but their affair doesn't draw too much attention until he openly displays Wallis at official functions and shows his partiality towards her.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars The telling moment for Wallis was when her husband tells her that he...
If the writer is accurate the re-telling of the Wallis & Edward affair affords the viewer the realization that the principles were silly, directionless persons - taking and using... Read more
Published 23 days ago by Sam Spade
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank you -- I am very happy with my purchase from you.
Published 1 month ago by Linda Covolo Jordan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Enjoyed very much
Published 1 month ago by James G. Kimmitz
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Cinisterella
3.0 out of 5 stars OK LET TALK
Published 6 months ago by verlin knox
4.0 out of 5 stars A Visual Escape
If you ever wondered why Edward, who could have any single woman in England for a wife, would give up his throne for Wallis Simpson, an American and divorcee at that, this film... Read more
Published 6 months ago by L. M. Keefer
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing...
It was refreshing to see this tale told from a completely different perspective. From other "bios" I've read/seen about Edward, he comes off as a womanizer, and completely... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Grandma of 12
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fro historians
Want to know the story about Wally and Edward.. here is one version and , an entertaining one at that.
Published 9 months ago by Nina Jessee
3.0 out of 5 stars What's true?
Is this really true or just a trumped up drama. What really was telling the lack of attention to detail such as a car driving away on the RIGHT side of the road. Duh! Read more
Published 9 months ago by Dennis Scholl
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!
The condition of the case and disk was perfect. This was a great movie and any Royal Family buff will enjoy the movie.
Published 9 months ago by di3697
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