Customer Reviews: Princes in the Tower
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on March 7, 2008
This DVD is pretty close to a dramatized documentary. If you are looking for a movie, this isn't for you. However, if you like historical documentaries, this is a fascintating retelling of the mystery of the Princes in the Tower and what became of the younger prince, Richard, who later emerged as the pretender to the throne.

Most of the story unfolds as a re-enactment of a supposed interrogation of Richard IV by the Tudors, specifically Margaret Beaufort and company.

This DVD would be more interesting to people very well versed in the War of the Roses and Henry VII's reign. If you aren't familiar with Henry VII's reign and the Perkins Warbeck affair, you might not enjoy it that much.
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on January 8, 2008
This DVD bored me. Sorry. The premise was interesting but I found as the DVD played on my attention was elsewhere. It should have been interesting as I have never heard of this story surrounding the Princes in the Tower. Read the synopsis and forget the DVD.
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on January 2, 2008
The 'troubled' hairpieces sitting on top of the young actors' heads on the cover should have told me something...

Besides having endless droning narration and, more offensively, employing 'moving cow' camera work (where the camera never stays still, in an attempt to demonstrate a kind of realism), this film has no script. Able actors, yes - but nothing else.

Look. If a producer won't spend the money, or even worse not notice that money wasn't spent to make his lead actor's hairpiece look realistic, and not like a wig bought at a Walmart's After Halloween sale, it's unlikely they will pay any more attention to their overall production, which in this case is abysmal.

Tantalizing history. Find it elsewhere.
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on April 4, 2008
The background surrounding the mystery of the Princes in the Tower is extremely complicated, and I find it amazing that the producers were able to do as fine job of the history as they did. While taking some dramatic license, the story is based on a well-documented historical meeting between the Bishop of Cambray and the Spanish Ambassador who visited the prisoner -- the so-called "Pretender" -- in the Tower after his capture by the first of the Tudors, Henry VII. As mentioned by another viewer, this is more a docu-drama, and those who are looking for a movie should look elsewhere. Nevertheless, if you like a good mystery, you'll find this absolutely riveting. If this production has a fault, it's that Henry VII, whose cold and calculating nature was well known even at the time, is portrayed too sympathetically. What is captured well is the darkness and horror of this period of the Wars of the Roses; the ruthless and predatory nature of the dominant personalities involved; and the terrifying predicament of the "Pretender." Much of what is portrayed is actually historical fact, including the torture that "Perkin Warbeck" was subjected to. The general thesis of this drama is powerful-- and daring, viz. History is written by the victors, and the Pretender may well have been who he said he was -- Richard, King of England, executed by the usurper, Henry VII.
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on January 11, 2014
This film focuses on the pretender Percy Warbeck (Mark Umbers) who during the reign of Henry VII (played by Paul Hilton) claimed to bne the younger of the two princes in the Tower of London imprisoned and murdered during the reign of Richard III: Prince Richard, now the rightful Richard IV.
Most of the film focuses on Warbeck.'s interrogation. And on his relationship with Queen Elizabeth of York, who if his claim is true would be the sister who sung him to sleep. The first half drags in parts. But is enlivened by the intelligent conversation of Dr. John Argentine (John Castle) and Bishop De Cambrai (Roger Hammond) .
The second part picks up pace and races to a spine chilling conclusion.
The main arch-villain of the piece is not Richard Third, the Duke of Buckingham or Henry Tudor, but Henry's mother Maragret Beufort presented as more evil than Lady Macbeth.
And whose role in the mystery would if I reveled it her be a major spoiler
But expect a major shock near the end.
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on April 24, 2008
This period movie revealed information to me of which I was unaware despite having been taught the history of England at school.

I thought it was well done and well acted and will keep it in my collection to watch again.
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on May 2, 2012
If one didn't know much about this period of history, one might think that this docu-drama represented historical truth, which it does not. It takes a speculation and presents it in a fairly entertaining way.

The "Princes in the Tower" were the unfortunate sons of Edward IV, the first Yorkist king, the eldest of whom should have succeeded him upon his death. However, Richard, the brother of Edward IV, took the opportunity to cast doubt upon the legitimacy of the children (Edward being an incorrigible rake), and establish himself to the throne (briefly) until defeated in battle by The Earl of Richmond, Henry Tudor, who became Henry VII (the father of Henry VIII).

The question this work attempts to answer is: Who killed the children? and Was Perkin Warbeck one of these children? For the sake of drama, the docu-drama would have you think there was some doubt that Perkin was an impostor. Historically, it seems that there was little to no doubt even from the outset that Perkin was indeed merely a tool of the Yorkist sympathizers. The more interesting and still unanswered question of history is who killed the Princes? Most think it was Richard, as he had the most to gain. However, it is possible, if unlikely, that Henry Tudor had them killed. His mother was indeed married to Lord Stanley, who had access at the highest levels until his defection at Bosworth Field, when Henry won the crown by conquest. This possible if unlikely theory is then taken straight over the top by postulating that Margaret Beaufort (Henry VII's mother) kept the adult "princes" in some hidden horror chamber, reduced to tongueless beasts.

So, I found this work unsatisfying, historically, even though several performances were quite good: the ever more than capable John Castle as Dr. Argentine, the Bishop of Cambrai, and the portrayal of Henry Tudor. Further, the production was marred by various stylistic quirks I found unappealing, although on the whole it was fairly straight forward. I also found the very odd appearance of Elizabeth of York (Henry's wife, Perkin's alleged sister)to be jarringly bizarre.

So - I wouldn't foist this off on those new to the history of the Wars of the Roses, but it is an entertaining enough diversion if one is familiar with that territory
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on July 22, 2008
This movie offers an interesting take on what might have happened to the Princess. It is part historical fact and part fantacy since we will never know for sure what really happened. I enjoyed the movie but would not purchase it again.
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on October 15, 2010
This is an excellent movie for anyone interested in the Wars of the Roses, Richard III and particular in the pretenders that aggravated the reign of Henry VII. This movie is about the most interesting of them, Perkin Warbeck (who may very well have been the younger prince). The movie focuses on how the princes in the tower may have met their end, if indeed they died there, and who may have been responsible. The end is a little convoluted, and not true to actual history. But all in all a good movie on the subject, telling a plausible story.
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on July 20, 2012
PRINCES IN THE TOWER--remember in THE TOWER OF LONDON when Basil Rathbone orders Boris Karloff to kill his two nephews--one of which is Donnie Dunnigan? This is an attempt to solve the "mystery" of the mysterious crime.(It was Richard the Third or if one prefers Vincent Price, Lawrence Olivier, Ian Holm, Patrick Troughton, Basil Rathbone and Boris Karloff) Could have been a contender but succumbs to unwarranted crudity, silly political correctness(feminism in the most inappropriate of places) and just dopiness near the end
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