I saw this on PBS some years ago and it made me unbearably sad. All those uptight royals more concerned with what people would think about one of the children being something other than "normal" than about how their sweet son felt. Their treatment of him was nothing short of barbaric. All that money, all the access in the world to experts of every kind of medical problem, and nobody would actually help the child. No wonder they've been such bad rulers.
On the DVD case the notes state that "Prince John is loved for his frankness by his grandfather, the ailing King Edward II". Edward II would certainly be ailing since he was born in 1384. Prince John's grandfather was Edward VII. This careless attitude about historical fact permeates the film. Johnny's eldest brother Edward is completely absent. His brother George is amazingly articulate which is startlingly since he had a severe stammer. It is this George who is the king in "The King's Speech". So the film is not good history. Also I thought the mixture of fantasy scenes, i.e. Johnny imagining his Russian cousins visiting during the war, did not add pathos but just seemed inappropriately ludicrous.
I'm lukewarm on this movie. Too long. Made by BBC for a British audience. I don't know my British history well enough. Movie didn't make an attempt to teach me who all the characters were. It was explained in an earlier comment here that I wish I had read before watching the movie. I like Bill Nighy a lot, but never figured out who he was supposed to be.
Young Johnny's family wrote him off out of shame and the cultural rigours of the times, but Johnny never gave up. Historical events are accurately portrayed, acting and production values are just great, wonderful way to spend an evening - watching this movie!
This is such a sad but so well made film! I loved every minute!
Interesting story. A little long, but well done.
This BBC production is based on the true story of young Prince John who died in 1919 at the age of thirteen. To give this some perspective--he was the youngest brother of Abdicating Edward and Stuttering Albert (Bertie),(Albert would become King George Vl- watch "The King's Speech")-and he was Queen Elizabeth ll's uncle. He had learning disabilities and suffered from seizures and spent most of his short life separated from his family and out of the public view.The time period covered in this mini-series would be roughly the same as the first two seasons of "Downton Abbey. Interesting material and production.
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