The year is 1648 and England is wilting under Civil War. King Charles I is beheaded and Oliver Cromwell runs the country. Cromwell’s legacy of ruling without a royal lineage does not last and Charles’ son, Charles II returns to be crowned in 1660. Through political and social upheaval, plague and the fire of London The Last King chronicles the 25-year reign of this Stuart ruler.

Sometimes known as the Merry Monarch, Charles II (Rufus Sewell) was as noted for his licentious lifestyle as his restoration of the monarchy.  His mistresses are legend, among them the countess Barbara Villiers (Helen McCrory) and the actress Nell Gwynne (Emma Pierson).  Charles navigates the political intrigue of his mistresses, friends, and  family, particularly Queen Henrietta Maria (Diana Rigg), a staunch Catholic. Without a legitimate heir, Charles must decide which is better for the country: his brother James, also a Catholic and next in line for the throne, or to name a Protestant successor to maintain the collective peace.  To find out what happens you can watch the movie or read your history book!

Full of lush scenery and beautiful costumes, The Last King illuminates a period in English history when America was a barely noticeable presence.

The Last King     2004       188 minutes  Not rated

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