The Abdication

  • Film
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Cold Scandinavian obsession drives Queen Christina to relinquish her throne, convert to Catholicism and seek the warmer climate of Rome, where she pours out her heart to Cardinal Peter Finch ('It seems strange to call somebody father'). As an exploration of private spaces in the lives of public people (who, through circumstance or choice, are committed to celibacy), psychological insight is too often sacrificed for the sake of verbal swordplay. It ends up skirting perilously close to superior cliché ('Are we not the world's strangest couple?'). At least Garbo, playing the same role in Mamoulian's Queen Christina, conspired with her audience against the rest of the film. One wishes for something like that here: it all seems so remote.

Release details

Duration: 103 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Anthony Harvey
Screenwriter: Ruth Wolff
Cast: Michael Dunn
Paul Rogers
Cyril Cusack
Liv Ullmann
Kathleen Byron
Graham Crowden
Peter Finch
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