Benedict Cumberbatch & More Star in THE HOLLOW CROWN on PBS's Great Performances
Ben Power (Associate Director of The National Theatre), who previously wrote the screenplays for Richard II and Henry V, has adapted the cycle for the screen.
Henry VI Part 1 (December 11, 9 p.m.)
The King is dead and England is in crisis. War rages with the French and divisions within the English court threaten the crown. Young Henry VI causes outrage by marrying Margaret of Anjou, forcing an unwanted truce; the scene is set for Civil War.
Henry VI Part 2 (December 18, 9 p.m.)
Bitter rivalries erupt into the Wars of the Roses. The feeble King Henry is overshadowed by Queen Margaret and her faction of Lancastrian Lords, his reign further undermined by disaffected nobles supporting the House of York. Battle and bloodshed ensues and the Yorkists triumph. Edward IV takes the thrown, but his youngest brother Richard has his eyes firmly on the crown.
Richard III (December 25, 9 p.m.)
Richard, the most notorious of Shakespeare's kings, manipulates and betrays his way through the court on a bloodthirsty and ruthless path to the throne. But after Richard's defeat at the battle of Bosworth Field, the Houses of Lancaster and York-the red rose and the white-are united, bringing to an end the Wars of the Roses and long tumultuous period of civil strife.
The Hollow Crown: The Wars of The Roses is available from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment on both Blu-ray™ and DVD, and includes deleted scenes and a making-of featurette.
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Major funding for GREAT PERFORMANCES is provided by the Irene Diamond Fund, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, The Joseph & Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Rosalind P. Walter, The Agnes Varis Trust, The Starr Foundation, The Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Ellen and James S. Marcus, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, the Lenore Hecht Foundation, The Abra Prentice Foundation, Jody and John Arnhold, and PBS.
Photo credit: Robert Viglasky 2015 Carnival Film Television Ltd