The Abdication

Last updated

The Abdication
The Abdication FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Anthony Harvey
Written by Ruth Wolff
Starring Peter Finch
Liv Ullmann
Music by Nino Rota
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • 3 October 1974 (1974-10-03)
Running time
103 minutes

The Abdication is a 1974 British historical drama film directed by Anthony Harvey and starring Peter Finch, Liv Ullmann, Cyril Cusack, Graham Crowden and James Faulkner. The film's score was composed by Nino Rota.


The plot of the film has the abdicated Christina, Queen of Sweden arriving in the Vatican and falling in love with a cardinal.


Related Research Articles

Liv Ullmann Norwegian actress and film director

Liv Johanne Ullmann is a Norwegian actress and film director. Recognised as one of the greatest European actresses, Ullmann is known as the muse and frequent partner of filmmaker Ingmar Bergman.

Christina, Queen of Sweden 17th-century queen of Sweden

Christina, a member of the House of Vasa, was Queen of Sweden from 1632 until her abdication in 1654. She succeeded her father Gustavus Adolphus upon his death at the Battle of Lützen, but began ruling the Swedish Empire when she reached the age of 18.

Peter Finch English-Australian actor

Frederick George Peter Ingle Finch was an English born Australian actor. He is best remembered for his role as crazed television anchorman Howard Beale in the 1976 film Network, which earned him a posthumous Academy Award for Best Actor, his fifth Best Actor award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and a Best Actor award from the Golden Globes.

The year 1973 in film involved some significant events.

<i>Anna Christie</i> 1921 play written by Eugene ONeill

Anna Christie is a play in four acts by Eugene O'Neill. It made its Broadway debut at the Vanderbilt Theatre on November 2, 1921. O'Neill received the 1922 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for this work. According to historian Paul Avrich the original of Anna Christie was Christine Ell, an anarchist cook in Greenwich Village, who was the lover of Edward Mylius the English radical who libeled the British king George V.

Cyril Cusack Irish actor

Cyril James Cusack was an Irish actor. He appeared in numerous films and television productions in a career lasting more than 70 years. In 2020, he was listed at number 14 on The Irish Times' list of Ireland's greatest film actors.

Graham Crowden Scottish actor

Clement Graham Crowden was a Scottish actor. He was best known for his many appearances in television comedy dramas and films, often playing eccentric "offbeat" scientist, teacher and doctor characters.

<i>Monsignor Quixote</i>

Monsignor Quixote is a novel by Graham Greene, published in 1982. The book is a pastiche of the classic 1605 and 1615 Spanish novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes with many moments of comedy, but also offers reflection on matters such as life after a dictatorship, Communism, and the Catholic faith.

Sinéad Moira Cusack is an Irish stage, television and film actress. Her first acting roles were at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, before moving to London in 1969 to join the Royal Shakespeare Company. She has won the Critics' Circle and Evening Standard Awards for her performance in Sebastian Barry's Our Lady of Sligo.

Niamh Cusack is an Irish actress. Born to a family with deep roots in the performing arts, Cusack has been involved as a performer since a young age. She has served with the UK's two leading theatre companies, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre and has performed in a long line of major stage productions since the mid-1980s. She has made numerous appearances on television including a long-running role as Dr. Kate Rowan in the UK series Heartbeat (1992–1995) which made her a household name and favourite. She has often worked as a voice actress on radio, and her film credits include a starring role in In Love with Alma Cogan (2011).

Sorcha Cusack is an Irish television and stage actress. Her numerous television credits include playing the title role in Jane Eyre (1973), Casualty (1994–1997), Coronation Street (2008) and Father Brown (2013–present).

<i>The White Devil</i>

The White Devil is a tragedy by English playwright John Webster. According to Webster's own preface to the 1612 Quarto Edition, "To the Reader", the play's first performance in that year was a notorious failure; he complained that the play was acted in the dead of winter before an unreceptive audience. The play's complexity, sophistication, and satire made it a poor fit with the repertory of Queen Anne's Men at the Red Bull Theatre, where it was first performed. It was successfully revived in 1630 by Queen Henrietta's Men at the Cockpit Theatre and published again in 1631.

Anthony Harvey was a British filmmaker who began his career as a teenage actor, was a film editor in the 1950s and moved into directing in the mid-1960s. Harvey had fifteen film credits as an editor, and he directed thirteen films. The second film that Harvey directed, The Lion in Winter (1968), earned him a Directors Guild of America Award and a nomination for the Academy Award for Directing. He died in November 2017 at the age of 87. Harvey's career is also notable for his recurring work with a number of leading actors and directors including Terry-Thomas, Peter Sellers, Katharine Hepburn, Peter O'Toole, Richard Attenborough, Liv Ullman, Sam Waterston, Nick Nolte, the Boulting Brothers, Anthony Asquith, Bryan Forbes and Stanley Kubrick.

<i>The Homecoming</i> (film)

The Homecoming is a 1973 British-American drama film directed by Peter Hall based on the play of the same name by Harold Pinter. The film was produced by Ely Landau for the American Film Theatre, which presented thirteen film adaptations of plays in the United States from 1973 to 1975. The film was screened at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival, but was not entered into the main competition.

Yanna McIntosh, sometimes credited as Yanna MacIntosh, is a Jamaican-born Canadian television, movie and theatrical actress.

Carmen Cusack

Carmen Cusack is an American musical theater actress and singer. She is known for playing Elphaba in the Chicago, North American Tour and Melbourne productions of the musical Wicked, as well as for originating the role of Alice Murphy in the Broadway musical, Bright Star.

<i>Esther Waters</i> (film)

Esther Waters is a 1948 British drama film directed by Ian Dalrymple and Peter Proud and starring Kathleen Ryan, Dirk Bogarde, and Cyril Cusack. It is an adaptation of the 1894 novel Esther Waters by George Moore.

Trader Faulkner Australian actor

Ronald "Trader" Faulkner was an Australian actor, raconteur and flamenco dancer, best known for his work in the UK on the stage and television.

<i>I Remember Mama</i> (play)

I Remember Mama is a play by John Van Druten based on Kathryn Forbes' novel Mama's Bank Account, which was loosely based on her childhood. It is a study of family life centered on a Norwegian immigrant family in San Francisco early in the 20th century. The play premiered on Broadway on October 19, 1944 at the Music Box Theatre in New York City, where it ran for 713 performances; it was produced by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. The cast included Mady Christians, Oscar Homolka, and Joan Tetzel. Marlon Brando played a minor role, making his Broadway debut as Nels.

This is a chronology of notable fictional and semi-fictional stories that are set, either wholly or partially, in Vatican City, Rome. The years listed on the left refer to the year of release of the works.


    The screenplay is by Ruth Wolff, based on her play.

    The play, THE ABDICATION, premiered at the Theatre Royal Bath, England, produced by the Bristol Old Vic. It starred Gemma Jones as Queen Christina and David Neal as Cardinal Azzolino. It was directed by Val May.

    The play has subsequently been produced around the globe in many languages with particularly notable productions in Montreal, in French, in 1998 by the Theatre de Quatre Sous, and in Italy, in a production which opened in Florence and toured all of Italy, ending in Rome for an extended run. The Italian production (under the title CONFESSIONE SCANDALOSA) starred Edmunda Aldini and Duilio Del Prete and was directed by Giuseppe Patroni Griffi,set design by Mario Ceroli, costumes by Gabriella Pescucci. Wolff's article about the opening of this production, WE OPEN IN FLORENCE, appeared in the New York Times Magazine, October, 1977. The American Premiere of THE ABDICATION was presented by the Eureka Theatre, San Francisco, 1979.

    The play was first published in THE NEW WOMEN'S THEATRE, edited by Honor Moore, Random House 1975. It is published in NOTABLE WOMEN -- AND A FEW EQUALLY NOTABLE MEN, Nine Plays by Ruth Wolff, Broadway Play Publishing, 2010. Acting Edition is published by Dramatic Publishing, which also handles stock and amateur performance rights.