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The story of the ill-fated second wife of the English king Henry VIII, whose marriage to the Henry led to momentous political and religious turmoil in England. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In those years when the cinema had no voice it was truly an international medium. Stories from other lands could be brought to the screen by the movie industry of another country. One of Greta Garbo's sound films for MGM had her playing an English lady. And here Emil Jannings whose inability to speak the King's English and forced him to return to Germany plays that most English of monarchs Henry VIII. In this Jannings joined a great pantheon of English speaking players like Charles Laughton, Montagu Love, Charlton Heston, and Robert Shaw who all played the monarch who changed wives like some change underwear.
Jannings is an impressive looking and acting Henry VIII. A man whose pleasures mingled with his impassioned search for a woman to bear him a male heir and the politics of Europe. Henny Polen whose career spanned five decades in the German cinema plays the luckless Anne.
By the way another reviewer thought her not sexy enough to leave a king panting. In fact director Ernst Lubitsch must have seen Tudor era portraits of Anne because Polen look a lot like Boleyn.
The Lubitsch touch which everyone talks about in his talkie Hollywood films is not here as such. But Lubitsch was quite detailed in his sets and costumes in what must have cost many marks in post war Germany. They look very much Tudor England and compare them with those of Warner Brothers The Prince And The Pauper where Montagu Love was Henry VIII.
This is worth a look.
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