7.2/10
2,725
31 user 25 critic

The Private Life of Henry VIII. (1933)

King Henry VIII marries five more times after his divorce from his first wife Catherine of Aragon.

Director:

Writers:

(story and dialogue) (as Lajos Biro), (story and dialogue) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Rembrandt (1936)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

This character study joins the painter at the height of his fame in 1642, when his adored wife suddenly dies and his work takes a dark, sardonic turn that offends his patrons. By 1656, he ... See full summary »

Director: Alexander Korda
Stars: Charles Laughton, Gertrude Lawrence, Elsa Lanchester
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A depiction of the love/hate relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The biography of the pioneering French microbiologist who helped revolutionize agriculture and medicine.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Paul Muni, Josephine Hutchinson, Anita Louise
The Champ I (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Alcoholic ex-boxer struggles to provide a good living for his son.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Wallace Beery, Jackie Cooper, Irene Rich
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Straightforward biography of the Russian empress, up to her assumption of the throne.

Directors: Paul Czinner, Alexander Korda
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Elisabeth Bergner, Flora Robson
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The adoptive father of a young woman is horrified to learn she plans to marry the son of the man who accidentally killed her mother years before.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Leslie Howard
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

What do women want? Don Juan is aging. He's arrived secretly in Seville after a 20 year absence. His wife Dolores, whom he hasn't lived with in five years, still loves him. He refuses to ... See full summary »

Director: Alexander Korda
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks, Merle Oberon, Bruce Winston
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Midshipman Roger Byam joins Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian aboard HMS Bounty for a voyage to Tahiti. Bligh proves to be a brutal tyrant and, after six pleasant months on Tahiti, ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Lloyd
Stars: Charles Laughton, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A gangster tries to make Apple Annie, the Times Square apple seller, a lady for a day.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Warren William, May Robson, Guy Kibbee
The Divorcee (1930)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a woman discovers that her husband has been unfaithful to her, she decides to respond to his infidelities in kind.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Chester Morris
State Fair (1933)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An Iowa family finds adventure, love, and heartbreak, when they spend a week at the state fair.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Will Rogers, Lew Ayres
The Informer (1935)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1922, an Irish rebel informs on his friend, then feels doom closing in.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Victor McLaglen, Heather Angel, Preston Foster
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Franklin Dyall ...
...
Laurence Hanray ...
Archbishop Cranmer (as Lawrence Hanray)
William Austin ...
...
...
Cornell (as Claude Allister)
Gibb McLaughlin ...
The French Executioner (as Gibb Mc.Laughlin)
Sam Livesey ...
The English Executioner
...
...
...
...
Everley Gregg ...
Edit

Storyline

This movie tells the story of King Henry VIII and the last five of his six wives. Set almost entirely within the royal castle, it begins just before the death of his second wife (Anne Boleyn) and ends just after his sixth wedding (to Catherine or Katherine Parr). Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

HE GAVE HIS WIVES A PAIN IN THE NECK And did his necking with an axe. Henry, the Eighth Wonder of the World! And this picture...the wonder of all time! See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 September 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La vida privada de Enrique VIII  »

Box Office

Budget:

£60,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film inaugurated the first syndicated television presentation of a package of major studio feature films on USA television; it premiered in New York City Sunday 11 July 1948 on WPIX (Channel 11); in Los Angeles, it received its initial television showing Sunday 19 December 1948 on KTLA (Channel 5). The package consisted of 24 Alexander Korda productions originally released theatrically between 1933 and 1942. See more »

Goofs

When Henry and Katherine Howard are sitting together in front of the fire in the banqueting hall, his arms are resting on the chair arms, but in the next shot his hands are now clasped in front of him and Katherine's hands have moved position on the ends of her armchair. See more »

Quotes

King Henry VIII: You know, the Germans offered me half of France if I'd join 'em... heh... and the French offered me Flanders. Heh heh heh. They're very generous with each other's territory, heh heh heh. In my youth, in Wolsey's time, I'd have accepted one offer or the other, but what's the use of new territories and wars, wars, wars again?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Henry VIII had six wives. Catherine of Aragon was the first; but her story is of no particular interest - she was a respectable woman-so Henry divorced her. He then married Anne Boleyn. This marriage also was a failure-but not for the same reason. See more »

Connections

Version of Jane Seymour and Henry VIII of England (1912) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

An enjoyably boisterous Henry in a funny, interesting and surprisingly sensitive film
28 June 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

During his reign, Henry the Eighth had six wives. The first of these was Catherine of Aragon but her story is of no particular interest as she was a decent and respectable woman – so Henry only divorced her. However his next wife was a different matter altogether and we join the story on the day of Anne Boleyn is getting her neck ready for the executioner's block. Henry is a boisterous king who, no matter how bad his many marriage experiences, cannot seem to avoid getting married again; as he himself says, 'the things I do for England'!

When I taped this film I had never heard of it but before watching it was told that it was a great moneymaker of the time in the US. I wasn't sure if this was a very historic film or a fun film but the opening credit title made me realize it would be a sort of humorous historical piece – it is practically the sort of title card that appears before many Laurel & Hardy shorts! True to form the film takes liberties with history but does so to the benefit of the film, making it very funny and rather larger than life (not that hard a subject given Henry's life!) but not to the point where it is just a comedy – no, it is better written than that. Instead it manages to present this big boisterous life in a balanced way – when events are funny, they are funny but on the flipside it also lets us see that Henry is lonely, trapped by affairs of state and rather a big child at times. It is hard to describe but this film managed to run a gauntlet of emotions in a way that I was pretty impressed by. The very good writing has prevented it dating at all and it is just as enjoyable as it was then – in fact I can't think of a film that I have been more pleasantly surprised by for quite a while – how ironic that it is over 70 years old!

Outside of the script and direction, a massive reason that this film works is a great performance from Laughton. His Henry is fantastically lively and energetic without ever going completely OTT. He manages to deliver his funny lines with great timing and awareness but also delivers a real character who we can feel for – he conveys real hurt and loneliness with just looks at times, and his tearful breakdown is actually quite moving. He is given good support from many small roles who are given good parts – even the observers at the executions have great lines! The 39 Steps' Robert Donat gives good support in a straighter and less showy role and the various member of Henry's court are reliable. However the film belongs to Laughton and he runs it, realising the script's potential and then some.

Overall I came to this film not sure what to expect and I was very surprised by just how enjoyable and well rounded it was. Historians may be irritated by a rather generous interpretation of history but the basics are all there and the writer's touch has only really added colour and a sense of fun to the story. The script is packed with material that is funny and telling at different points and it is delivered with real confidence and ability by Laughton in a performance that dominates the film and is a major reason I enjoyed it as much as I did.


27 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?