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The Private Life of Henry VIII. (1933)

Tells how King Henry VIII came to marry five more times after his divorce from his first wife.

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Writers:

(story and dialogue) (as Lajos Biro), (story and dialogue) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

EVERY WOMAN GOT IT IN THE NECK - Eventually See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 September 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Privatleben Heinrichs VIII.  »

Box Office

Budget:

£60,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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 has Wriothesley on the table, Wriothesley's hand goes from the table to his throat between shots. See more »

Quotes

French executioner: There is a blade for you fit for a king! Or in this case, a queen, n'est-ce pas?
English executioner: Not fit for our Queen!
French executioner: No? Why not?
English executioner: She is an English Queen, ain't she? Well, what's wrong with English steel? And come to that, what's wrong with an English headsman?
French executioner: Ah, meaning yourself?
English executioner: Why not? I was good enough to knock off the Queen's five lovers, wasn't I? Why'd they want you, a Frenchman from Calais?
[spits]
French executioner: I will tell you...
English executioner: No, I'm telling you. It's a crying shame. 'N half the English executioners out of...
[...]
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Connections

Version of Catherine Howard (1911) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Charles Laughton as the Tudor king
2 April 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Alexander Korda's film about Henry VIII was a worthy Oscar winner - the first time a British film was so recognised. Seen now it is a dated piece of work but Charles Laughton has the heart and soul of the king down to perfection - grumbling, belching, ripping meat of the bones with his bare hands, leering at the women of his court, and - when the situation allows it - giving the part a fair amount of pathos.

Oddly, the film begins with the execution of Anne Boleyn (Merle Oberon). We don't see the first wife, Katherine of Aragon, at all. Wendy Barrie is Jane Seymour, the one true love of Henry's life - for her he changed his initialled monogram from an entwined H and A (for Anne) to H and J. Catherine Howard is played by Binnie Barnes - she's a bit too flighty for my liking and not an accurate reading of Catherine as history renders her. Robert Donat has a thankless part as Culpeper, who Catherine sets her sights on. And as Catherine Parr, the last Queen to Henry and the one to outlast him, Everley Gregg is amusing and touching.

The scene-stealer as usual though is the real-life Mrs Laughton, Elsa Lanchester, playing the plain, card-dealing, Anne of Cleves. She puts this part across with little effort, wheedling money from her new husband in lieu of the expected fruits of their wedding night. These scenes are a great source of comedy as the two pros play off each other.

'The Private Life of Henry VIII' is a good play, and just when you think you know how the part is going to go, it surprises you as all good acting should. Laughton would do other good work for Korda (including Rembrandt a few years later) but this is one of his best remembered roles for British cinema.


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