IMDb > The Private Life of Henry VIII. (1933)
The Private Life of Henry VIII.
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The Private Life of Henry VIII. (1933) More at IMDbPro »

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The Private Life of Henry VIII. -- Tells how King Henry VIII came to marry five more times after his divorce from his first wife.

Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   2,210 votes »
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Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Lajos Biró (story) and
Arthur Wimperis (story) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Private Life of Henry VIII. on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 September 1933 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
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 »
Plot:
Tells how King Henry VIII came to marry five more times after his divorce from his first wife. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(3 articles)
10 Best Royal Films
 (From WeAreMovieGeeks.com. 12 November 2013, 8:26 AM, PST)

A Journey Through the Eclipse Series: Alexander Korda’s Rembrandt
 (From CriterionCast. 11 July 2011, 12:00 PM, PDT)

What I Watched, What You Watched: Installment #80
 (From Rope Of Silicon. 13 February 2011, 8:19 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Alexander Korda and his history lessons See more (31 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Charles Laughton ... Henry VIII

Robert Donat ... Thomas Culpeper
Franklin Dyall ... Thomas Cromwell

Miles Mander ... Wriothesley
Laurence Hanray ... Archbishop Cranmer (as Lawrence Hanray)
William Austin ... Duke of Cleves
John Loder ... Peynell
Claud Allister ... Cornell (as Claude Allister)
Gibb McLaughlin ... The French Executioner
Sam Livesey ... The English Executioner

Merle Oberon ... Anne Boleyn The Second Wife
Wendy Barrie ... Jane Seymour The Third Wife

Elsa Lanchester ... Anne of Cleves The Fourth Wife
Binnie Barnes ... Katherine Howard The Fifth Wife
Everley Gregg ... Katherine Parr The Sixth Wife
Maud Tree ... The King's Nurse (as Lady Tree)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frederick Culley ... Duke of Norfolk (uncredited)
Mark Daly ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Annie Esmond ... The Cook's Wife (uncredited)
William Heughan ... Kingston (uncredited)
Arthur Howard ... Kitchen Helper (uncredited)
Judy Kelly ... Lady Rochford (uncredited)
Wally Patch ... Butcher in Kitchen (uncredited)
Hay Petrie ... The King's Barber (uncredited)

Terry-Thomas ... Extra (uncredited)
John Turnbull ... Hans Holbein (uncredited)
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Directed by
Alexander Korda 
 
Writing credits
Lajos Biró (story and dialogue) (as Lajos Biro) and
Arthur Wimperis (story and dialogue)

Arthur Wimperis (scenario)

Produced by
Alexander Korda .... producer (uncredited)
Ludovico Toeplitz .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Kurt Schröder  (as Kurt Schroeder)
 
Cinematography by
Georges Périnal (photography by) (as Georges Perinal)
 
Film Editing by
Stephen Harrison 
 
Costume Design by
John Armstrong (costumes designed by)
 
Production Management
David B. Cunynghame .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Geoffrey Boothby .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Vincent Korda .... settings designer
C.P. Norman .... assistant art director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
A.W. Watkins .... sound
 
Visual Effects by
W. Percy Day .... matte painter (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Man Mountain Dean .... stunt double: Charles Laughton (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Osmond Borradaile .... camera (as Osmond Borrodaile)
 
Editorial Department
Harold Young .... editorial supervisor
Stephen Bearman .... colorist (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Muir Mathieson .... assistant musical director (uncredited)
Kurt Schröder .... musical director (uncredited)
Alfred Strasser .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Alfred Strasser .... music arranger (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Philip Lindsay .... technical adviser
Espinosa .... choreographer (uncredited)
C.W.R. Knight .... falconry expert (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
USA:97 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System Noiseless Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Netherlands:AL (DVD rating) (2009) | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1934) | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:U (tv rating) | UK:U (video rating) (1987) (1992) (1996) | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Richard Burton was also nominated for playing King Henry VIII in Anne of the Thousand Days (1969). Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett would both receive Oscar nominations for playing his daughter, Queen Elizabeth I, which Dench won.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: Anne of Cleves compares Henry to the legend of Bluebeard, a literary reference not known to exist before 1697.See more »
Quotes:
[Henry's fourth wedding night]
King Henry VIII:My wife? Huh... not yet.
Anne of Cleves:Poor mother told me... first he says the marriage is no good, and then he cuts off the head with an ax chopper!
King Henry VIII:That is an exaggeration, madam.
Anne of Cleves:Then why do you say I am not yet your wife?
King Henry VIII:Well, madam, uh, a marriage ceremony doesn't make us one.
Anne of Cleves:Mmm?
[shows her ring]
King Henry VIII:Oh, yes, yes, yes, 's all right, but you, uh, have to, umm, I have to...
Anne of Cleves:What?
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Shake, Mr. Shakespeare (1936)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
28 out of 31 people found the following review useful.
Alexander Korda and his history lessons, 22 March 2005
Author: theowinthrop from United States

Born in Hungary, Alexander Korda became a leading figure in British cinema. He would approach Hollywood in his production, casting, and vision of how movies should be made. And he was quite aware of what he was facing in his struggles. Britain's film industry was never as wealthy as it's American cousin (or it's German cousin, for that matter). But due to language it had inroads to the United States as well as the empire. If it could not meet Hollywood's (or Ufa's) best production values, it had a stable of actors that were hard to match. In fact, many of them ended up in Hollywood (much to Korda's disgust). This was not only those born in the British Isles like Olivier, Leigh, Laughton, but also those who were foreign born who ended up in British films as stars (like Veidt).

Korda also had European history and culture to play with, and in the 1930s would do a series of films that involved both. They centered on some historical or legendary character: Henry VIII, Don Juan, Catherine the Great, Rembrandt, the Roman Emperor Claudius. Laughton appeared in three of these, as Henry, Rembrandt, and Claudius. Douglas Fairbanks Sr. would be Don Juan and his son would be Catherine's husband Peter III of Russia. There were also "foreign" or "imperial" settings for some of these epics. Sabu became Kipling's Mowgli in "The Jungle Book". The Arabian Nights were the basis for "The Thief of Baghdad".

Henry VIII is really not filling in the entire monarch's life or reign. It barely notices wife #1 (Catherine of Aragon), who it considers dull. It begins with the conclusion of the second marriage with Anne Boleyne in 1536, and then jumps rapidly into the brief third marriage, the comedy of the fourth marriage in 1541, the deep tragedy of the fifth marriage in 1544, and the last marriage, wherein Henry seems to have married a nurse and a scold (not really historically correct). Laughton is superb as a man, seeming with everything, who can't (for one reason or another) find the happiness he seeks in a content home life. But the film does not delve into his policies, and it really does not get into the personality conflicts within Henry's character. He does act the bully and the gallant and the buffoon (such as when discoursing on fine table manners), but the parts (if analyzed) do not hold together as well as say Robert Shaw's sly and sinister monarch in "A Man For All Seasons", but Shaw is playing a younger man in a period of only six years, while Laughton is dealing with nearly twelve years as the same man fights to retain youth and yet ages badly due to ill-health. Laughton did deserve his Oscar, but Shaw needed two more films of Henry at later stages to fill in his first rate junior portrait.

Laughton did well with Henry, as Korda did by selecting Laughton. We are the richer for both of their visions.

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