The Private Life of Henry VIII.
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One of the first movies to place British cinema firmly on the international map, "The Private Life of Henry VIII" is a comedy of manners loosely based on the matrimonial adventures of a sixteenth-century English king who was married six times. The story begins in 1536 when the beautiful and ambitious Queen Anne Boleyn (Merle Oberon) is preparing for her execution on false charges of adultery so that her husband King Henry (Charles Laughton) can marry his empty-headed mistress (Wendy Barrie.) After the end of that marriage, Henry embarks on an arranged match with a German princess (Elsa Lanchester) who struggles to escape their marriage, pushing him into the arms of the seductive Lady Catherine Howard (Binnie Barnes), who promises to make Henry happy. However, her dangerous love for a handsome courtier (Robert Donat) ends in tragedy and Henry spends the rest of his life in marriage to a middle-aged widow who promises to take care of him, Lady Catherine Parr (Everley Gregg.)


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