The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1970)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Drama, History, Romance
8.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.3/10 from 794 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 2 critic

A six-episode dramatization of Henry VIII's relationships with each of his six wives. Each episode is devoted to one wife, and is a complete play in itself.

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $1.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 10 Oct 2012
 
a list of 1822 titles
created 11 Nov 2012
 
a list of 33 titles
created 30 Jan 2013
 
a list of 207 titles
created 24 Apr 2013
 
list image
a list of 34 titles
created 01 Aug 2013
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1970– )

The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1970– ) on IMDb 8.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Six Wives of Henry VIII.

User Polls

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1970  
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: M Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Henry VIII of England discards one wife, Katharine of Aragon, who has failed to produce a male heir, in favor of the young and beautiful Anne Boleyn.

Director: Charles Jarrott
Stars: Richard Burton, Geneviève Bujold, Irene Papas
Elizabeth R (TV Mini-Series 1971)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

When Elizabeth Tudor comes to the throne, her (male) advisers know she has to marry. Doesn't she? Thus starts a decades-long political/ matrimonial game, during an age of high passions and high achievement.

Stars: Glenda Jackson, Ronald Hines, Robert Hardy
Monarch (2000)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

From double BAFTA nominated Writer and Director John Walsh. Monarch is part fact, part fiction and unfolds around one night when the injured ruler arrives at a manor house closed for the season.

Director: John Walsh
Stars: T.P. McKenna, Jean Marsh, James Coombes
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Mary Stuart, who was named Queen of Scotland when she was only six days old, is the last Roman Catholic ruler of Scotland. She is imprisoned at he age of 23 by her cousin Elizabeth Tudor, ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Jarrott
Stars: Vanessa Redgrave, Glenda Jackson, Patrick McGoohan
Anna Boleyn (1920)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

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.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Henny Porten, Emil Jannings, Paul Hartmann
Mary Stuart (TV Movie 1982)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Director: Peter Butler
Stars: Janet Baker, Angela Bostock, Leigh Maurice
The Jewel in the Crown (TV Mini-Series 1984)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

The British Raj: though their position seems secure, thoughtful English men and women know that "their" time in India is coming to an end. The story begins with an unjust arrest for rape, ... See full summary »

Stars: Tim Pigott-Smith, Geraldine James, Wendy Morgan
The Other Boleyn Girl (TV Movie 2003)
Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Based on the controversial novel by Philippa Gregory, "The Other Boleyn Girl" is a fictionalised account of the life of Lady Mary Boleyn who becomes mistress to England's King Henry VIII, ... See full summary »

Director: Philippa Lowthorpe
Stars: Natascha McElhone, Jodhi May, Jared Harris
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

On his deathbed, King Henry VIII looks back over his eventful life and his six marriages.

Director: Waris Hussein
Stars: Keith Michell, Donald Pleasence, Charlotte Rampling
Wolf Hall (TV Mini-Series 2015)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

After the downfall of Cardinal Wolsey, his secretary, Thomas Cromwell, finds himself amongst the treachery and intrigue of King Henry VIII's court and soon becomes a close advisor to the King, a role fraught with danger.

Stars: Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis, Claire Foy
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarriage.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Robert Shaw
Elizabeth I (TV Mini-Series 2005)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Miniseries about the the public and private lives of the later years of Queen Elizabeth I.

Stars: Helen Mirren, Hugh Dancy, Toby Jones
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
Keith Michell ...
 Henry VIII (6 episodes, 1970)
...
 Narrator (6 episodes, 1970)
...
 Duke of Norfolk (5 episodes, 1970)
Bernard Hepton ...
 Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (4 episodes, 1970)
Sheila Burrell ...
 Lady Rochford (3 episodes, 1970)
Basil Dignam ...
 Bishop Gardiner (3 episodes, 1970)
Wolfe Morris ...
 Thomas Cromwell (3 episodes, 1970)
Angela Pleasence ...
 Catherine Howard (2 episodes, 1970)
Anne Stallybrass ...
 Jane Seymour (2 episodes, 1970)
Dorothy Tutin ...
 Anne Boleyn (2 episodes, 1970)
Daniel Moynihan ...
 Edward Seymour (Lord Hertford) (2 episodes, 1970)
John Ronane ...
 Thomas Seymour (2 episodes, 1970)
Howard Goorney ...
 Will Somers (2 episodes, 1970)
...
 Sir Thomas Wriothesley (2 episodes, 1970)
Alison Frazer ...
 Princess Mary (2 episodes, 1970)
Edward Atienza ...
 Eustache Chapuys (2 episodes, 1970)
Edit

Storyline

A six-episode dramatization of Henry VIII's relationships with each of his six wives. Each episode is devoted to one wife, and is a complete play in itself.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The legendary, BAFTA award-winning BBC historical drama!

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 August 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die sechs Frauen Heinrich VIII  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Keith Michell (Henry VIII) and Bernard Hepton (Archbishop Thomas Cranmer) are the only actors to reprise their roles in Henry VIII and His Six Wives (1972). See more »

Goofs

In the courtroom scene in episode one, as Catherine of Aragon kneels before Henry VIII to beg him to accept the validity of their marriage, a microphone is visible at the bottom of the frame. See more »

Connections

Version of Henry VIII (1911) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Masterpiece Despite the Fundamental Flaw
31 October 2004 | by (England) – See all my reviews

This is one of the most popular and best-remembered BBC drama productions of all time. As well as drawing record audiences in the early seventies, it spawned the equally impressive follow-up - Elizabeth R. The Six Wives of Henry VIII is not held in such high regard without good reason. It is perhaps the most historically accurate dramatic account of this period in history we will ever see.

As well as its accuracy, the series is remembered for the performances of the actors. Keith Michell shines throughout as King Henry aging from an athletic young prince to a monstrously obese tyrant. All of the actresses deliver sterling performances as the wives. Standouts from the supporting cast include Sheila Burrell as the conniving Lady Rochford, Wolfe Morris as manipulative Thomas Cromwell, Patrick Troughton as the Duke of Norfolk and Bernard Hepton as Archbishop Cranmer, a role he was to reprise in Elizabeth R and the 1973 cinema remake of this series.

The costumes and makeup for this series cannot go unmentioned. They are little short of outstanding. One would almost believe Keith Michell was swapped for an older, fatter actor for the latter three episodes and the costumes change throughout, depicting shifts in courtly fashions.

CATHERINE OF ARAGON Perhaps the least lavish play in terms of production values, but among the better ones for scripting and acting. It begins, rather ploddingly, by covering Catherine's time in England before her marriage to Henry. When they do wed, the story skips abruptly to Henry's courtship with Anne Boleyn and the divorce of Catherine. Midway through this episode Anne Boleyn is Queen and Catherine is left dying away from court. It closes with her death in 1536.

ANNE BOLEYN A somewhat disappointing installment, despite wonderful acting and a sharp script. Anne is without a doubt the most famous wife of Henry VIII and the one who has provoked the most interest from historians, yet much of her life goes untold in this series. The earlier events in her story were rushed through in a handful of scenes in the second half of the Catherine of Aragon episode, and this episode focuses entirely on her downfall. Half of this play is dedicated to the last eighteen days of Anne's life, in the tower. Dorothy Tutin's fine performance brings this play back on par with the better ones in the series though.

JANE SEYMOUR Something of an anomaly within this series. It breaks with the continuity of the other five plays by covering events that had already been dealt with in Anne Boleyn's episode. The result is that Anne's execution is depicted twice during the course of the series. It also stands out from the rest in terms of production. The other five episodes are filmed as theatrical pieces whilst Jane Seymour is visibly an example of television drama. It's a shame that perhaps the dullest of Henry's wives gets by far the best treatment in the series. The real mystery of this episode is why the format suddenly changes before reverting back to the old style for the final three installments.

ANNE OF CLEVES It was never going to be easy to write a ninety-minute play about a largely unimportant, six-month-long mistake, but everybody involved seems to have made their best efforts here. Anne of Cleves is interpreted as being far more intelligent and witty than she cared to show in the English court and Elvi Hale plays her well. It's very absorbingly written too.

CATHERINE HOWARD It's difficult to decide what to make of this episode. The script has Catherine as a match for her ill-fated cousin, Anne Boleyn, with cunning intelligence, when she was, in fact, a frivolous girl who was thrust too high for her own good. It is, nonetheless, a good adaptation of her story and Sheila Burrell is fantastic as Lady Rochford. As with all the other episodes, there is a reluctance to paint Henry in a bad light here and Catherine almost comes out as the villain of the piece.

CATHERINE PARR Perhaps the most neglected wife in public interest, Catherine Parr's story is actually full of intrigue. This episode deals with her strong religious views and her enforcement of them which nearly sent her to a grizzly fate. Unlike the others in the series, this play relies heavily on dialogue rather than action and it closes the story well.

So the only real failing of the series is not that it is shown in six episodes, but that one episode is dedicated to each wife. The story could have been told more comprehensively if parts 1-3 dealt with Catherine of Aragon's time as Queen, her fall from grace in favour of Anne Boleyn, the divorce, the religious reforms brought about by the King's desire to marry Anne Boleyn and have her children as heirs to the throne, Anne's marriage to the King and her eventual downfall. Jane Seymour would be best dealt with in part 4, Anne of Cleves and Catherine Howard merged together in the fifth part, whilst Catherine Parr and the King's death could be covered in the sixth.

This criticism aside, the series has earned every word of praise ever spoken for it. It is one of the best nine hours you can spend watching a television drama, so go out and watch it.


21 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Which wife is best? melj
actors resemble their real life counterparts nocturn0wl
Which episode was your favourite? x-clare-mc-x
Theme music? inamourada_flux
Question of Character valjoemv-1
DVD due in Britain! LaMcKay
Discuss The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1970) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?