The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1970)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Drama, History, Romance
8.3
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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.

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

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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

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Release Date:

1 August 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die sechs Frauen Heinrich VIII  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Keith Michell is 188cm tall, the same height as the real Henry VIII. 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 The Private Life of Henry VIII. (1933) See more »

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User Reviews

 
outstanding piece of TV drama
2 July 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This series - and can you imagine the BBC financing and supporting a nine-hour historical drama series these days? - focuses on one of the six wives each episode, an interesting approach which comes off better in some instalments than others. Still, what is here is excellent - and far better than the ridiculously truncated film which followed a few years later.

Keith Michell as Henry. What more can I add to the praise which has already been put forward? He is excellent in every episode; we see Henry as a complex character who at times can cause us to sympathise with his predicament. The writing of this series is tight and believable, and the supporting characters are solid. This always helps move a series along when many supporting players are there throughout. Of particular note are Patrick Troughton as Norfolk, Bernard Hepton as Cranmer, and Sheila Burrell as Lady Rochford.

Of the six wives, all are excellent in their own ways. Katherine of Aragon's story is rushed, but Annette Crosbie does her best and is both memorable and pathetic ... Dorothy Tutin as Anne Boleyn is more fiery but the trial scene is truly regal and gives a different perspective ... Anne Stallybrass as Jane Seymour is sweet, pious, and just a little bit cunning (and that episode, largely in flashback as Jane lies sick to death at her son's christening, is well done) ... Elvi Hale as Anne of Cleves is extremely convincing, and her episode is full of intrigue ... Catherine Howard, as played by Angela Pleasance, is all gloss and no substance, but you still feel for her as she goes headlong to her fate without recognition ... and Rosalie Crutchley as Katharine Parr is a dull old crow in black, widow of old men, who at first resents her lot and then comes to respect and love the sick king.

This series really is remarkable. I would never get bored watching it - and eventually, it led to another top-class BBC drama, Elizabeth R, using some of the same cast and moving the story through the reigns of Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I herself.


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