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Henry VIII and His Six Wives (1972)

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



(original screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jane Seymour
Frances Cuka ...
Katherine of Aragon
Jenny Bos ...
Ann of Cleves
Catherine Parr
Thomas More
John Bryans ...


On his deathbed Tudor-king Henry VIII remembers his long reign and especially the crucial part his six marriages played in it, without producing the male heir he desired most to prevent civil wars for the succession as England suffered before his father's ascent. His first queen, Spanish princess Kathryn of Aragon, had one fatal flaw: her children died, except daughter Mary, so he pressed Rome for an annulment, and when that failed out went cardinal Wolsey as chief minister and Henry made himself head of the Church of England instead of the papacy and married Anne Boleyn. When she too failed to produce a male heir, just princess Elisabeth, he had her head roll for 'infidelity'. The third queen, gentle Jane Seymour, died giving birth to sickly prince Edward. For diplomatic reasons Henry married minor princess Anne of Cleves, whose utter lack of female charms causes another annulment and the fall of Thomas Cromwell, who recommended her. Fifth is the lovely Catherine Howard, cousin of ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 February 1973 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

As Seis Mulheres de Henrique Oitavo  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Star Keith Michell had previously portrayed King Henry VIII in the UK television series The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1970) and later in two episodes of the later TV series The Prince and the Pauper (1996). See more »


The part of the film covering Henry's marriage to Anne Boleyn features some brief stock/agency footage of a number of British castles. A modern boat's superstructure appears briefly in the lower right-hand corner of the shot featuring a castle on a headland. See more »


Thomas Cromwell: [Walks into the council chamber] You were in a great hurry gentlemen to begin without me"
Norfolk: [as Cromwell is about to take his seat at the council table] Cromwell, do not sit there. There is no place for you, traitors do not sit with gentlemen.
Thomas Cromwell: [mumbles] I'm no traitor.
[flings down his cap in rage and screams in a loud voice]
Thomas Cromwell: Upon your conscience, am I a traitor?
[tries to run out of the chamber but the guards seize him]
Thomas Cromwell: Let me speak to the King!
Norfolk: [...]
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Version of Catherine Howard (1911) See more »

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User Reviews

Rather compressed perhaps, but one of the better films and such detailing of Henry VIII, his life and his wives
30 March 2011 | by See all my reviews

Although I am no historian, I do take an interest in the subject and I loved learning about the Tudors even in primary school. Henry VIII and his Six Wives is for me one of the better films and such detailing of Henry VIII and his life and six wives. The story is compelling and well paced and the dialogue is intelligent and moving. For me, my only complaint really is the length, the events and details are compressed for just over two hours. For so many details and events, I couldn't help thinking it was too short and some of the events could have been expanded upon and some of the latter half less over-balanced perhaps. That fault aside, the film is splendidly directed, is reasonably true to history and maintains a strong emotional impact. David Munrow's music score is beautiful and evocative too. But two things especially stood out. One was the period detail and production values, the costumes and scenery are nothing short of splendid and the photography captures that beautifully. The other is the acting, which is wonderful from the entire cast. Keith Michell gives a textbook example of how to play Henry VIII, he doesn't play the famous king as a tyrant but his portrayal is a moving and somewhat more sympathetic one. Of his wives a stunning Charlotte Rampling and suitably vulnerable Lynne Frederick come off best, while Bernard Hepton is a fine Cramner and Donald Pleasance is a wonderfully devious Cromwell. In conclusion, a very good film. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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