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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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keith Michell ...
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Frances Cuka ...
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Jenny Bos ...
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Bernard Hepton ...
Garfield Morgan ...
John Bryans ...
John Bennett ...
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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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:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Star Keith Michell had previously portrayed King Henry VIII in the UK television series The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1970). See more »

Goofs

No women, not even Queen Catherine Parr were present at Henry's deathbed. See more »

Quotes

Thomas Cromwell: It lies within my power to make Your Majesty still more prosperous yet.
Henry VIII: But how would I ever reward you, Crom? You have it all: the Privy Seal, the Garter, Vicar General, the earldom of Essex and Lord Chamberlain. What more could I do for you?
Thomas Cromwell: Your Grace might box my head at times.
Henry VIII: [gives a huge laugh and playfully slaps Cromwell on the face] That would not be seemly. But I'm keeping his Lordship from his business.
See more »

Connections

Version of Henry VIII (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Definitive Tudor story
16 February 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is benchmark-quality drama, a two-hour film retelling of the lives (and deaths) of Henry VII's wives that uses much the same cast and crew as a previous six-hour BBC miniseries.

As a film, it's pretty much unbeatable and sets a standard of high quality that few others can match. Sets, costumes and backdrop are all superb, but of course the real strengths lie in the script and the calibre of acting. Keith Michell stars in a role he was born to play, never less than authentic whether he's playing Henry as an athletic young man or as an obese ancient. He also manages to make the tyrant deeply human, which is another string to his bow.

With the full story of the six wives crammed into a two-hour time slot, the pacing is fast and the script full of drama. Some of the wives fare better than others, but highlights include Charlotte Rampling's witchy Anne Boleyn and Lynne Frederick's captivating innocent, Catherine Howard. Filling the supporting cast with familiar, entertaining figures like Michael Gough, Donald Pleasence and Brian Blessed is another plus.

Most of all, though, I found this retelling succeeded far better in bringing to life the era than others - check out the terrible THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL for a good comparison. We learn much about politics, entertainment and religion of the era, but it's never told in a dry or heavy way. Unbeatable? Yes, I think this is.


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