5 user

Henry VIII (1979)

The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight (original title)
1 nomination. See more awards »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Pericles, Prince of Tyre (TV Movie 1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When Pericles discovers the dread answer to Antioch's riddle, he flees for his life straight into famine, shipwreck, love, fatherhood, and another shipwreck; he loses his wife and daughter,... See full summary »

Director: David Hugh Jones
Stars: Edward Petherbridge, John Woodvine, Edita Brychta
Henry VIII (TV Movie 2003)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two-part TV series documenting the stormy 38-year reign of King Henry VIII.

Director: Pete Travis
Stars: Ray Winstone, Joss Ackland, Sid Mitchell
Henry VIII (TV Movie 1991)
Drama | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Director: Pierre Jourdan
Stars: Philippe Rouillon, Michèle Command, Lucile Vignon
The Six Wives of Henry VIII (TV Mini-Series 1970)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

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.

Stars: Keith Michell, Anthony Quayle, Patrick Troughton
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 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
King John (TV Movie 1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

King John does whatever it takes to keep himself on the throne of England, making enemies of the pope, France, and his nephew along the way.

Director: David Giles
Stars: Leonard Rossiter, William Whymper, Mary Morris
Certificate: M Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 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
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

King Henry VIII marries five more times after his divorce from his first wife Catherine of Aragon.

Director: Alexander Korda
Stars: Charles Laughton, Robert Donat, Franklin Dyall
The Six Wives of Henry VIII (TV Mini-Series 2001)
Documentary | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A dramatic documentary narrated and presented by controversial historian David Starkey about the lives as wives and Queens of the six wives of Tudor king Henry VIII.

Stars: David Starkey, Caroline Lintott, David Fleeshman
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
Henry VIII (TV Mini-Series 1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Stars: Sean Barrett, Sally Grace, Gary Martin
Henry VIII (1911)
Short | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Directors: William Barker, Herbert Beerbohm Tree
Stars: Arthur Bourchier, Herbert Beerbohm Tree, Violet Vanbrugh


Cast overview, first billed only:
John Stride ...
Lewis Fiander ...
Alan Leith ...
Tony Church ...
John Bailey ...
David Troughton ...
Charles Lloyd Pack ...
Nigel Lambert ...


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

25 April 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Henry VIII  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Part of the long running BBC Television Shakespeare project which ran between 1978 and 1985. See more »


Version of The Tudors: Dissension and Punishment (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Splendor! For Once, A Production Better Than The Play
24 December 2006 | by See all my reviews

Most of the time, we wind up making excuses for these BBC Shakespeares. Limited preparation time, studio sets instead of real locations, uneven casting, memories of other, better performances....

Here is a production to knock your eyes out. If TV studio production confuses you and you want physical reality, here it is. Exteriors were videotaped at two castles, interiors at a third. With a winter shoot, the actors' breath condensation is visible outdoors and occasionally in-, while the rich, colorful costumes are enhanced by the solidity of the settings. There is a masque by torchlight that is nothing short of magical. But the visual design never descends to Franco Zeffirelli-style overstuffed hyper-literalism.

This is one of only two BBC Shakespeares that were shot outside the studio. The other was "As You Like It," and I didn't. In that play, the Forest of Arden dwarfed the actors. Here, the location work enhanced the play. Unfortunately, it was also very expensive, and for budgetary reasons the rest of the cycle was returned to the studio.

As Tony Church intones the opening Prologue, the verbal rhythms are somehow different from what we expect. The glory of the language comes and goes throughout, and it turns out that about half the scenes were written by John Fletcher, Shakespeare's successor with the King's Men. But half a Shakespeare is better than none, and this video is one of the best executed in the series.

The actors are all excellent and some more so. You get the chance to boo two of the choicest villains of their generation, Timothy West of the permanent scowl, and Peter Vaughan of the Nutcracker profile. Claire Bloom is terrific as Katherine of Aragon. She is apparently unable to hit a false note in Shakespeare, and her two confrontations with Timothy West as Cardinal Wolsey are devastating.

John Stride fits the bill as Henry, and Barbara Kellerman shows Anne Boleyn as considerably more than a simpering virgin. Ronald Pickup as Cranmer has a rather strange, spooky affect, but he gets points for successfully delivering his big speech while holding a squalling infant. The supporting roles are consistently strong. And though this is a long play, it never feels slow, thanks to Kevin Billington's direction. Would that I could say that about all of these shows, but I can't.

The low IMDb user vote on this video is statistically skewed. If you remove the 5 outlying "1"s from disgruntled schoolchildren, you'll find the vote is deservedly one of the highest in the series. Well done!

9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Henry VIII (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page