MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 5,885 this week

Henry VIII (1979)
"The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight" (original title)

TV Movie  -   -  25 April 1979 (USA)
7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 77 users  
Reviews: 5 user

Add a Plot

Director:

Writer:

(play)
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: March

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in March.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 487 titles
created 29 Jun 2011
 
a list of 175 titles
created 21 Jul 2011
 
a list of 51 titles
created 19 Aug 2011
 
a list of 37 titles
created 3 months ago
 
a list of 37 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Henry VIII" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Henry VIII (TV Movie 1979)

Henry VIII (TV Movie 1979) on IMDb 7.3/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Henry VIII.

User Polls

1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Henry V (TV Movie 1979)
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Director: David Giles
Stars: John Abineri, Robert Ashby, Trevor Baxter
Julius Caesar (TV Movie 1979)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The assassination of the would be ruler of Rome at the hands of Brutus and company has tragic consequences for Brutus and the republic.

Director: Herbert Wise
Stars: Richard Pasco, Charles Gray, Keith Michell
Henry VIII (TV Movie 2003)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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
Romeo & Juliet (TV Movie 1978)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Two teenagers fall in love, but their feuding families and fate itself cause the relationship to end in tragedy.

Director: Alvin Rakoff
Stars: Patrick Ryecart, Rebecca Saire, Celia Johnson
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (TV Movie 1980)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Hamlet suspects his uncle has murdered his father to claim the throne of Denmark and the hand of Hamlet's mother, but the prince cannot decide whether or not he should take vengeance.

Director: Rodney Bennett
Stars: Derek Jacobi, Claire Bloom, Patrick Stewart
Macbeth (TV Movie 1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Macbeth and his wife murder Duncan in order to gain his crown, but the bloodbath doesn't stop there, and things supernatural combine to bring the Macbeths down.

Director: Jack Gold
Stars: Brenda Bruce, Eileen Way, Anne Dyson
A Man for All Seasons (TV Movie 1988)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Henry VIII wants to divorce his wife, and seeks the approval of the aristocracy. Sir Thomas More is a man of principle and reason, and is thus placed in a difficult position: should he ... See full summary »

Director: Charlton Heston
Stars: Charlton Heston, Vanessa Redgrave, John Gielgud
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
The Tragedy of Coriolanus (TV Movie 1984)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Director: Elijah Moshinsky
Stars: Paul Jesson, Ray Roberts, Leon Lissek
Troilus & Cressida (TV Movie 1981)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

During the Trojan War, a Trojan warrior is distraught when his lover takes up with a Greek.

Director: Jonathan Miller
Stars: Charles Gray, Anton Lesser, Tony Steedman
Henry IV Part I (TV Movie 1979)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Henry Bolingbroke has now been crowned King of England, but faces a rebellion headed by the embittered Earl of Northumberland and his son (nicknamed 'Hotspur'). Henry's son Hal, the Prince ... See full summary »

Director: David Giles
Stars: Jon Finch, David Gwillim, Rob Edwards
The Merry Wives of Windsor (TV Movie 1982)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When Sir John Falstaff decides that he wants to have a little fun he writes two letters to a pair of Window wives: Mistress Ford and Mistress Page. When they put their heads together and ... See full summary »

Director: David Hugh Jones
Stars: Alan Bennett, Richard O'Callaghan, Tenniel Evans
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

25 April 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Henry VIII  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The entire film was shot on location at Leeds Castle, Penshurst Place and Hever Castle; each of which bears associations to some of the historical figures in the play. See more »

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Wolsey Story
16 February 2011 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Although this play of Shakespeare is given the title The Famous History Of The Life Of Henry VIII, the king is really a supporting figure. It covers that period in the reign of that monarch where Cardinal Thomas Wolsey was his chief minister and how he fell from power.

John Stride plays Henry VIII and he hasn't gotten to be the obese and overblown figure as made famous Charles Laughton. He's still lean and limber, in fact the young Henry as prince and king was something of an athlete and not just a sexual one. But this is about the time that Henry VIII is starting to get concerned over the lack of a male heir. His wife, the pious and virtuous Catherine of Aragon played by Claire Bloom has only given him a daughter Mary who has survived to adulthood. And England has not had a queen regnant since Matilda back in the 12th century.

Timothy West plays Wolsey who tried to balance too many balls in the air and ended up dropping everything. If he could have pulled it off he might have gone down as the greatest statesman of the middle ages. As it was he's ranked pretty high. If you recall the film Becket, Richard Burton tried being both the king's chancellor and the head of the Catholic church as Archbishop of Canterbury. He found the conflict irreconcilable and chose the church and ultimately sainthood. Wolsey tried to do both and was reaching for even more, he wanted to be Pope.

To explain the political situation at the time would involve me writing a small book. But coming into play in this whole situation besides Wolsey's own ambition and Henry's desire to have a male heir is the power politics of the Hapsburgs and their Emperor Charles V who with his German possessions and Spanish Empire was ruling over the largest bit of real estate ever controlled by one man and Francis I, the Valois King of France. Those two jockeyed for power in Europe and Charles won. And Charles was the nephew of Catherine Of Aragon and he wasn't about to see his aunt get dumped just so Henry could have a son and get a little good nookie the pious old queen wasn't giving out any more. Charles also after the battle of Pavia where the French were decisively beaten was the de facto ruler of the Italian peninsula, including Rome and the Pope danced to whatever tune the Hapsburgs played.

So Wolsey kept trying to cut deals for Henry's annulment and to advance himself and in the end got neither. And he lived high on the hog himself as Renaissance cardinals tended to do.

As the real central character of this play, Timothy West does a fine job as Wolsey. It's a complex character that West takes on and masters. Wolsey is a man of many parts, a statesman, a politician, a priest and a bit of a rake himself. He sent a few people to their deaths in the political power plays of the time, but he wasn't a man consumed with settling scores. He was just a guy who took on too many jobs and couldn't reconcile his various roles. In the end that's what his downfall was all about.

This was the last of Shakespeare's historical works and it ends with the baptism of the woman who would be Will Shakespeare's number one patroness, the Princess Elizabeth. All though the play hewed more close than most of his other works to the Tudor historical interpretation, still it's an entertaining piece, driven by Timothy West's Cardinal Wolsey.


3 of 4 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

Create a character page for:
?