King Henry VIII (Richard Burton) of England discards one wife, Catharine of Aragon (Irene Papas), who has failed to produce a male heir, in favor of a young and beautiful woman, Anne Boleyn (Geneviève Bujold), whose one-thousand-day reign as Queen of England ends with the loss of her head on the block. Henry weds Anne and soon she gives him a child. The girl, Elizabeth (Amanda Jane Smythe), is a bitter disappointment to Henry, who desperately wants an heir. Anne promises Henry a son "next time", but Henry is doubtful. Shortly thereafter, rumors begin that the King's eye has already wandered. One Jane Seymour (Lesley Paterson) is at court for a moment. The Queen has her sent away, but, if Anne will bring Jane back to court, the King promises to sign the Act of Succession to insure that Elizabeth will be Queen.Written by
Music by Anthony Holborne See more »
Uneventful made historic
Around 1525 Henry VIII fell hopelessly in love with his wife's newly acquired maid-of-honor, Anne Boleyn. A seemingly uneventful, probably unimportant infatuation changed the history of England radically and the history of the world forever. Who in Great Britain at that time ever dreamed that the events unfolding in their king's castle was about to change their lives so much. And it's true. Henry VIII, fascinating in himself, probably didn't even realize what his love for this woman was going to mean. Has there ever been a more tantalizing historical figure to study? This man moved -- literally -- heaven and earth to win the heart of this reluctant, uncooperative, insignificant girl. And no one plays Henry better than Richard Burton, combining wit, cruelty, and selfishness in one unforgettable character. This movie is such a charmer, even if it does take some historical liberties. Bujold is superb as the spiteful, spoiled Boleyn. But even in her transformation in this film is tragedy: she goes from the crown to the block with such speed that even her "head" must have spun! Any student of Tudor history, or anyone just wanting to see a good-old-fashioned epic, will love this movie. I like to think that Burton comes the closest to portraying what Henry VIII must have really been like. But even if you don't like history, Tudor England, or the stars in this movie, watch it anyway. You'll be glad you were born when you were and NEVER the object of a king's love.
20 of 25 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this