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Carry on Henry VIII (1971)

Carry on Henry (original title)
GP | | Comedy, Romance | 17 March 1972 (USA)
Henry VIII has just married Marie of Normandy, and is eager to consummate their marriage. Unfortunately for Henry, she is always eating garlic, and refuses to stop. Deciding to get rid of ... See full summary »


Gerald Thomas


Talbot Rothwell (screenplay)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Sidney James ... King Henry VIII
Kenneth Williams ... Thomas Cromwell
Charles Hawtrey ... Sir Roger de Lodgerley
Joan Sims ... Queen Marie
Terry Scott ... Cardinal Wolsey
Barbara Windsor ... Bettina
Kenneth Connor ... Lord Hampton of Wick
Julian Holloway ... Sir Thomas
Peter Gilmore ... King Francis of France
Julian Orchard ... Duc de Poncenay
Gertan Klauber ... Bidet
David Davenport David Davenport ... Major Domo
Margaret Nolan ... Buxom Lass
William Mervyn William Mervyn ... Physician
Norman Chappell ... First Plotter


Henry VIII has just married Marie of Normandy, and is eager to consummate their marriage. Unfortunately for Henry, she is always eating garlic, and refuses to stop. Deciding to get rid of her in his usual manner, Henry has to find some way of doing it without provoking war with Marie's cousin, the King of France. Perhaps if she had an affair... Written by Simon N. McIntosh-Smith <Simon.N.Smith@cs.cf.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Great Guy with his Chopper


Comedy | Romance


GP | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Barbara Windsor does not appear until 54 minutes into the film. See more »


When Queen Marie is with Cromwell in his room, she says he rescued her from Hampton Court Maze. The Maze wasn't planted until 1689-95, more than 140 years after the film is set. However, the present-day maze was based on an earlier one from Cardinal Wolsey's time, so Queen Marie and Cromwell could have known of the old maze, not the one that's there today. See more »


Cardinal Wolsey: A drink, Ma'am?
Queen Marie: Thank you.
Cardinal Wolsey: I can heartily recommend the porter here.
Queen Marie: Really? Then do send him up to my room later.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: This film is based on a recently discovered manuscript by one William Cobbler which reveals the fact that Henry VIII did in fact have two more wives. Although it was at first thought that Cromwell originated the story, it is now known to be definitely all Cobbler's........ from beginning to end. See more »

Alternate Versions

The scene in the barn where Sidney James has a rough and ready encounter with Margaret Nolan is often trimmed for television screenings. See more »


Followed by Carry on Girls (1973) See more »

User Reviews

right royal fun
20 October 2008 | by petersj-2See all my reviews

This is a fabulously funny send up of history and the Carry on cast are in great form. Leading the fun is Sid James who plays Sid James playing Henry. Sid always played Sid and when he was in top form as a lovable rogue or old lecherous womaniser few could be better. He is wonderful here and I agree with others here who say the old boy was born to play this part. It is his movie but he does get great support. The great stalwarts are there Williams, Hawtrey and Sims. There's lovely work from Terry Scott. A real stand out is a brilliant cameo from an actor I know little about. Julian Orchard is brilliant and he camps it up deliciously.What a superb actor this man is, must read more about him. He had me in stitches. I normally found Kenneth Connor annoying but in this he shows he was actually a good actor when he was not stuck playing annoying mannerisms and clichés. His slap stick in other movies is awful and unfunny, here is restrained and good to watch. The carry on movies are attacked because they objectify women and are not politically correct. Not so. If you look at the movies very carefully surely it's at least commendable that the sexy women are not the anorexic women cast as sex idols today. Barbara Windsor is superb in this. She always was. She is certainly sexy but she was a full rounded, buxom woman with womanly features. She was not a match stick. The carry on movies are never given credit for this.Today anorexia is rife amongst young women and the carry on movies showed that you do not have to be slim to be sexy. Windsor was and even today is sexy. A glamorous great star.

The gag of the garlic does not work today because this was made at a time when garlic was not something popular with the conservative English diet. Today we have all developed a love and taste for garlic. Back then it was exotic and most people, including those who never tried it, hated it.It was odd continental stuff and it stunk. We are all over that now. Garlic actually smells quite sexy, especially if you both are eating it. We also know its very good for you, natrures medicine. It was never eaten here in Australia until Italians immigrated. So its odd to us today to quite connect with the attitude that garlic was something horrible. Henry is however a classic Carry On and I loved it. The pace of the movie is zesty and crackles along brightly. It looks great with lovely costumes and sets. The music is wonderful. Its one of the best. I loved it.

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

17 March 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Carry on Henry VIII See more »


Box Office


GBP250,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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