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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.

Director:

Waris Hussein

Writer:

Ian Thorne (original screenplay)
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keith Michell ... King Henry VIII
Donald Pleasence ... Thomas Cromwell
Charlotte Rampling ... Ann Boleyn
Jane Asher ... Jane Seymour
Frances Cuka ... Katherine of Aragon
Lynne Frederick ... Catherine Howard
Jenny Bos Jenny Bos ... Ann of Cleves
Barbara Leigh-Hunt ... Catherine Parr
Michael Gough ... Norfolk
Brian Blessed ... Suffolk
Michael Goodliffe ... Thomas More
Bernard Hepton ... Cranmer
Garfield Morgan ... Gardiner
John Bryans John Bryans ... Wolsey
John Bennett ... Wriothesley
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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Bernard Hepton also played the Archbishop Thomas Cranmer in the source television miniseries The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1970) and its sequel Elizabeth R (1971). See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Henry VIII: Wait, Anne. Only wait.
Anne Boleyn: Ah, then farewell to my young looks!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Brontes at the BBC (2016) See more »

User Reviews

 
A preview to whet the appetite
5 January 2013 | by Chase_WitherspoonSee all my reviews

If you haven't time to immerse yourself in the mini-series, then this two hour, compact 'preview' will give you a neatly constructed overview of the virile King and his exploits as he seeks to secure his lineage by conceiving a successor to his throne.

Rather than condense aspects of the original mini-series (which essentially set aside one episode per wife, to put it crudely), this film version has been entirely remade. Only Michell reprises his title role, showcasing his intuitive interpretation of the rambunctious, though sometimes fragile majesty. Perhaps predictably, Charlotte Rampling's Anne Boleyn has the greatest exposure, though each of the wives acquit themselves well with the often limited dedicated screen time (the lovely Jane Asher playing the ill-fated Jane Seymour stands-out among the rest).

Aussie actor Michell is a more vulnerable King Henry VIII than other memorable incarnations produced by Charles Laughton or Robert Shaw, displaying a deep-seeded personality conflict that while not unique to the character, is played with a more sympathetic tone and gesture.

Hussein's ultra-light has its moments, although clearly it proves difficult to compress six marriages each with their own ulterior motives and intrigue into a mere two hour snapshot. For a preview, it's superb, though it's really no substitute for the mini-series time permitting.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 February 1973 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Henry VIII and His Six Wives See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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