7.2/10
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Henry VIII (2003)

Two part mini-series documenting the stormy thirty-eight-year reign of King Henry VIII.

Director:

Pete Travis

Writer:

Peter Morgan
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ray Winstone ... Henry VIII
Joss Ackland ... Henry VII
Sid Mitchell Sid Mitchell ... Young Henry VIII
Charles Dance ... Duke of Buckingham
Mark Strong ... Duke of Norfolk
Assumpta Serna ... Katherine of Aragon
Thomas Lockyer Thomas Lockyer ... Edward Seymour
William Houston ... Thomas Seymour
Danny Webb ... Thomas Cromwell
Guy Flanagan Guy Flanagan ... Tall Servant
David Suchet ... Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
Scott Handy ... Lord Henry Percy
Helena Bonham Carter ... Anne Boleyn
Benjamin Whitrow ... Thomas Boleyn
Stephen Noonan Stephen Noonan ... Spanish Ambassador
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King Henry VIII of England discards one wife, Catharine of Aragon, who has failed to produce a male heir, in favor of the young and beautiful Anne Boleyn.

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Storyline

Two part mini-series documenting the stormy thirty-eight-year reign of King Henry VIII.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the second time that Helena Bonham Carter has played a Queen of England. The first time was as Lady Jane Grey in Lady Jane (1986). Lady Jane was the Queen after Henry VIII's son Edward VI by his third wife Jane Seymour, and before Henry VIII's daughter Mary I by his first wife Catherine of Aragon. She has also played Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in The King's Speech (2010). Elizabeth was Queen Consort to King George VI and mother to Queen Elizabeth II. See more »

Goofs

Immediately preceding the scene (interior) where the Pope is seen writing his refusal to divorce Henry VIII from Catherine of Aragon, there is a panoramic view of the Vatican (with St. Peter's basilica), implying that the Pope was in Rome/the Vatican at the time.DIn fact, the Pope was at Orvieto at the time, and it was there, in the Papal palace, where he wrote and signed this particular document. See more »

Quotes

Katherine of Aragon: What did I do to upset you, that a maid of mine should turn against me like this?
Anne Boleyn: You failed to give England an heir.
Katherine of Aragon: And that upsets you so?
Anne Boleyn: What upsets the King, upsets me.
Katherine of Aragon: Let me tell you this. You want me to lie before God, and admit my first marriage was consummated? Well, it was not. You want me to retire, and withdraw my daughter's claim as sole rightful heir to the throne? Well, I shall not. Not in a thousand years. Not if you rack me within an inch of my life. So, I hope you have the belly...
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Crazy Credits

Helena Bonham Carter receives second-billing in both parts despite Anne Boleyn getting the chop in the first part. Her contribution in part 2 is the pre-title reprise and flashbacks all already shown in part 1. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Sean Bean Deaths (2014) See more »

User Reviews

Not one for historians but fairly good entertainment for Soap fans.
19 October 2003 | by nickjgSee all my reviews

Like the film 'Elizabeth' the factual content of this film was very slim. Unlike Elizabeth it had no compensating qualities. It gave virtually no insight to the character of Henry or any of his wives, from the opening scenes where the Duke of Buckingham apparently survived his execution in 1513 to appear as a crusader for Catherine of Aragon 15 years later, to the death bed scene where Henry's family (who were actually celebrating New Year miles away) are clustered round his bed to hear his dying words. Jane gets knocked about and Henry hides round the corner during Anne Boleyn's trial-Complete nonsense! historically, once Henry had decided to lose a wife, he avoided all contact and blamed everyone else for their treatment. What is odd is that the directors chose to invent completely spurious scenes to illustrate Henry's crimes when there were plenty of real incidents which would have provided more than enough spectacle. I appreciate that Henry's court of more than 1000 people, glittering with excessive layers of sumptuous cloth and huge jewels could not be managed on a TV budget- but this Henry spent half his time in empty buildings talking to his echo, something impossible in the Tudor Court where even the King going to the toilet was surrounded by hereditary attendants. So, setting aside accuracy, we are left with the casting of Ray Winstone. Not impossible that Henry might have cracked coarse jokes, had a cockney accent and been free with his hands. Before he became a human boulder, he was also athletic, obsessed with doing all of those sports his father, fearful for the life of the only surviving son, had forbidden. But what happened to the literate defender of the faith? The king who owned dozens of pairs of reading glasses, who played a range of musical instruments and sang every day, who enjoyed disguising and dancing, who spent hours in disputes with intellectuals about faith? This film's Henry was like a soap opera character- a renaissance Dirty Den. Two dimensional and unbelievable. It was the choice to rely on spectacle rather than knowledge, assuming the audience to be dummies, incapable of following a plot, that sank this film. Another film which would not manage a release in cinema and will, I guess, be forgotten!


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 October 2003 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Henry VIII See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP6,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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