7.2/10
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42 user 2 critic

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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Popularity
4,708 ( 91)
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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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Heads Will Roll


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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Andrew Garfield played the role of a servant in the court. He had one line and is uncredited. 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

unhistorical drama
16 November 2003 | by didi-5See all my reviews

Perhaps, like other dramas suggested by historical characters, this version of the story of 'Henry VIII' should be viewed with a high degree of suspicion since most of the events depicted have very little basis in what we know of the complex Tudor monarch.

Putting this reservation aside, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy this four-hour drama for what it is, largely an entertainment playing on our prejudices and emotions throughout its depiction and treatment of the six wives. Part One wastes far too much time on the courtship between Henry and Anne Boleyn, and then manages to whizz through the circumstances of her downfall in a matter of minutes. This was a huge mistake in my opinion and makes that part of the story extremely confusing.

Part Two obviously spends time on Jane Seymour and Catherine Howard, but again with a large amount of artistic licence - was Jane really a political meddler and did her husband's violence towards her cause her to go into premature birth? was Catherine really a manipulated slut with no mind of her own? The second section of "Henry VIII" is more gory than Part One, in particular concerning the execution scenes, and I think this aspect probably worked.

In the cast, kudos has to go to Ray Winstone in the lead despite the distraction of his East End accent, particularly for his work in the later part of the story. Of the wives, Assumpta Serna is an excellent Katharine of Aragon, giving the role some dignity; Helena Bonham-Carter is ok as Anne Boleyn but irritates at times - she does better in the scenes where she appears vulnerable than when she is feisty, talking-back Anne; Emilia Fox is good as Jane Seymour; Pia Girard has nothing to do as Anne of Cleves (I don't think she even speaks); Emily Blunt is miscast as Catherine Howard; and Clare Holman is effective as Catherine Parr. Others making an impact include David Suchet as Wolsey, Michael Maloney as Cranmer, Danny Webb as Thomas Cromwell, Dominic Mafham as Anne Boleyn's brother; Joseph Morgan as Thomas Culpepper; and Sean Bean as Robert Ashe.

Perhaps a bit of a misfire but a fascinating one.


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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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