Henry VIII and His Six Wives

Watch Henry VIII and His Six Wives

  • PG
  • 1972
  • 2 hr 5 min
  • 6.8  (922)

Henry VIII and His Six Wives is a historical drama film released in 1972, directed by Waris Hussein, and starring Keith Michell as King Henry VIII. The movie covers the tumultuous reign of King Henry VIII of England from his ambitious ascent to the throne to his infamous divorce and eventual beheading of one of his queens. It is a stunning adaptation of the royal scandal that left an indelible mark on British history.

The film focuses on Henry VIII's six marriages and his efforts to gain a male heir to secure the Tudor dynasty. It follows the amorous, ill-tempered king's tumultuous relationships with his wives, who were instrumental in the formation of the Church of England and the Reformation. The six queens are played by a stellar cast, including Charlotte Rampling as Anne Boleyn and Lynne Frederick as Catherine Howard.

The film's story begins with the death of King Henry VII and the ascension of his powerful, charismatic son Henry VIII. At the age of 18, Henry VIII is depicted as a strong, handsome, and charismatic king, surrounded by a splendorous court with his devoted friend and Chancellor Sir Thomas More (played by John Colicos) by his side. Despite having a queen consort, Catherine of Aragon (played by Frances Cuka), for over two decades, the king is desperate for a male heir. When Catherine miscarries another son and becomes too old to bear children, Henry sets his sights on a young and beautiful Anne Boleyn (Rampling), a lady-in-waiting to Catherine.

What follows is a convoluted and messy landscape of marriages, divorces, and executions as Henry VIII struggles to get the son he so desperately desires. He divorces Catherine of Aragon, marries Anne Boleyn, but is unhappy when she too fails to give him a son. Anne is accused of adultery and is ultimately beheaded. Henry then marries Jane Seymour (played by Charlotte Rampling), who finally gives him the son he has longed for, but she dies soon after giving birth.

Henry then moves on to Anne of Cleves (played by Jenny Bos), whom he describes as haltingly beautiful. But he soon finds her less attractive and arranges an annulment, making her the 'King's Sister' and providing her with comfortable estates. Onward to a foolhardy teenage Catherine Howard (Lynne Frederick), but she is also executed for infidelity. Finally, Henry marries his last wife, Catherine Parr (played by Rosalie Crutchley), who survives him and goes on to outlive three other husbands.

The cinematography and costumes are beautiful, with colorful and lush settings that bring the audience back to the Tudor era. The film's score also helps to set the mood and enhance the drama of the story. But the real strength of the movie is in the performances of the lead actors. Keith Michell is excellent as Henry VIII, portraying both the kingly and vulnerable sides of the often tyrannical monarch. Charlotte Rampling, in particular, stands out as Anne Boleyn, showing a complex and dynamic character that is equal parts alluring and cunning.

The film's direction is also commendable, navigating the complex story of Henry VIII's life and giving each of his wives their own distinct personality and story arc. While historical dramas sometimes suffer from being overly long and tedious, Henry VIII and His Six Wives avoids this by keeping the story moving and engaging throughout its 125-minute runtime.

In conclusion, Henry VIII and His Six Wives is a superbly made historical drama that captures the spirit of one of England's most notorious kings. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in Tudor history, and for those who enjoy a well-made, character-driven drama.

Henry VIII and His Six Wives is a 1972 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 5 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8.

Henry VIII and His Six Wives
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Where to Watch Henry VIII and His Six Wives
Henry VIII and His Six Wives is available to watch, stream, download and on demand at Amazon Prime. Some platforms allow you to rent Henry VIII and His Six Wives for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
    1972
  • MPAA Rating
    PG
  • Runtime
    2 hr 5 min
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (922)