Henry VIII and His Six Wives (1972)

PG   |    |  Biography, Drama


Henry VIII and His Six Wives (1972) Poster

On his deathbed, King Henry VIII looks back over his eventful life and his six marriages.


7/10
749

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5 January 2013 | Chase_Witherspoon
7
| A preview to whet the appetite
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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