The Private Life of Henry VIII.

1933

Biography / Comedy / Drama

2
IMDb Rating 7.1 10 4035

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
August 09, 2021 at 11:12 PM

Cast

Merle Oberon as Anne Boleyn - The Second Wife
Binnie Barnes as Katherine Howard - The Fifth Wife
Terry-Thomas as Extra
Charles Laughton as Henry VIII
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
865.57 MB
968*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 34 min
P/S 15 / 74
1.57 GB
1440*1072
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 34 min
P/S 22 / 110

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by theowinthrop 10 / 10

Alexander Korda and his history lessons

Born in Hungary, Alexander Korda became a leading figure in British cinema. He would approach Hollywood in his production, casting, and vision of how movies should be made. And he was quite aware of what he was facing in his struggles. Britain's film industry was never as wealthy as it's American cousin (or it's German cousin, for that matter). But due to language it had inroads to the United States as well as the empire. If it could not meet Hollywood's (or Ufa's) best production values, it had a stable of actors that were hard to match. In fact, many of them ended up in Hollywood (much to Korda's disgust). This was not only those born in the British Isles like Olivier, Leigh, Laughton, but also those who were foreign born who ended up in British films as stars (like Veidt).

Korda also had European history and culture to play with, and in the 1930s would do a series of films that involved both. They centered on some historical or legendary character: Henry VIII, Don Juan, Catherine the Great, Rembrandt, the Roman Emperor Claudius. Laughton appeared in three of these, as Henry, Rembrandt, and Claudius. Douglas Fairbanks Sr. would be Don Juan and his son would be Catherine's husband Peter III of Russia. There were also "foreign" or "imperial" settings for some of these epics. Sabu became Kipling's Mowgli in "The Jungle Book". The Arabian Nights were the basis for "The Thief of Baghdad".

Henry VIII is really not filling in the entire monarch's life or reign. It barely notices wife #1 (Catherine of Aragon), who it considers dull. It begins with the conclusion of the second marriage with Anne Boleyne in 1536, and then jumps rapidly into the brief third marriage, the comedy of the fourth marriage in 1541, the deep tragedy of the fifth marriage in 1544, and the last marriage, wherein Henry seems to have married a nurse and a scold (not really historically correct). Laughton is superb as a man, seeming with everything, who can't (for one reason or another) find the happiness he seeks in a content home life. But the film does not delve into his policies, and it really does not get into the personality conflicts within Henry's character. He does act the bully and the gallant and the buffoon (such as when discoursing on fine table manners), but the parts (if analyzed) do not hold together as well as say Robert Shaw's sly and sinister monarch in "A Man For All Seasons", but Shaw is playing a younger man in a period of only six years, while Laughton is dealing with nearly twelve years as the same man fights to retain youth and yet ages badly due to ill-health. Laughton did deserve his Oscar, but Shaw needed two more films of Henry at later stages to fill in his first rate junior portrait.

Laughton did well with Henry, as Korda did by selecting Laughton. We are the richer for both of their visions.

Reviewed by A-No.1 8 / 10

Don't forget Elsa Lanchester

All the comments I have read about this movie have focussed on Charles Laughton and though he gives a performance that makes this film worth seeing on that basis alone, I was more struck by Elsa Lanchester and daresay that she even managed to usurp him in their scenes together. Her performance as Anne of Cleves is one that is memorably eccentric, as she plays her with a kind of flakey caginess that is funny, fascinating and original. She is also quite striking to watch and I am thankful that Bride of Frankenstein has given her a degree of cinematic immortality that might otherwise have been denied her. Returning to this film though, it is highly entertaining, though its abrupt mood shifts leave the viewer with an inconsistent impression about Henry VIII and his volatile personality, but, then again, perhaps that was the point: to show just how inconsistent a man he was in his thoughts and desires.

Reviewed by didi-5 7 / 10

Charles Laughton as the Tudor king

Alexander Korda's film about Henry VIII was a worthy Oscar winner - the first time a British film was so recognised. Seen now it is a dated piece of work but Charles Laughton has the heart and soul of the king down to perfection - grumbling, belching, ripping meat of the bones with his bare hands, leering at the women of his court, and - when the situation allows it - giving the part a fair amount of pathos.

Oddly, the film begins with the execution of Anne Boleyn (Merle Oberon). We don't see the first wife, Katherine of Aragon, at all. Wendy Barrie is Jane Seymour, the one true love of Henry's life - for her he changed his initialled monogram from an entwined H and A (for Anne) to H and J. Catherine Howard is played by Binnie Barnes - she's a bit too flighty for my liking and not an accurate reading of Catherine as history renders her. Robert Donat has a thankless part as Culpeper, who Catherine sets her sights on. And as Catherine Parr, the last Queen to Henry and the one to outlast him, Everley Gregg is amusing and touching.

The scene-stealer as usual though is the real-life Mrs Laughton, Elsa Lanchester, playing the plain, card-dealing, Anne of Cleves. She puts this part across with little effort, wheedling money from her new husband in lieu of the expected fruits of their wedding night. These scenes are a great source of comedy as the two pros play off each other.

'The Private Life of Henry VIII' is a good play, and just when you think you know how the part is going to go, it surprises you as all good acting should. Laughton would do other good work for Korda (including Rembrandt a few years later) but this is one of his best remembered roles for British cinema.

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