Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5. United Kingdom, 1969. Hal Wallis Productions. Screenplay by Bridget Boland, John Hale, adaptation by Richard Sokolove, based on the play by Maxwell Anderson. Cinematography by Arthur Ibbetson. Produced by Hal B. Wallis. Music by Georges Delerue. Production Design by Maurice Carter. Costume Design by Margaret Furse. Film Editing by Richard Marden. Academy Awards 1969. Golden Globe Awards 1969.
King Henry VIII (Richard Burton) risks the dangerous anger of the Vatican when he forms the Church of England in order to obtain a divorce from his wife, Catherine of Aragon (Irene Papas). Motivating him is a romance between himself and Anne Boleyn (Genevieve Bujold), and he believes that marrying her will help him forget his stale, son-less marriage to Catherine and give him the male heir he so desires. The acting in this very plush drama is especially good, particularly in scenes where a young, vibrant Bujold gets to shine. The rest of it, however, is a glossy soap opera that doesn’t have the deft wit of The Private Lives of Henry VIII or the nasty bite that later Tudor England/Elizabethan dramas would feature that would make them so enjoyable.