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.
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.
Academy Award: Best Costume Design
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Actor (Richard Burton); Best Actress (Genevieve Bujold); Best Supporting Actor (Anthony Quayle); Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Cinematography; Best Art Direction; Best Sound; Best Original Score for a Motion Picture-non-musical
Golden Globe Awards: Best Picture-Drama; Best Actress-Drama (Genevieve Bujold); Best Director (Charles Jarrott); Best Screenplay
Nominations: Best Actor-Drama (Richard Burton); Best Supporting Actor (Anthony Quayle)