Henry VIII and His Six Wives (1973)



Director:  Waris Hussein

Starring:  Keith Michell (Henry VIII), Donald Pleasence (Thomas Cromwell), Charlotte Rampling (Anne Boleyn), Jane Asher (Jane Seymour), Frances Cuka (Katherine of Aragon),  Lynne Frederick (Catherine Howard),  Jenny Boss (Anne of Cleves), Barbara Leigh-Hunt (Catherine Parr), Michael Gough (Norfolk),  Brian Blessed (Suffolk),  Michael Goodliffe (Thomas More),  Bernard Hepton (Cranmer),  Garfield Morgan (Cardiner), John Bryans (Wolsey),  John Bennett (Wriothesley).  

Country:  British film.

Based on a BBC-TV series, here we get to see all 6 wives of Henry.  What a history lesson and it is a very good film also. 




Spoiler Warning:






1485 -- Richard III slain at Bosworth Field and War of the Roses at last came to an end

Tudor Rule (1485-1603)

1485-1509 -- Henry VII. Avoided trouble with Parliament by seldom raising taxes. Centralized authority. He re-established law and order in an England weary of rebellion and civil war.

1509-47 -- Henry VIII

married his brother's widow, Catherine of Aragon

1511 -- signs of estrangement from Catherine

1513 Battle of the Spurs; victory over France

While he was away Catherine of Aragon fought a battle at Flodden Field which resulted in the death of King James IV of Scotland.

Thomas Wolsey was the greatest organizational brain the monarchy had ever had.

Anne Boleyn as a teenager was a lady in waiting to the wife of the French king. The queen was a proponent of courtly flirting and Anne was much influenced in this.

Henry put aside his wife, Catherine of Aragon, who had given him no male heir. He had begun to think that his marriage to Catherine was cursed, that it had been wrong to marry his dead brother's wife. Wolsey could not get the marriage done away with, so Woley was discharged.

He turns to Thomas Cranmer who finds documents proving the supreme power of the king. And Henry did live very supremely with some 50 palaces. Another person helping the king was Thomas Cromwell who became the secretary of state. In fact, the two pillars of the regime were Cromwell and Cranmer.

The strategy became to demonize the Pope and to require citizens to take a royal oath to the king. And it became a crime to criticize the king or queen of England.

1534 -- Act of Supremacy which set the king up as supreme head of the Church in England.

He skillfully won the consent of Parliament.

Cromwell's strongarm regime lasted from 1535 to 1536. He uprooted some 10,000 monks and nuns netting a huge property bonanza for the crown.

And then Cromwell had Anne Boleyn done in. Eighteen months after the birth of Elizabeth, Anne was pregnant again.

Catherine dies.

Anne's pregnancy ends in a miscarriage, of a boy. So the decision of Cromwell was that Anne must go. In 1536 she was doomed with charges of adultery. Five men were killed for the supposed adultery. She is beheaded.

The fight against the catholics continued with the vandalization of the Becket shrine.

Wife number three, Jane Seymour, delivers a son, Edward, but she dies.

With all the terrible retributions against the Catholics, the king finally decides that enough is enough. Cromwell was executed.

Marries Anne of Clives.


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