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Henry VIII [DVD] [2003]

Ray Winstone , Joss Ackland , Pete Travis    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
Price: 4.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Henry VIII [DVD] [2003] + Lady  Jane [DVD] + Anne of the Thousand Days [DVD][1969]
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Product details

  • Actors: Ray Winstone, Joss Ackland, Sid Mitchell, Charles Dance, Mark Strong
  • Directors: Pete Travis
  • Writers: Peter Morgan
  • Producers: Andy Harries, Bill Shephard, Francis Hopkinson, Justin Bodle, Peter Morgan
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: ITV Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Mar 2005
  • Run Time: 192 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000DK4NO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,569 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



At the heart of Henry VIII stands a towering performance by Ray Winstone, who literally grows into the role, impressively doubling in size and ageing 40 years over the course of two feature-length episodes. Focusing on Henry's relationships with his six wives, this lavish mini-series also makes a good job of explaining the complex court intrigues of the period, detailing Henry's split with Rome and the political crisis following the creation of the Church of England. Winstone initially seems to play the King as little more than a London gangster, but he gradually unfolds a complex, brutal, manipulative, romantic, dedicated and driven man with great skill.

In a role which harks back to Lady Jane (1986), Helena Bonham Carter makes an intelligent and sardonic Anne Boleyn, her bold performance contrasting strongly with Geneviève Bujold in Anne of the Thousand Days (1969). Emily Blunt impresses as the sexpot Katherine Howard, and Emilia Fox is compelling as Henry's greatest love, Jane Seymour. There's fine support from an all-star cast, including Sean Bean, Charles Dance and David Suchet. The production is unflinching, with burnings, torture, marital violence and executions graphically portrayed. If there's a weakness it lies in too-modern dialogue and an uncertain visual style, with noticeable borrowings from John Boorman's Excalibur and Ridley Scott's Gladiator, as well as setting Shakespeare in Love-style elegance against the ugly colours and graininess of reality TV. Ultimately Henry VIII plays most like a prequel to Elizabeth (1999)--right down to using the same piece of Elgar to underscore the finale--and has most of the same faults and virtues as that Oscar-winning film. --Gary S Dalkin

Product Description

The enigma of Henry VIII - tyrant, womaniser and the man who changed England forever - continues to fascinate Britain centuries after his death. Ray Winstone brings history's most beguiling monarch to life in this story of Henry VIII revealing the destruction Henry often left in his wake during his extraordinary 38 year reign. From the moment Henry Tudor casts aside his faithful wife Katherine of Aragon for the bewitching and determined Anne Boleyn (Helena Bonham Carter), he sets himself on course for a series of disastrous marriages. Violent conflict, both within the population and the church, left England reeling while its complex and charismatic King turned from handsome playboy to a bitter invalid desperate for a son and heir to the throne.

Starring Ray Winstone, Helena Bonham Carter, David Suchet, Emilia Fox, Sean Bean, Charles Dance, Mark Strong, Michael Maloney and Joss Ackland.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Henry VIII good drama 5 Oct 2011
This two-part film for television about Henry VIII and his six wives is very good.
It may not be historically accurate but if it were it would be a much longer film.
In the interests of entertainment the story is told in a condensed way but also it does stick to the main points of the historical facts.

Ray Winstone has been criticised for his London accent and his "gangster" style of aggression in his performance. But since no one knows how exactly how Henry VIII sounded except for "a" London accent what does it matter? I think his performance is excellent. His performance changes throughout the piece. We see him aggressive but we also see him as caring and romantic. Also compared to other actors who have played Henry VIII he is more convincing.
Unlike the TV series "The Tudors" we see Ray as Henry go from being young and fairly slim to being old, big, fat and ill. The transformation of his appearance and his behaviour through the acting is very good.

There is good attention to detail with costumes and props and the story moves at a good pace. Generally this is an entertaining three hours of TV history.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HenryV111 and his Six Wives (Ray Winstone) 19 Jan 2012
Fantastic Film.. Ray Winstone catches Henry's charather brilliantly..
I love the scenes between him and Anne Boleyn, Helena Bonham Carter seem to make Anne come alive again. Also the scenes between Anne and Catherine of Aragon.. I should imagine that in real Life Catherine of Aragon would have cheerfully strangled Anne without grace or gravy if she hadn't got other things on her mind..
One of the scenes, where Anne and Henry dance together (well sort of) after they've just got married is a particulary beautiful moment in the film as you can see the love between them, and the music that goes with that scene is driving me nuts, it's just so beautiful. Does anyone actually know who wrote it? and if it's possible to get hold of it?
There is also another scene that is sort of disturbing, when he finds out that Katherine Howard has been playing away from home so to speak. Marches into her room to kill her, I think that did actually happen in real life but of course he was stopped by his bodyguard or something.
Anyway I loved it and it deserves more than the 5 stars I've given it here so I guess I could say 5.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000etc etc forever..
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good but not great! 3 July 2012
This show takes liberties on the Henry story , much like the tv show the tudors did too. Still Ray Winstone is excellent as the bloodthirsty and rapacious; but in some ways great king. This is a newer version of the story and so on dvd it looks great but, don't expect accuracy in historical details. that is one reason the classic 'six wives of henry the eighth' is a superior show content wise. Although that was shot on sets using videotape. This one is still worth watching and I actually own this dvd. The main fault is that unlike the classic 1930's version which starred Charles Laughton, this just doesn't have the writing or wit of that movie. It's fine , and I would say worth watching though. It's just not outstanding , the acting is fine though. If you liked the Tudors , you will like this , although henry in either show really doesn't become the sick , huge man , he would become in later life. The man was huge at six foot five! and really handsome in his youth, but by his last days his people had named him 'the mugwarp'. This is worth a watch and buying it a cheaper price is probably a good idea.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars history no, entertainment yes 15 Nov 2004
I found this TV production though not "historical", highly entertaining, 90% of it because of Ray Winstone's Henry VIII. He paints a portrait full of masculine vigor, with enough lust in his heart for at least a dozen men, and his tough guy East End accent somehow works well too, though it is quite a change from the Richard Burton/King's English type of Henry VIII I have previously seen.
There are scenes where he is memorable, like the emotion he expresses after Anne Boleyn (Helena Bonham Carter) gives birth to Princess Elizabeth..
In his old age Henry becomes a sad and sickly figure, and Winstone realistically catches that aspect of him too.
The rest of the large cast is also good, which includes David Suchet as Cardinal Wolsey, and Sean Bean in a role that is not long, but one of his most powerful, as Robert Aske, who goes against the king for having committed the brutal "dissolution of the monasteries".
The plot starts in 1509, with the death of Henry VII, and the young Henry VIII marrying Katherine of Aragon, but quickly segues to 1524, and centers on the last 21 years of Henry's life, with still no male heir from Katherine, enter Anne Boleyn and the other wives, court intrigue, and manipulations by Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas Cromwell among those vying for power.
It is also quite gritty and bloody, and not for the young or squeamish, including muddy, violent battle and jousting scenes, lots of heads being chopped off, and even a dog fight, which fortunately is more heard than seen.
Well paced direction by Pete Travis, script by Peter Morgan, cinematography by Peter Middleton, and score by Robert Lane, make this an engrossing, if not historically accurate film, and since the core of this production are the intimate scenes, artistic license is to be expected.
Total running time is 250 minutes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I have had this series a while now but still watch it today
Published 4 days ago by Mrs K Lawrence
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good !!!!!!!!!! thank you
Published 10 days ago by Marie-christine Meesschaert
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Package received in good time, item as described, very happy.
Published 14 days ago by Emma Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy
Brilliant film. Service efficient
Published 16 days ago by Edgehill
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT
Bought this as a present for a friend, as they really like things about the Tudors and Ray Winstone plays a fantastic part.
Published 1 month ago by Adam bush
5.0 out of 5 stars Henry VIII
Best portrayal of Henry ever. Schools seem to forget the man was just that. - an ordinary MAN underneath his job. Read more
Published 2 months ago by movedbymortensen
5.0 out of 5 stars What a bastard!
This film really made me hate Henry as a human being. To arouse such strong feelings it must have been a good film!
Published 3 months ago by Jo Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars highly recommend
I love tudor history very factual and excellent dvd if interested in tudor history.I thoroughly enjoyed this dvd. Excellent delivery time and excellent value for the money. Read more
Published 4 months ago by aine
4.0 out of 5 stars YOU MUST SEE.
Good film and portrays Henry even more as the tyrant he was,Good acting and slight variation from The Tudors with poetic license I think.
Published 4 months ago by M. Hinchliffe
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant mini-series about Henry VIII

The enigma of Henry VIII - tyrant, womaniser and the man who changed England forever - continues to fascinate Britain centuries after his... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mr. A. J. Tennant
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