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The Private Life of Henry VIII [VHS] [1933]

Charles Laughton , Robert Donat , Alexander Korda    Universal, suitable for all   VHS Tape
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Charles Laughton, Robert Donat, Franklin Dyall, Miles Mander, Laurence Hanray
  • Directors: Alexander Korda
  • Writers: Arthur Wimperis, Lajos Biró
  • Producers: Alexander Korda, Ludovico Toeplitz
  • Format: PAL, Black & White, Mono, Full Screen
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Carlton
  • VHS Release Date: 26 Jan 2000
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CJS9
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 239,895 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Charles Laughton won an Oscar for this performance as the much-married monarch, in a film which remains one of the UK's greatest international successes. Picking up Henry's reign after his betrothal to Anne Boleyn (Merle Oberon), wife number two, this Alexander Korda-directed costume epic follows the progress of the King's subsequent marriages to Jane Seymour (Wendy Barrie), Anne of Cleves (Elsa Lanchester), Katherine Howard (Binnie Barnes), and the woman who outlived him, Catherine Parr (Everley Gregg).

Product Description

Charles Laughton (The Hunchback of Notre Dame; The Canterville Ghost; Witness for the Prosecution) stars as King Henry VIII, with Robert Donat (The Thirty-Nine Steps; The Inn of the Sixth Happiness) as Thomas Culpepper, in this lavish Alexander Korda biopic, made in Black & White in 1933. The film tells the story of the king and the last five of his six wives. Set almost entirely within the royal castle, it begins just before the death of his second wife Anne Boleyn (Merle Oberon - The Scarlet Pimpernel; Wuthering Heights) and ends just after his sixth wedding to Catherine Parr (Everley Gregg). Also starring, as wives 3, 4 & 5 are; Wendy Barrie (as Jane Seymour), Elsa Lanchester (as Anne of Cleves) & Binnie Barnes (as Katherine Howard),

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
The Private Life of Henry VIII is great rip-roaring fun, racing through Henry's last five marriages in an hour-and-a-half (an opening caption explaining the first was too dull to bother with). More gossip than history, the performances are spot-on, from Charles Laughton's Henry, setting the benchmark for all other actors attacking the role, to the servants below stairs who act as an earthy chorus to the royal bedhopping. The wives fare pretty well, Merle Oberon making a strong impression in her brief pre-execution scenes as Ann Boleyn and Elsa Lanchester's outrageously comic turn as Ann of Cleves particular standouts. Impossible not to enjoy, why can't modern British period pieces have this much zest and be this much fun?

While there are many NTSC public domain versions available of varying quality, Network's official PAL DVD boasts much better picture quality.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best black'n'white films 4 Jun 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This was the film that really put British cinema on the map, and there are some masterful performances. The most noticeable are Charles Laughton (Henry VIII), Merle Oberon (Anne Boleyn) and Binnie Barnes (Catherine Howard.) However despite the lavish costumes (especially Oberon's and Barnes') the film was severely lacking in historical depth. The jovial Henry VIII played by Laughton was very far removed from the vicious tyrant of historical fact and the sultry temptress Catherine Howard was in historical fact a rather stupid and naive teenager.
Despite this it is a pleasure to watch good costume, hilarious in parts, touching in others (especially Anne Boleyn's death and the love-scenes between Culpepper and Catherine) and on a rainy afternoon it's great to sit down with it and a plate of chips and a good friend!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars film review. Private life of Henry 8 th 14 Feb 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am 85 years old. I saw this this film when I was a boy and enjoyed it. Any film with Charles Laughton is O.k. with me.Wonderful Actor !
BILL MILLS.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The King's Barber! 10 July 2014
By Mario
Format:DVD
A great performance by Charles Laughton. No longeurs. A decent amount of amusement and some effective innuendo. No historical veracity but follows the bare bones of truth in the Culpeper/Katherine Howard liaison. Something cinematic happening in the direction by Alexander Korda. A lively script. Rattles by in 90 minutes of fun.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 30 Jun 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Excellent Laughton
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5.0 out of 5 stars Henry VIII 10 Dec 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
We found this DVD to be exactly what we wanted. We were looking for a great entertainment and got it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An Old Film 5 Jun 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Bought this as husband thought he remembered it as a good film, but it is very dated. Still, Charles Laughton acts very well in the film, although not true to time of Henry VIII.
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