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.