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4.7 out of 5 stars156
4.7 out of 5 stars
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This award winning production is a masterpeice. The cinematography is beautiful, the costumes are lush and magnificent, and the acting is superlative. Richard Burton, in the role of King Henry VIII, is superb, as his velvet voice mesmerizes the viewer. Genevieve Bujold, wonderful in the title role of the notorious Anne Boleyn, plays her part intelligently and with great presence. Irene Papas plays the role of the wronged Queen, Katherine of Aragon, with suitable pathos. Anthony Quayle is wonderful in the role of Cardinal Wolsey, prelate of the church and Chancellor of England, who eventually was brought low by Anne Boleyn. John Colicos does a remarkable job with the role of the ambitious Cromwell, who, regretably, would stop at nothing, even torture and murder, to see that his King got what he wanted.
While not historically accurate, it is still a sublime historical drama. It centers around Anne Boleyn's rise to prominence and her ultimate demise at the executioner's sword. While at court one day, Anne caught the King's eye. She, however, was in love with a courtier whom she wanted to marry. The King, besotted by her, refused to grant her permission to marry, and her courtier was forced to marry another. The King pursued Anne, while still married to the aging Katherine of Aragon. Anne refused, however, to give in and become his lover, knowing that once she did, she would be yesterday's news. Holding Cardinal Wolsey responsible for the loss of all her hopes and dreams, Anne played him like a fiddle, eventually bringing about his downfall. With Cromwell on the ascendancy, however, little did Anne know that her troubles were just beginning.
Angry at the turn that her life had taken, Anne became a doyenne of intrigue and, as she did with Wolsey, played the King like a fiddle. Her actions set into motion the events that would bring about the great Reformation, which would transform England from a Catholic country into a Protestant one. While Anne finally succeeded in marrying the King, she failed to produce the son that Henry VIII so desired, though the fault was Henry's and not hers, as we now know that it is the male who determines the sex of a child. The terms of Anne's reign would cost her dearly, and her legacy would be a bloody one. What had started out with high hopes would end tragically for her and set a precedent that would make all future wives fearful of coming to the same end. Ironically, Henry would never know that his child with Anne would become the greatest monarch that England has ever known, Elizabeth I.
This is a film that all lovers of period pieces and historical dramas will enjoy. It is simply a great movie.
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on 11 February 2007
This film evokes wonderfully the darkness and intrigue underlying the splendour of Henry's court. Bujold's Anne conveys convincingly the strong, spirited woman who beguiled and held Henry at bay before finally succumbing to the aura surrounding his majesty. All the leading actors are excellent. There are moments when Bujold seems genuinely hypnotized by the tortured pleading of Burton's frustrated but determined Henry. The dialogue between them is often riveting, as Henry agonizes over his position of lacking a male heir. Little attention is given to Anne's intellectual influence on Henry, which was considerable, but the drama of their passionate relationship is here in full. Anne finally promises to be the solution to all Henry's problems by giving him a son. But we all know what happened, and though this film does not always - particularly towards the end - reflect acccurately the historical facts, it brings wonderfully to life the characters involved: the gimlet-eyed Thomas Cromwell, the psychophantic Wolsey (rendered wonderfully by Anthony Quale), and Michael Hordern as Anne's calculating, spineless father. Every bit as enjoyable and well performed as 'A Man for All Seasons.'
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VINE VOICEon 7 November 2003
I have read some absolutely scathing reviews of this film by professional critics, and I cannot for the life of me understand why! The other reviews on these pages are far closer to showing what a truly memorable film this is. It is sumptuous to look at, and the performances are all in the acting masterclass league. Anthony Quayle, Irene Papas and Michael Hordern, as Cardinal Wolsey, Queen Katherine and Anne's father respectively, give committed performances, and John Colicos does a wonderfully reptilian turn as the completely unscrupulous Cromwell. But the film naturally belongs to Richard Burton and Genevieve Bujold.
Burton, with his wonderful voice, brings out every aspect of Henry: his self-deluding sentimentality, his determination to get what he wants at whatever cost both sexually and politically, his almost child-like ruthlessness and bullying, going from dewy-eyed vulnerability one minute to petulant rages the next. Was there ever a better way to sum up Henry than when he demands of a friend that he be spoken to frankly man-to-man, and then erupts "I am the King!"
I have seen many good performances of Anne Boleyn, from Charlotte Rampling in "Henry VIII And His Six Wives", to Helena Bonham-Carter in the recent ITV1 production, but Genevieve Bujold to me is the definitive Anne. Fiery, intelligent, alluring, and with a steely ruthlessness of her own. In many of the scenes she is simply exceptional, most particularly in her execution scene, which brilliantly captures the horror of this young woman being put to death on a beautiful May morning. My only criticism of the whole film is that sometimes the actors have to struggle with a clunky script, but for a film which captures the whole diabolical ruthlessness of Henry VIII's era (for instance, parents being more than willing to sell their daughters into the King's bed for whatever goodies it may bring them) that is a very minor criticism indeed.
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on 1 July 2004
Anne of the Thousand Days is the belated film adaptation of Maxwell Anderson's 1948 stage play. The story concentrates on the romance between Britain's King Henry VIII (Richard Burton) and his ill-fated second wife Anne Bolelyn (Genevieve Bujold).
After holding out for marriage rather than an illegitimate union, Anne marries Henry after he sheds himself of Katherine of Aragon causing a rift between the Crown and the Church in the process. Anne's inability to produce a male heir leads Henry to look about for other suitable mates. Henry's sinister right-hand man Cromwell (John Colicos) arranges for Anne to be condemned on a charge of adultery. She is beheaded, while Henry disconsolately sits in Windsor Castle, regretting this callous example of political expediency.
Bujold accents her portrayal with just enough tenacity to reveal something of the strong-willed child she would bear, Queen Elizabeth I. Richard Burton, in what must be his finest hour, ably portrays a ranting Henry obsessed with shedding his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, in order to bed Bolelyn and sire a male heir. The rustle and swirl of stunning period robes and gowns seasons the film with authenticity and atmosphere.
This film is exceedingly powerful and makes for very emotive viewing. It is also the best portrayal of Tudor England on the silver screen to date (you might want to look up "Lady Jane", another brilliant adaptation of the period).
My one and only (rather irrelevant) rant is WHY HAS THIS FILM NOT BEEN RELEASED ON DVD?
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on 14 November 2015
Anne of The 1000 Days is not available anywhere else on blu ray so to find this Spanish release was something of a suprise. I originally rejected it thinking that that the movie's credits would be in Spanish or there would be some problem with the disc that would detract from the viewing experience. How glad I am we purchased it. Just click on the English language option of the (Spanish language) menu on the disc. You will then see and hear the movie in full English language and with English credits and captions.

The 2:35:1 Cinemascope ratio picture is bursting with deep rich and detailed images and colour that instantly scream "High Definition" and there is a sharpness to it also, but no obvious electronic artefacing. There is a level of filmic grain but it is not distracting at all. The sound is 2 channel Dolby Stereo Surround but unlike the UK standard Definition release, it is more involving and has a greater surround presence.

Richard Burton gives a wonderfully majestic performance as Henry VIII and Genevieve Bujold is a spirited Anne Bolyen. The detail on the blu ray is so detailed that now it is possible to clearly see that in the wider shots of Henry and Anne dancing at the court, that it is not the two lead actors doing the intricate steps but two stand-ins. Eagle-eyed viewers will also spot a 'blink and you'll miss her' Elizabeth Taylor as a member of the Tudor court, keeping an eye on her husband who she thought was having an affair with Bujold. Rumour has it thet Bujold screamed at Taylor "Ill give that bitch a lesson in acting that she wont forget".

This is highly recommended viewing and also so is the supplier. There was a problem with the disc as the picture froze at 54 minutes. One email and a replacement disc was sent out the following day (the new disc is problem free).. No fuss and I will use this seller again for future purchases
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on 19 September 2001
This has been a favourite of mine since I saw it in the cinema on its original release. I taped it from a TV showing several years ago since it was unavailable to buy, but I have watched it so many times that the tape is almost threadbare! I just had to buy it when it became available. It hardly matters that Richard Burton bore little physical resemblance to Henry VIII - his performance was masterful, as was that of Genevieve Bujold and the supporting cast. It really helped in understanding at least some part of a complex period of history, fleshing-out the characters into three-dimensional people. It will remain one of my favourite films forever.
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on 27 July 2010
Richard Burton IS Henry VIII, extremely good acting also
of Geneviève Bujold, playing pretty Anne Boleyn - and excellent
acting as well of all other characters in this drama, but
Richard is the greatest of them all.

The movie is totally fantastic and although
one knows how this tragedy will end it is magic from
start to finish.
Beautiful photography and the best acting ever.

Many thanks and compliments as well to the seller -
extremly speedy delivery to Sweden.
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Anne of the Thousand Days is an enjoyably lavish entertainment from the days when duelling kings and commoners were all the rage at the box-office - Beckett, A Man For All Seasons, The Lion in Winter - before Cromwell and Mary Queen of Scots all but killed off the genre. As history, its better at the general details than the specifics, but it's magnificently staged and not without some dry wit and humour ("We used the incest excuse last time. We can't make a habit of it."), most of it intentional - there's not a writer alive who wouldn't be aware of the effect that giving Richard Burton dialogue like "Divorce is like killing - after the first time it's easy" would have on an audience. There's even some pathos in the final image of Henry callously riding off to his next bride as his last one's bloodstains the hay on the executioner's scaffold. Burton is on good form before he lurched into drunken autopilot mode, and Genevieve Bujold does well as the alternately innocent and vindictive Anne Boleyn. Even the usually arch and hammy John Colicos is fine as the overambitious Thomas Cromwell, but it's the eternally undervalued Anthony Quayle who steals the acting honors as Cardinal Wolsey, even making you feel for the old monster as he falls from favor.

Despite a couple of minor glitches in two shots, Universals R2 DVD boast's an excellent 2.35:1 widescreen transfer but no extras.
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on 22 February 2013
The best Anne Boleyn I have ever seen. Genevieve Bujold is enchanting and reflects the fact that Anne spent so long at the French court. Her journey from ingenue to Queen to prisoner is masterful. The cast is a roll call of British actors of the period at the top of their game and nobody hits a false note. Richard Burton imbues Henry with a probably undeserved sympathy but he is mesmeric to watch, very much the lion who learned his strength and Anne is his match in every way.
Her final moments on the scaffold are haunting, as is the image of the young Elizabeth learning to walk with a train and prophetically alone in the gardens as her mother goes to the scaffold.
The film looks sumptuous and even sticks quite close to the historical facts. That Anne was innocent of the charges made against her is now more or less accepted, as the Lord Mayor said after her trial "I could myself see no wrong in her but that they were determined to do away with her" (Apologies if I have misquoted at all)
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on 17 August 2004
Whilst this film may not be historically accurate on all counts, it is nevertheless fantastic entertainment.All involved give great performances, however the interplay between Burton and Bujold is faultless,both delivering moving yet passionate performances.The scene near the end of the film,when Henry visits Anne in the Tower,offering her life if she denys Elizabeths claim to the throne, is one of the finest in film history. Having fallen in love with this film at the age of 13, to this day it remains one of my all time favourites, as it fantastically brings to life the pageantry, romance, and politics of the day. An absolute gem.
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