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142 of 144 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic
The series comprises a series of screen plays, each dealing with a Queen's story. The series is held together by the magnificent performance of Keith Michell. He IS Henry VIII. He is ably supported by his consorts; Annette Crosbie as Catherine of Aragon shows anger dignity and pain, Dorothy Tutin as Anne Boleyn gives a glimpse of the spirited, single minded woman who...
Published on 12 Mar 2007 by G. R. Arckless

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars some great, some dissapointing
The pageantry, magnificent costumes, background music, background setting was gloriously done and made this series far more engaging to view.
The first episode on Catherine of Aragon (played with great pathos and dignity by Annette Crosbie), was sympathetic portrayal and was certainly the best in the series with intelligent dialogue and a real feel for the age. The...
Published 20 months ago by Gary Selikow


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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Great Depiction of an Historical Period Believably Brought to Life, 26 Dec 2008
By 
gilly8 "gilly8" (Mars, the hotspot of the U.S.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Six Wives Of Henry VIII - Complete Series [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
I am so glad to hear this series is now available on DVD!! I recall watching this wonderful series on our little 19" black and white TV zillions of years ago, and have raved about it to people ever since whenever anything Tudor-related is brought up. The acting was so good, and the history of the times was respected.

I realize I'm reviewing before seeing it again, but had to add my BZ (bravo-zulu!) to whoever had the idea of re-releasing it.

It got me, and many others I'd imagine, hooked on Tudor history. Since then as other reviewers have noted here, its hard to find movies or even books that don't make you want to wince...or worse.

Phillipa Gregory should be ashamed of herself. The only good thing about her books being best-sellers is perhaps some people will go on to read better written, more accurate Tudor history or historical fiction.

The "Man of All Seasons" feels dated, as does "Anne of a Thousand Days" but they're at least good entries into the field, and were well made.

I found the two Elizabeth movies starring Cate Blanchett released in the last few years to be discouraging. Many things were correct historically: the lovely clothes, the feel of the great icy cold castles, the constant fear of being "out of favor" and risking death thereby; but others were so far off, it felt like a "just miss" to me.

....Of course, wondering how serious Elizabeth's relationship with Robert Dudley was is one of those popular and never-to-be-known historical questions. That movie, however, with its' silly concept that Elizabeth I decided to recreate herself as the "VIRGIN QUEEN" for all time; a sort of symbol for...something..is ludicrous. She certainly spent a lot of time considering marriage for someone determined to be remembered as the "Virgin Queen".

The movie made from the Phillipa Gregory book....lets not even go there. Its' too distressing. Makes me feel how I felt when I first read the "DaVinci Code". History for the lowest common denominator, and wild theories presented as facts...!

In this "Six Wives of Henry VIII" series, at last we have available good acting, good story telling, honest history, (so far as it is known) and a story that really holds you. Henry's tragedy, his desire for a son and heir, changed all of English history and perhaps even that of W.Europe, as he threw over Catholicism to allow him to marry a younger woman who might give him a son. The tragedies build up, as each queen has some flaw, major or minor, that he cannot abide. THEY of course, were even more tragic figures, losing one's head is after all a bigger tragedy than someone's longing for a male heir. But the women are seen as minor creatures in the big play of history while Henry VIII remains important, a major factor in events of his time and even down to ours, due to his decision to remake the entire religion (and in some ways the culture) of his lands.
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8 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been better, 31 Dec 2010
By 
Judith Loriente (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Six Wives Of Henry VIII - Complete Series [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
This BBC series is nowhere near perfect. The actors sometimes do not speak clearly, or speak with their backs to the camera, so that I often had to turn the volume right up to try to hear what they were saying. Then, when they began shouting and screaming, I had to hastily turn it down, since it got ridiculously loud. Maybe they didn't bother to hold microphones above the actors, which might have made it easier to understand them. The series could also have done without some of this melodrama, such as Catherine of Aragon's blood-curdling scream upon learning that her husband intends to divorce her.

Also, I do not agree that Dorothy Tutin was well cast as Anne Boleyn. She was absolutely perfect as Cecily in The Importance Of Being Earnest [DVD] [1952], but the youthful gaiety that was evident there seems to have deserted her eighteen years later. She came across as wooden, and, when she was trying to be chirpy, it seemed forced. She did not display the effortless vivacity that Anne Boleyn is reputed to have had.

To give credit where credit is due, Keith Mitchell is AMAZING as Henry VIII. He seamlessly morphs from a foppish young Renaissance prince into a prematurely-aged heffalump, who nonetheless possesses the mind of a sly old fox, and a wry sense of humour. It's worth watching the series once just to watch him. But I'm glad I only borrowed the DVD from the library. I'm not sure I would have felt I'd wasted my money if I'd bought it, but I doubt I would have watched it again for years. Though this edition does have a bonus disc, which includes a very good half-hour documentary about Anne Boleyn's downfall - the only part of it that I definitely would have re-watched.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When the BBC actully questioned the validity of the monorchy, 11 May 2011
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This review is from: The Six Wives Of Henry VIII - Complete Series [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
RADA trained Austalian actor Keith Mithcall depicts Henry the 8th from a slim idelistic and curtious youth to an obese tyrincal old man on his death bed in six 90 minute plays that each stand on their own merits as riveting pieces of drama . Demonstrating televison drama of a worthy clutarial significance. Each play depicts well the political whealings and dealings of the opurtunists within Hampton court and the tragedy of the six wifes. Each play probs the viewers consince and holds the atention well. Dorothy Tutin's sympathtic yet honest performance as Ann Bolyn was one performance that stood out for me however all the actors involved in this production are expertly cast and give timless comited perfromance to a drama that relies on the power of the acting set design to carry things forward and not on opurtinstic titlation over acting , and expense to depict life at Hampton court( I wounder whether critics will hold with the same reverence the sexed up Tudors from the BBC of 2000 doubt it). The life and (often) death of each of his Six Wives is presented in a stand alone episode each women distictive character and life is given aproprate room to be explored by the writer( six one for each play) and director.
It ends where expected and the quality of this production should be sufficient appetizer to stimulate the viewers intellectual apatite to seek out the equally excellent sequal Elizabeth R.
Todays viewer might find it a displine to submit to 90 minutes of concentration where the subtlty and intelligent wity dilouge are the pay off, but they will be better served here in terms of historical acuracy and balance then any of then countless Hollywood movies(exception Man For All Seasons)or sexed up productions with Jonthon Rhys Meries flashing it about. This series is a telling indicator as to why why we reamin a nation where collusion(for collective self interest) and institution often mean the same thing.

The late Keith Mitchall was a consumate entertainer and a decade latter went on to have a light hearted hit single(of the novelty kind) with his reading of Lloyds poem Captain Beeky( as well as being the illistater of a series of childrens books)in adtion to performing in sevral highly regarded Rada Productions.

As a curious footnote soon after the repeat BBC1 run. The BBC in their wisdom put together a special musical programme(along the lines of the good old days the Andy Willaims Show) starring Keith Mitchell which showcased Mithells entertainment range as a performer along with other stars of television of the day Diana Rigg the Mike Sammews singers( remember them)
ah for the time during a time when the BBC knew how to entertain the spirit and engage the mind and delver across the board productions of high quality and meaning.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keith Michell & the Six Wives of Henry VIII, 7 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Six Wives Of Henry VIII - Complete Series [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
I watched the whole series on TV in the 70`s and I liked it very much. However, the Tudors on DVD was a much more professional series. I am not pulling the original one apart please understand.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Henry VIII, 21 Nov 2012
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This review is from: The Six Wives Of Henry VIII - Complete Series [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
This dvd was bourght as a present for my Mum for christmas. I remember watching this film with my parents and we were fascinated with it. My Mum will love it am sure !
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 27 May 2010
By 
Stephen Bloom "Steve B" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Six Wives Of Henry VIII - Complete Series [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
Dated from 1970 but historically quite accurate compared to other series such as 'the tudors'. Starring Patrick Troughton as the Duke of Norfolk and Keith Michell as Henry, this is a well acted series. Some episodes are a little long, and there is no nudity, swearing or much blood letting for that matter. The religous nature of Henry's reign are well documented, and the aging process works well for Michell, who gradually become the obese, ulcerated and balding tyrant we all know from history books.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good..impressive..., 14 May 2009
By 
Simender Mesci "simend" (istanbul) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Six Wives Of Henry VIII - Complete Series [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
one subtitle...just english..but the rest is ok..good costums..good dialoges..it is a very good product for all who likes english history, drama..and quality..:) thank you amazon..
simender
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm.... picture quality, 17 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Six Wives Of Henry VIII - Complete Series [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
We are rather spolit with the quality of picture of modern videos and tv series. I'd forgotten how fuzzy and washed out the tv picture looked in the 70s.
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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tudor Bollywood, 12 Jan 2011
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This review is from: The Six Wives Of Henry VIII - Complete Series [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
As so much has already been said about this series, I'll confine myself to some very personal observations. What a wonderful product of its time - the late 1960's. Quite difficult to keep a straight face during the frequent dancing scenes - Bollywood with a 16th Century slant. There were times when I expected Rowan Atkinson, dressed as a Tudor Blackadder, to burst through the draperies.
I found the first three wives rather heavy going, not because of the tragedy of their circumstances, but due to the scripts and "special effects"; the soft lens tracts indicating all too brief married bliss, and the strange booms during the Jane Seymour episode, which I initially mistook for a technical fault. The 60's make-up - deadly pallor and greenish mauve lips - didn't help. These days it would only be used on bodies fished from lakes or rivers, and I felt especially sorry for Annette Crosby as Catherine of Aragon, who looked like a corpse long before she popped her clogs.
On second thoughts, perhaps I got this wrong, and the make-up was designed to indicate extremely low body temperature during an era devoid of central heating?
Things livened up considerably once Anne of Cleves arrived on the scene - how refreshing to have a queen with wit, a sense of humour, and some blood in her lips.
Plenty of blood elsewhere of course - this was Tudor England after all - but I am, since watching this series, of the firm opinion that the historians got it all wrong. The reason for all this bloodshed wasn't due to religious division, moral law, power struggle or intrigue, but bad temper due to severe physical discomfort. Those garments, rendering most men wider than high, must have been extremely heavy and exceedingly hot to wear - not to mention the poor women with their heads squashed into gabled nesting boxes.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star, 24 July 2014
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This review is from: The Six Wives Of Henry VIII - Complete Series [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
Crap. Wish I could send it back...
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