The Private Life of Henry VIII

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The Private Life of Henry VIII is a 1933 film about Henry VIII, King of England. It was written by Lajos Biró and Arthur Wimperis, and directed by Sir Alexander Korda.

Charles Laughton won the 1933 Academy Award as Best Actor for his performance as Henry. The film was the first British production to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.



In May 1536, immediately following the execution of his second wife, Anne Boleyn (Merle Oberon), King Henry VIII (Charles Laughton) marries her maid, the plain Jane Seymour (Wendy Barrie). However, she dies in child birth eighteen months later. He then weds a German princess, Anne of Cleves (played by Laughton's real-life wife Elsa Lanchester). This marriage ends in divorce when Anne deliberately makes herself unattractive so that she can be free to re-marry her sweetheart. After this divorce, Henry marries the beautiful and ambitious Lady Katherine Howard (Binnie Barnes). She has rejected love all her life in favour of ambition, but after her marriage, she falls in love with Henry's handsome courtier Thomas Culpeper (Robert Donat). Their liaison is discovered by Henry's advisers and the couple are executed. Henry's final marriage, to Catherine Parr (Everley Gregg), receives less than five minutes of screentime.


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