A superbly acted costume drama, ANNE OF THE THOUSAND DAYS recounts the story of Henry VIII (Richard Burton), who, in 1526, discards his wife, Katherine of Aragon (Irene Papas), in favor of the younger, prettier Anne Boleyn (Genevieve Bujold), who soon proves to be as crafty and ruthless as
her sovereign. Resisting Henry's incessant advances, insisting that any child born to them must be decreed legitimate, Anne plays her cat-and-mouse game for six years, while Cardinal Wolsey (Quayle) collapses into ineffectual senility when he fails to have Anne's marriage to another annulled. Only
the Iago-like Cromwell (John Colicos) solves the king's dilemma by precipitating a break with the Vatican, naming Henry head of the Church of England, and dispensing with any religious controls over his or Anne's marital status. Although the union produces a daughter, Henry later seizes upon the
birth of a stillborn son as an excuse to abandon his queen and and woo the attractive Jane Seymour (Lesley Paterson). After that Anne's days are numbered--one thousand, to be exact.
Based on the 1948 Maxwell Anderson play (a star vehicle for Rex Harrison on Broadway), ANNE OF THE THOUSAND DAYS has a touch of soap opera which helps explain its then-substantial gross of $7 million. But it also boasts lavish sets and handsome photography, an arresting performance by Burton--the
epitome of the royal fox and oaf--and well-judged work from Bujold, Papas, and Quayle, all of which make for a rousing, bawdy, and often enlightening historical film. A successful entry in a series of such features made during the 60s, including BECKET (also produced by Wallis), A MAN FOR ALL
SEASONS, and THE LION IN WINTER, the film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture but lost to John Schlesinger's gritty, contemporary MIDNIGHT COWBOY.
Sign up and add shows to get the latest updates about your favorite shows - Start Now
- 1. mixed-ish Review: The black-ish Spin-off Gets Being Mixed Race Right
- 2. There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel for Jo on Grey's Anatomy
- 3. Survivor: Rob Cesternino Reveals His Favorite Island of the Idols Players – and How He Became a Survivor Legend
- 4. Alfred Tries to Dump Sandra In this Pennyworth Sneak Peek
- 5. Chicago P.D.'s Season 7 Premiere Will Finally Provide Answers About Antonio's Absence
- 6. Where to Stream Downton Abbey
- 7. Here Are the Episodes of Netflix's Criminal to Watch First