The Private Life of Henry VIII.

Synopsis: This movie tells the story of King Henry VIII and the last five of his six wives. Set almost entirely within the royal castle, it begins just before the death of his second wife (Anne Boleyn) and ends just after his sixth wedding (to Catherine or Katherine Parr).
Director(s): Alexander Korda
Production: Criterion Collection
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
97 min

[Bells Pealing]

- So that's the king's bed!

- Yes.

And he's not long left it.


- [Women Giggling]

- Ooh!

- I wonder what he looks like in bed.

- You'll never know.

Well, you needn't be spiteful about it.

Need she, Mistress Nurse?

No, my dear. And you've as good

a chance as anyone else...

if the king's in one

of his merry moods.

Oh, I never meant...

I never thought...

- Didn't you, darling?

- [Laughing]

Now, ladies, you're not here to quarrel

but to get busy with your needles.

Now all these A's have got to come out

and J's go in.


That's it.

- There you are. Hurry, hurry, ladies.

- [Chattering]

Anne Boleyn dies this morning.

Jane Seymour

takes her place tonight.

What luck.

For which of them?

I wonder.

[Crowd Chattering]

[Chattering Continues]

- Here I am, darlings!

- Come along. Sit down.

Oh, thank you!

Oh, poor Anne Boleyn.

- I do feel so sorry for her.

- [Hammering]

Excuse me, madam.

Do you mind taking off your hat?

We can't see the block.

Thank you so much.

[Hammering Continues]


[Whistling Continues]



Anne Boleyn.

Was she guilty, do you think?

- All her lovers confessed.

- Under torture.

She was as innocent as you or I.

Thanks for the compliment.

She dies so that the king

may be free to marry Jane Seymour.

Yes. That's what they mean

when they say, "Chop and change."

Oh, don't, girls.

It's no jesting matter.

[Crowd Chattering]

The other mirror, please,

Lady Marbury.

Will the net hold

my hair together when...

when my head falls?

[Lady Marbury Sobbing]

Yes, madam.

Isn't it a pity

to lose a head like this?

Still, they will easily

find a nickname for me.

Among the queens of England

I shall be "Anne sans tete. "

That means

"Anne who lost her head."


There is a blade for you.

Fit for a king.

Or in this case, a queen.

N'est-ce pas?

- Not fit for our queen.

- No? Why not?

She's an English queen, ain't she?

Well, what's wrong

with English steel?

And come to that, what's wrong

with an English headsman?

Ah. Meaning yourself?

Why not?

I was good enough to knock off

the queen's five lovers, wasn't I?

Why'd they want you?

A Frenchman from Calais!


- I will tell you!

- Nol

I'm telling you.

It's a crying shame...

with half the English executioners

out of work as it is.

And why are they out of work?

Because they are only fit to sever

the bull necks of their countrymen...

with a butcher's cleaver.

But a woman's neck,

a queen's neck...

That calls for finesse,

for delicacy...

for chivalry.

In one word, a Frenchman.

I could think of another word.

Jane Seymour, of all people.

Whatever could the king see in her?

Oh, she's very sweet.

Yes, but does the king like honey

with his milk and water?

- [Laughing]

- Listen!

- Wasn't that the gun?

- What gun?

Will there be a gun fired?

When Anne Boleyn's head falls,

a gun is to be fired from the tower...

another from Westminster,

and a third from Richmond...

so that the king may know

the moment he's free to marry Jane.

What a pretty arrangement. The joint

goes out, and bang... the sweets come in.

- Oh, Katherine!

- Oh, well, if the king were not a king,

what would you call him?

- What would you call him?

- I'll tell you.

No. Tell me.

If I were not a king, what then?

All right, ladies.

Come here!

Look at me.

What would you call me?

I should call you,

Your Majesty...

a man.

Ha! So I am and glad of it.


And you may be glad of it, too,

one day.


She must be new to the court.

- What's your name, wench?

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Lajos Biró


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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Private Life of Henry VIII." STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 21 Apr. 2021. <>.

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