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Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

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  • Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

    Historical dramas, war films and epics are my favorite film genres, and this account of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII is one of the best of the dramas.

    It is exceptionally well written - not always true of historical films. It is also exceptionally well acted by Genevieve Bujold, who plays Anne. She starts out as a pretty, shallow, charming girl and turns into a a quiet heroic figure as the story progresses. Irene Papas has only a couple of scenes as Katherine of Aragon, but she creates a fully realized character. The rest of the cast includes Anthony Quayle, Michael Hordern, Nora Swinburne and Esmond Kinight.

    The one surprise is Richard Burton, who lacks energy and intensity as Henry. I'm not sure what to make of his performance. Robert Shaw brought more energy to the role of Henry in one very brief part in A Man for All Seasons. But he does make clear that Henry is a tyrant - a monstrously self-absorbed man. This is not always clear in other films about Henry.

    Anne's trial scene is underplayed and very powerful.

    Charles Laughton was impressive and entertaining, but he wasn't convincingly malicious and selfish. Burton is.

    This was released in 1969. What a time that was for historical films! The Battle of Britain, Nicholas and Alexandra, Waterloo, Ryan's Daughter, Cromwell and this within a few years time.

  • #2
    My favourite Brit films are Letter To Brezhnev, Rita Sue And Bob Too, Nuns On The Run, i also like the Carry On films.


    • #3
      I really enjoyed A Lion In Winter, great cast and musical score.


      • #4
        Should we change the thread title?


        • #5
          I read somewhere that Richard Burton was so bored with his role of Henry VIII that while doing close ups and from the waist upwards shots, he couldn’t be bothered to put on the bottom half of his costume…he just wore his own trousers instead.


          • #6
            I can't perceive of the movie Anne of the Thousand Days as an English film.

            I can't stop myself from imagining Aaron Wolowicz (a.k.a. 'Harold B. Wallis') gripping his cigar and barking orders to his minions (which included people like John Wayne, Jerry Lewis, Ayn Rand, Elvis Presley and sundry starlets over the years).

            And I think it was Penelope Gilliatt who suggested Americans were unable to cope with genuine Shakespeare so they engaged Maxwell Anderson to produce ersatz-Shakespeare for their consumption.