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The Wives of Henry VIII
The Wives of Henry VIII
Actor: David Starkey
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television
UR     2002     3hr 18min


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Movie Details

Actor: David Starkey
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television
Studio: Bfs Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 10/08/2002
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 3hr 18min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 6
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A Great Historical Account
M. Hodges | CA | 12/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"For those who enjoyed the documentary that aired in July 2003 on PBS and couldn't find the DVD to buy, this is it! This is the entire program with David Starkey as the narrator. A very good account with live actors intermixed with historical locations and portraits. My only criticism is that the costumes (particularly the headpieces) tend to be a lot more lavish than what they would have been and equal time should have been spent on the last four wives. The time is allocated more on the number of years they played a role in Henry's life, so the first DVD is comprised of Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, the second with Jane/Anne/Katherine/Catherine. All in all, Henry VIII fans will not be disappointed."
A Great Mini Series
Rudy Avila | Lennox, Ca United States | 06/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This PBS mini series, narrated by David Starkey, describes in great detail the six wives of King Henry the 8th and their respective lives and fates. PBS has always been the first and foremost in high quality mini series regarding history. After all, it has seens such great mini series as The Civil War and Jazz. The costumes, authentic to the Tudor Era, and the acting is very well done and the insight into what really happened is exciting and engaging. King Henry the 8th did not intend to marry six wives throughout his entire life. He wanted a son or many sons to be his heirs and future kings of England. He felt he was assaulted with enormous bad luck because his wives proved to be unsuitable and he never fathered a male heir who lived to be king. The series is divided into parts, each tape has the story of his sequence of wives in chronological order. He first married the Spanish-born royal, Katherine of Aragon, daughter of the famous Queen Isabella of Spain. Katherine miscarried all her boys and the only health living daughter she mothered was Mary, the future Queen Mary aka Bloody Mary who in her overzealous Catholic passions, ordered the burning of Protestants in England. Henry the 8th divorced Katherine, formed his own Church, and married Anne Boylen. Anne Boylen, his most famous wife, did not provide him with any male heirs either. Her supposed promiscuity was used to scar her name and as grounds for adultery for which she was beheaded. Next came Jane Seymour. She proved to be his best wife. She gave birth to Edward, but she died while giving birth. Edward lived only until his teens and never ruled England as an adult for he was a sickly boy. Jane Seymour's death brought on the need for a new wife. Henry married Anne of Cleves, a German princess. Here's something silly. Henry the 8th, who was no Adonis himself- he was short and fat, believed Anne of Cleves was ugly and unattractive and soon divorced her. He married the teenage Katherine Howard, who was too young and impetuous to handle the status of queen. She cheated on Henry the 8th with her former lover. She was beheaded and next came Katherine Paar. Although she was a gentle and seemingly fitting queen, she attempted to reform the Church in England to the newly established Protestant/Lutheran religion. Katherine Paar married her first love, Thomas Seymour, after Henry's death. Their story marks the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's story, for when she was still a princess, she was living with Katherine Paar and Thomas Seymour. But that's another story. Here's the thing about Henry the 8th. He did'nt get a male son to be king, but he got the best thing England ever saw as far as monarchy- Queen Elizabeth I."
A real treat for any history lover
Richard M Dussault | Worcester, Ma. United States | 06/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This mini series was amazing. I saw it when it first aired on PBS, and I was blown away by it, and the DVD is a must have. Everything in it was well done; the costumes were historically accurate, the actors chosen for the roles were perfect for the parts, and it was well narrated and the stories told were historically accurate as well. I'm a history major, so I'm a huge history addict (The highlight of my year is going to renaissance faires) and this particular time period is my most favorite, so I was thrilled when I saw that it was on DVD. I just wish there was more on about Mary Tudor I in the series, since she is one of my favorite historical figures, but other than that, this series is fantastic. It's a real treat for any history buff out there."
Guess I'm in a minority....
Jerika | 9th circle | 01/18/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)

"...but I feel duped. I really don't see the beauty and drama everyone's talking about. Instead I see a bunch of actors standing--literally standing, frozen in tableaux--and looking straight into the camera, smiling or frowning or whatever, while Starkey works himself into a lather in his narration. The whole thing has a rushed and oversimplified feel to it (example: Anne Boleyn insisted that Henry VIII divorce his wife and marry her....HELLO, a little more complicated than that). What's really baffling is that Starkey, of all the people on the face of the earth, should know better than to present this as a simple little fairy tale. Even the details people rave about--the costumes, the hairstyles--are distracting. Jane Seymour wears a fantastic contraption on her head unlike any I've ever seen in portraits of this period, and is decked out like the Queen of Sheba while she's still only a lady-in-waiting. And hair-down-over-the shoulders is not a Tudor period hairstyle. There were lice at court. Only the queen wore her hair loose on formal state occasions. The women playing Anne Boleyn and especially Catherine Howard (who Starkey makes a point of telling us was a "teenage queen"--Johnny Cash, anyone?) look too old for their roles. It sounds petty, but it's touches like these that are supposed to really bring a series like this to life. Unfortunately they can also damage it as well. The worst part has got to be Starkey's delivery--he's really over the top. If you've ever seen Jack Horkheimer talk about astronomy, you have some idea of how worked up this guy gets."