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About This Item

Unique ID Code: 0000055053
Added by: DVD Reviewer
Added on: 2/11/2003 13:44
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Henry VIII (Two Discs set) (UK)

5 / 10
2 votes cast
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The TV mini series
Certificate: 15
Running Time: 250 mins
Retail Price: £19.99
Release Date:

Ray Winstone brings history`s most beguiling monarch to life in this story of Henry VIII revealing the destruction of Henry often left in his wake during his extraordinary 38 year reign. From the moment Henry Tudor casts aside his faithful wife Katherine of Aragon for the bewitching and determined Anne Boleyn (Helena Bonham Carter), he sets himself on course for a series of disastrous marriages. Violent conflict, both within the population and the church, left England reeling while its complex and charismatic King turned from handsome playboy to a bitter invalid desperate for a son and heir to the throne.

Special Features:
Henry VIII On Location. Interviews with Ray Winstone, Helena Bonham Carter, David Suchet, Sean Bean, the executive producer and the director.

Video Tracks:
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1

Audio Tracks:
Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0 English

Directed By:
Pete Travis

Written By:

Helena Bonham Carter
Charles Dance
Sid Mitchell
David Suchet
Joss Ackland
Ray Winstone

Casting By:
Celestia Fox

Soundtrack By:
Robert Lane

Director of Photography:
Peter Middleton

Eddie Mansell

Costume Designer:
Lucinda Wright

Francis Hopkinson

Executive Producer:
Peter Morgan
Andy Harries
Rebecca Eaton
Justin Bodle


Your Opinions and Comments

2 / 10
This film has a good start to it and a strong cast, but it protrays Henry as a brute and a rapist. Yes he was a complete cad and philanderer, but again there is no mention of his being a composer and poet. The complex humanity of the man is left out. What we are given instead is a black and white view of a cruel and powerful fellow, totally controlled by his libedo.

Although it is indeed true that this period of time was rife with the horrors of abuse of royal power (a good argument against any monarchy anywhere), the degree to which they are portrayed is excessive.

We have expected and resonable scenes of swordplay, but then there are other scenes. We have a scene of torture. We have a beheading in which thick blood splatters the faces of onlookers. Worst of all we have marital rape in living color.

Yes folks, forget history and education. King Henry (angry at Anne Boleyn for her failure to give him a male child) begins to fool around yet again after swearing to be true to his new bride. This much we expect. But there is more in this film. Angry and filled with jelousy Queen Anne stalkes into the kings private audiance with the new carer for the royal daughter (Princess Elizabeth) and vents her anger on the sex driven Henry (who is in the room alone with a future wife - also their new nanny).

The two of them argue, and he responds to Annes stament that she cannot bear him a son if he is not involved in the processs, by raping her. We see his face and can watch each vile thrust. We see her face as she reacts in anger and pain. We hear her cries of pain. The scene seems to go on forever. Less time is dedicated to the break with Rome than is dedicated to this scene of contrived nonesense. The man was enough of a rougue without the need to invent even more cruel acts.

Forget the need for history and accuracy. All you have to do is pander to the sick and visceral. I for one don`t care for watching rape, especially when it is passed off in the rating as a "sex scene". Rape is not a sex scene and in this case it is totally unnecessary to the plot.

So, they took down my rating from a 7 to a 2 (a grudging 2 at that).
posted by Ken Linder on 8/4/2004 19:59