Henry VIII's private life

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German title The private life of
Henry VIII.
Six women and
a king
Original title The Private Life of
Henry VIII.
Country of production Great Britain
original language English
Publishing year 1933
length 97 minutes
Director Alexander Korda
script Lajos Biró
production Alexander Korda
music Kurt Schröder
camera Georges Périnal
cut Stephen Harrison

The private life of Henry VIII. (Alternative title: Six women and a king ; Original title: The Private Life of Henry VIII. ) Is a British period film by Alexander Korda from 1933. The main roles are cast with Charles Laughton , Robert Donat and Merle Oberon .


The film is set at the court of King Henry VIII and begins with the execution of Henry's wife Anne Boleyn . Immediately afterwards, preparations for Heinrich's third wedding begin. Jane Seymour is the King of England's new adored, but he is already interested in the young Katharine Howard . A little later, Jane gives birth to the king's long-awaited son. However, the king is delighted to note that Jane died in childbirth. However, the farm quickly returns to day-to-day business. Heinrich is still interested in the young Katharine Howard, but Archbishop Thomas Cranmer advises a political marriage. His suggestion is Anna von Kleve . But the king is skeptical and sends the painter Thomas Peynell to Germany to make a picture of Anna. Peynell travels to Germany and falls in love with Anna, who is also fond of him. But Anna will have to marry the King of England.

Although Heinrich is about to get married to Anna, he continues to chase the young Katharine, with whom Thomas Culpeper is in love. When Heinrich asks her to come and see her at night and expresses his love for her, she contradicts the king, because he already has a wife with Anna. How does Heinrich get out of his promise to Anna?

Anna comes to England and, as agreed, marries the king. However, since she is in love with Thomas Peynell, she tries to appear as unattractive as possible on her wedding night. Heinrich is bitter and angry about it. What kind of wife did he get, especially when he would have much rather married Katharine. Instead of sharing the bed with the king, Anna suggests playing cards. She defeats the king and proposes to Heinrich, as payment of his debt, that she be released from the marriage and that the marriage be annulled. She also demands money for a life with her lover Thomas Peynell. Heinrich sees his goal of getting Katharine and agrees. Katharine is actually ready to marry the king, which however surprises Thomas Culpeper.

When Heinrich collapses exhausted after a wrestling match at a tournament and is sick, Katharine meets again with Thomas Culpeper. However, the court was opposed to the king's new marriage and took the opportunity to inform the recovered king about the love affair. This gets enraged and has Katharine executed.

Years later, the completely lonely King Heinrich receives a visit from Anna von Kleve. She gives him the young Catherine Parr , who eventually becomes Henry's sixth wife and survives the king.


The Private Life of Henry VIII is the second film in a trilogy by Alexander Korda. The first film was made in 1927 as The love life of beautiful Helena . The third part was called The Private Life of Don Juan and was written in 1934 with Douglas Fairbanks Sr. as Don Juan. The private life of Henry VIII also became the first British box office success in the USA and brought fame to the main actors, which also earned them numerous roles in Hollywood.


"Its fascinating actors, the rich equipment, the neat staging and camera work as well as the ironically trivialized historical gossip style made Korda's film an international box office success and cinema classic," said the lexicon of international film .


Charles Laughton was awarded the Oscar for Best Actor in 1934 . The film also received a Best Picture nomination .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The private life of Henry VIII. In: Lexicon of international films . Film service , accessed February 13, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used