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Deception (1920)

Anna Boleyn (original title)
Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, Romance | 4 April 1921 (Finland)
The story of the ill-fated second wife of the English king Henry VIII, whose marriage to the Henry led to momentous political and religious turmoil in England.


Ernst Lubitsch


Norbert Falk (as Fred Orbing), Hanns Kräly


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Henny Porten ... Anna Boleyn
Emil Jannings ... Henry VIII
Paul Hartmann ... Sir Henry Norris
Ludwig Hartau Ludwig Hartau ... Duke of Norfolk
Aud Egede-Nissen ... Jane Seymour
Hedwig Pauly-Winterstein Hedwig Pauly-Winterstein ... Queen Catherine
Hilde Müller Hilde Müller ... Princess Marie
Maria Reisenhofer Maria Reisenhofer ... Lady Rochford
Ferdinand von Alten Ferdinand von Alten ... Mark Smeaton
Adolf Klein Adolf Klein ... Cardinal Wolsey
Paul Biensfeldt Paul Biensfeldt ... Jester
Wilhelm Diegelmann ... Cardinal Campeggio
Friedrich Kühne Friedrich Kühne ... Archbishop Cranmer
Karl Platen Karl Platen ... Physician
Erling Hanson Erling Hanson ... Count Percy


The story of the ill-fated second wife of the English king Henry VIII, whose marriage to the Henry led to momentous political and religious turmoil in England. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Stupendous Spectacle Even Greater Than "Passion" See more »


Not Rated






Release Date:

4 April 1921 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Deception See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Featured in Auge in Auge - Eine deutsche Filmgeschichte (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

It looks great.....but that's really about a
25 April 2010 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This movie earns a 7--because, for its time, it was a heck of a movie. The sets and costumes (mostly which were from the proper period--though some, to the trained eye, were not) are quite impressive. It's obvious that director Ernst Lubitsch was given a huge budget to create this film--and it's better looking than the Hollywood productions of the same period. In fact, today few would realize that the some of the most incredibly complex and expensive productions of this time were German--not American. It was only in the mid to late 1920s that the American films became the best-known and best made. You just can't find a film from 1920 or so that looks better.

Unfortunately, looks alone do NOT make a great film. For someone who wants the truth behind the second marriage of Henry VIII, this is NOT a great film--as many of the facts were clearly wrong. Despite what the movie shows, Anne was Henry's mistress for some time before he got around to marrying her AND the process by which the English separated from the authority of the Pope was NOT the quick process you see in the film--it took years. As a history teacher, this film isn't terrible historically--but it still should have been a lot better. And, if you are going to play fast and loose with the facts, then why not at least make the film more interesting? Overall, the film lumbers during its two hour air time and more recent films (NOT "The Other Bolyne Girl"--which was also a mess historically-speaking) such as "Anne of the Thousand Days" and "The Six Wives of Henry the Eighth" are more accurate and interesting.

Decent but far from as good as it could have been its sumptuous treatment. Plus, while a Lubitsch film, there's little trace of his famed "Lubitsch touch" here in this pretty but rather dull film.

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