During the sixteenth century, the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots engages in over two decades of religious and political conflict with her cousin, the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I of England, amidst political intrigue in her native land.
King Henry II of England (Peter O'Toole) comes to terms with his affection for his close friend and confidant Thomas Becket (Richard Burton), who finds his true honor by observing God's divine will rather than the King's.
When Elizabeth Tudor comes to the throne, her (male) advisers know she has to marry. Doesn't she? Thus starts a decades-long political/ matrimonial game, during an age of high passions and high achievement.
Matchmaker Dolly Levi travels to Yonkers to find a partner for "half-a-millionaire" Horace Vandergelder, convincing his niece, his niece's intended, and his two clerks to travel to New York City along the way.
King Henry VIII (Richard Burton) of England discards one wife, Catharine of Aragon (Irene Papas), who has failed to produce a male heir, in favor of a young and beautiful woman, Anne Boleyn (Geneviève Bujold), whose one-thousand-day reign as Queen of England ends with the loss of her head on the block. Henry weds Anne and soon she gives him a child. The girl, Elizabeth (Amanda Jane Smythe), is a bitter disappointment to Henry, who desperately wants an heir. Anne promises Henry a son "next time", but Henry is doubtful. Shortly thereafter, rumors begin that the King's eye has already wandered. One Jane Seymour (Lesley Paterson) is at court for a moment. The Queen has her sent away, but, if Anne will bring Jane back to court, the King promises to sign the Act of Succession to insure that Elizabeth will be Queen.Written by
The "Thousand Days" of the movie and stage play's title refers to the one thousand days when Anne Boleyn met, married, loved, hated, and was beheaded by King Henry VIII. See more »
Irene Papas is Greek by origin. Thus, she is Orthodox Christian. But Katherine of Aragon is supposed to be Spanish and a Catholic Christian. When Ms. Papas enters the court and makes the sign of the cross on her chest, she does it in the Orthodox way, using the three fingers. not the whole palm of her right hand. See more »
Music by Anthony Holborne See more »
A Classic! Worth Watching for Performance of Geneviève Bujold!
The second of the six wives of Henry VIII and the mother of the future queen Elizabeth I, Anne Boleyn is a tragic footnote to the lives of these two famous Tudor monarchs from English history.
"Anne of the Thousand Days" gives Anne Boleyn the belated respect she deserves due to the sparkling performance of the actress Geneviève Bujold. The screenplay draws upon the successful 1947 stage play by Maxwell Anderson, who also wrote plays on the lives of Elizabeth I and Mary of Scotland. But this is his most famous historical drama, and it is unfortunate that Anderson did not live to see this fine film adaptation.
The film covers major events and figures from the early Tudor age, including Henry's controversial divorce from Catherine of Aragon, the rise and fall of Cardinal Wolsey, the courageous ethical stance taken by Sir Thomas More in opposing the will of the king, and the unscrupulous Thomas Boleyn, who played the role of pimp and go-between in the trysts with his daughters and the king.
While the movie proceeds at a deliberate pace in recounting the various subplots, it is the figure of Anne Boleyn who ties together the different plot strands related to the king's "Great Matter." Bujold's multi-layered performance reveals an Anne Boleyn with heroic virtues and deep ethical concerns.
The film takes license with a non-historical scene where Anne confronts Henry after she has been convicted of treason, adultery, and incest and is imprisoned in the Tower of London. The deluded Henry has come to believe that he was "bewitched" by an enchanted Anne, and the scene in the Tower delivers a thundering dramatic climax to the film.
Bujold's performance is all the more remarkable as she is playing opposite one of the great actors of the previous century in Richard Burton. Not only does Bujold's Anne set Burton's Henry straight, but she takes a stand on matters of conscience from which we can still learn today. Geneviève Bujold and this dynamic scene in the Tower of London alone make "Anne of the Thousand Days" a classic.
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