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|Charles Laughton||King Henry VIII|
|Robert Donat||Thomas Culpeper|
|Franklin Dyall||Thomas Cromwell|
|Laurence Hanray||Archbishop Thomas Cranmer|
|William Austin||Duke of Cleves|
|John Loder||Thomas Peynell|
|Gibb McLaughlin||The French Executioner|
|Sam Livesey||The English Executioner|
|Merle Oberon||Anne Boleyn|
|Wendy Barrie||Jane Seymour|
|Elsa Lanchester||Anne of Cleves|
|Binnie Barnes||Katherine Howard|
|Everley Gregg||Katherine Parr|
The film takes place 20 years into King Henry's rule. In May 1536, immediately following the execution of his second wife, Anne Boleyn (Merle Oberon), King Henry VIII (Charles Laughton) marries Jane Seymour (Wendy Barrie), who dies in childbirth eighteen months later. He then weds a German princess, Anne of Cleves (played by Laughton's real-life wife Elsa Lanchester). This marriage ends in divorce when Anne deliberately makes herself unattractive so she can be free to marry her sweetheart. (In an imaginative and high-spirited scene, Anne "wins her freedom" from Henry in a game of cards on their wedding night). After this divorce, Henry marries the beautiful and ambitious Lady Katherine Howard (Binnie Barnes). She has rejected love all her life in favour of ambition, but after her marriage, she falls in love with Henry's handsome courtier Thomas Culpeper (Robert Donat). Their liaison is discovered by Henry's advisers and the couple are executed. The weak and aging Henry consoles himself with a final marriage to Catherine Parr (Everley Gregg), who survives her husband.
DVD : 2003-01-23