Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

Genres - Historical Film  |   Sub-Genres - Marriage Drama, Period Film, Biopic [feature]  |   Release Date - Dec 18, 1969 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 145 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Mike Cummings

In this 1969 historical drama, Genevieve Bujold not only dons the costumes of Anne Boleyn, the doomed second wife of Henry VIII, but also her personal qualities. Bujold is Boleyn, with beauty enough to attract a king and guile enough to win him before she loses her head to the treachery of court politics. Bujold accents her portrayal with just enough tenacity to reveal something of the strong-willed child she would bear, Elizabeth I. Richard Burton ably portrays a ranting Henry obsessed with shedding his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, in order to bed Boleyn and sire a male heir. Director Charles Jarrott's adaptation of the 1948 Maxwell Anderson play of the same name moves at an engrossing pace as it reveals the intrigue and scheming that led to Henry's divorce, his founding of the Church of England, and his eventual rejection of Boley. The rustle and swirl of stunning period robes and gowns seasons the film with authenticity and atmosphere. Anthony Quayle brings appropriate gravitas to his role as the powerful statesman and cleric Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, and John Colicos infuses his character, Thomas Cromwell, with the kind of sly deceit that Cromwell appears to have used in dooming Boleyn. With her austere looks, Irene Papas is well cast as Catherine of Aragon.