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Anne of the Thousand Days, Turner Classic Movies; 7 PM Central time USA

On TV tonight in the USA:
Anne of the Thousand Days, on Turner Classic Movie channel, at 7 PM Central time tonight.
The best telling of the Henry VIII (played by Richard Burton) and Anne Boleyn (Genevieve Bujold) story.
Shot on location in Kent, England, at Hever Castle and Penshurst Place. 1969.

Posted by
1954 posts

I just saw your post in time to watch from the beginning. Mary may have been turned away by the King because she “gave her all” but Anne lost her head. The irony is Mary Boleyn ended up living a long life being married to a lovely man with several children. Richard Burton is an amazing actor!

Posted by
2627 posts

Judy B., agree. Richard Burton was a great actor, and he was perfect for this role.
I'm glad you saw this in time to watch the movie.

Elizabeth Taylor had a cameo in this movie. She is one of the ladies at the masked ball.
Uncredited.

Posted by
1954 posts

I forgot about Thomas Cromwell. And Cardinal Wolsey advising him to be careful in serving the King. Did you read Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel? Great book.

Posted by
4751 posts

I have never heard of the film, but I live near Hever and Penshurst and can recommend both places.

Posted by
1954 posts

The actor who played Cromwell was perfect, conveying his calculating nature.
I haven’t read Bring up the Bodies, second in the trilogy. Hilary Mantel is a wonderful writer.

Rebecca: I enjoyed the film very much. I loved the scene where Anne predicted that Elizabeth would be a great Queen and at that time, a very tiny chance of her succeeding to the throne.

Thanks for the heads up.

Posted by
2627 posts

Jennifer, thanks for your recommendation of both Hever Castle and Penshurst Place.
I suspect this movie was only released to theaters in the US and not in the UK.

Ramblin' on, thanks for the heads up about this upcoming miniseries!
I do hope I can watch it.
I must agree about your comment "killers and psychopaths the lot of them"!

Posted by
2627 posts

Judy B., to answer your two latest posts.
Yes, I have read the Hilary Mantel books.

The actor who played Cromwell in Anne of the Thousand Days was John Colicos, a Canadian actor.
He did indeed do a good job of depicting the cleverness of Cromwell.

The actor who played Cromwell in the TV series Wolf Hall is Mark Rylance, a respected English Shakespearean actor. He did a fabulous job of portraying Cromwell, in my opinion.
He has received numerous Tony Awards, Olivier Awards, and BAFTA Awards.
He was the first artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe in London.

It is important to know that Anne Boleyn is considered by historians to be innocent of all charges brought against her.
The most knowledgeable person on this subject is Tudor historian David Starkey, who has written many books on the Tudors.

Posted by
5634 posts

That would be character actor John Colicos who played Cromwell. I believe Genevieve Bujold and Terence Wilton are the only members of the cast still alive. He’s on stage now in The Woman in Black
at the Fortune Theatre.

Posted by
2627 posts

Claudia, I would love to see him in The Woman in Black!
Thanks for that information!
Thanks for chiming in about actor John Colicos who played Cromwell.
I think we were posting at the same time.

Posted by
4978 posts

Drat, didn’t see the original post in time - maybe it’ll be shown again, before too long. In the meantime, maybe The Woman in Black will still be performed this October, and maybe it’ll be safe to attend?

Posted by
2627 posts

Cyn, TCM runs this movie fairly often. Keep an eye on your TV schedule.

Another great film is Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett. (1998).
The story of Queen Elizabeth I, daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.
Possibly the best movie ever made that captures the look, mood, and characters at court of this time period.
Watch your schedule.
This movie is likely to show up on BBC America channel, or Ovation channel.

Posted by
1954 posts

Yes, I saw Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell in Wolf Hall, so nuanced a performance you could swear he was the man. Little did he know his head would fall just 2 or 3 years after Anne. Prophetic words from Cardinal Wolsey about watching out for himself. I’m so happy to watch this movie as I missed it when it first came out.

Posted by
2627 posts

Judy B., yes, Mark Rylance became Cromwell in Wolf Hall. You got the feeling you were watching the real Cromwell back in the day. Everything about Wolf Hall was perfect; sets, lighting, casting, characters, costumes, locations.

Posted by
2627 posts

It is important to know that Henry would have parted ways with the Catholic church possibly anyhow, without the romance with Anne.

Cromwell was Henry's right hand man, bookkeeper, lawyer, "fixer", friend. He had discovered that the monasteries and abbeys of England were not paying their fair share to the Crown, Henry, as they were supposed to do. They owed rents for lands, which they had stopped paying. They were getting wealthy, and had piles of money, jewels, gold and silver bars, plates, goblets, which they were keeping to themselves and not sharing with the Crown.
Rumors were widespread of sexual activities at the monasteries and abbeys.
Henry was a pious and religious man when he was younger, and could not stand hearing of this.

When Cromwell suggested that the coffers of the monasteries and abbeys needed to be raided, Henry was only too glad to do it.
Reason one was the paragraph above.
Reason two was that Henry needed the money.

Henry VIII's father, Henry VII, had left him a wealthy man when he died. And had left England's coffers wealthy. But that was all gone now. Henry VIII had built numerous grand palaces all over England. Only one of them of them stands today, St James's Palace in London.
The grandest was probably Nonsuch Palace, next to that in magnificence was his Palace at Whitehall.
Henry VIII had a taste for expensive, luxurious living. Not so, his father. Henry VIII had bought tapestries, fine furnishings for his palaces; had thrown lavish parties. He had also outfitted his large army with armor, weapons, horses, and built many ships for his royal navy.
So now Henry needed money, badly. Raiding the monasteries and abbeys would allow him to take possession of all their money, treasures and property. So he did it.

Reason number three: Henry needed a male heir, plus was enraged when the Pope would not do what Henry asked him to do in order to achieve this.

In the process of leaving the Catholic church, Henry made himself the wealthiest monarch in all of Europe.
He had supreme rule over England without the Pope telling him what he could and could not do.
He divorced wives whenever he wanted and took a new one.
Yes, I believe Henry would have parted ways with the Catholic church and the Pope even without Anne.
Was she a small part of the reason? Yes.

Posted by
1250 posts

On the King's pious youth - one of those ironies of history is Henry VIII being awarded by the Pope the title "Defender of the Faith" for his piety. The title was lost, presumably, when H8 was later excommunicated. But he wasn't a man to be deprived and so had Parliament re-award it, this time in perpetuity and as head of the English church. Today, Her Majesty still uses the title officially - you can see it represented on the heads of British coins usually abbreviated as FD or Fid Def. In a minor extra irony, one of the reasons Henry was originally given the title was his youthful writings in defence of the Holy and unbreakable nature of marriage vows.

Posted by
2627 posts

Nick, thank you for that information. Lots of irony there, for sure.
By all accounts, Henry's personality changed after the jousting accident in 1536 in which he suffered a severe head injury.
Very interesting that Her Majesty still uses the title "Defender of the Faith" officially.
FD or Fid Def. on British coins--will look for that.
Thanks again for your comment!

Posted by
4978 posts

Rebecca, I’m glad the movie is shown frequently, although it appears that TCM isn’t part of our satellite TV package. I’ll check further to confirm that. I now know the lead actors were nominated for Best Actor oscars - certainly a major flick.

Nick, thanks for the history and numismatic design lesson- very interesting!

Posted by
6334 posts

If you don't have TCM, it's available on YouTube and Amazon Prime, but not for free. I missed it on TCM the other night and since I hadn't seen it since it was in the theaters many many years ago I wanted to watch it. But I'm such a cheapskate that I wouldn't pay the $3.99 to watch it so I tried to get it from my library. No go, they do not have it. I'll just have to hope TCM shows it again but it will probably be a year before that happens.

Posted by
2627 posts

Nick, thank you. All very interesting!
Cyn and Nancy, I do hope you get to see it.
I buy a lot of books from a very good used bookstore here, and they sometimes have it on DVD.
I would say, check used bookstores, if there's a good one near you.
Inexpensive; $1.99 or so. Or trade for credit on books, CD's or movies you trade in.