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The Six Wives of Henry VIII (2006)

Keith Michell , Annette Crosbie  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)

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DVD 4-Disc Version $35.90  
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Product Details

  • Actors: Keith Michell, Annette Crosbie, Dorothy Tutin, Elvu Hale
  • Format: Box set, Color
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 16, 2006
  • Run Time: 630 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EBD9VM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,325 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

A British television series originally broadcast on CBS (and rebroadcast on PBS) in America in 1971, The Six Wives of Henry VIII remains a painless way to learn something about royal history and its impact on the political and religious landscape of England. Keith Michell stars as King Henry VIII, who assumes the throne as a boy after the death of his older brother and inherits the latter's Spanish betrothed, Catherine of Aragon (Annette Crosbie), as well. Growing up and increasingly complicated in personality, with an ever-growing appetite for elusive happiness as well as power and food, Henry maneuvers (and is maneuvered by) forces around him to break from Rome and create the Church of England, in part to accommodate his wish for a divorce.

Each story of the king's successive brides takes up an entire episode in the series. Dorothy Tutin plays the doomed Anne Boleyn, Anne Stallybrass is Henry's favorite, Jane Seymour, Elvi Hale is Anne of Cleves, Angela Pleasence is Catherine Howard, and Rosalie Crutchley plays last-in-line Catherine Parr. A very large and fine supporting cast adds intrigue and extra layers of tragedy to the proceedings, especially John Baskcomb as Cardinal Wolsey, Wolfe Morris as Thomas Cromwell, and Ralph Bates as Thomas Culpepper. Each 90-minute episode was crafted by a different writer, but the series holds together very well under Keith Michell's dazzling performance as the despicable if sympathetic Henry, whose emotional arc over many years and losses is something to see. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

A chronicle of England's turbulent years of the early 16th century recounting the life and times of the vibrant and lusty King Henry VIII in a cycle of six plays. Stars Keith Michell in his Emmy Award-winning performance as Henry VIII and features a 90-minute "bonus drama", The Other Boleyn Girl, based on the popular Philippa Gregory novel.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
95 of 96 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Majestic Performances...Mediocre DVD November 26, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This review refers to DVD Complete Set(BBC/BFS Video) of "The Six Wives of Henry VIII"(3 discs).....

This classic BBC television series from 1970 is an outstanding production of 6 plays, all by different authors, depiciting the relationship Henry VIII had with each of his 6 wives.It's an entertaining and enlighting look at the monarch, played exquisitely from his youth to his sickly old age by Keith Michell.The six very different women, most of whom meet with a tragic ending are also portrayed brillantly by the actresses and will draw you into their joys and fears at being the Queen of England.

Catherine of Aragon(Annette Crosbie), Ann Boleyn(Dorothy Tutin), Jane Seymour(Anne Stallybrass), Anne of Cleves(Elvi Hale),Catherine Howard(Anglea Pleasence) and Catherine Parr(Rosalie Crutchley),were all picked to serve a purpose for the Royal Court. Some served useful in forming political alliances, and some in gaining favors for social climbers in the court. But to Henry....They were there to provide him with sons..heirs to the throne..and God help them if they didn't.

The production is wonderful. The costumes, make up, each play beautifully written, and the majestic performances will have you enthralled with each story and hanging on every word.The authentic look at this Royal soap opera is one any student of European history, or anyone who loves stories about Kings and Queens would be thrilled with.It is a five star performance.

The DVD did not get the kingly treatment it deserved.Although there is nothing about it that will interfere with your enjoyment of this treasure, it is very dated.
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66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ABSOLUTELY MAGNIFICENT... May 10, 2006
This is a series of six individual plays that focuses upon each of the six wives of King Henry VIII of England. Written by six different playwrights, they are uniformly excellent. While the production values are not high, that is because these plays were part of a televised series for which there were budgetary constraints. Although the makeup is noticable, the sets are uninspired, and the lighting is harsh, the costumes, however, are gorgeous. More important, the acting is superb.

King Henry VIII is played to perfection by Keith Michell. He has set the standard by which all others in the part will be judged, and he is the linchpin around whom the entire series revolves. He plays the young, athletic, erudite, golden king in the first tape, and the viewer watches him age and deteriorate throughout the entire series, until he finally becomes the sore riddled, morbidly obese, self absorbed, tyrannical hulk of his later years.

Each one of the six wives has her own unique story. The plays tell that story, each a first rate drama unto itself that segues into the next one seamlessly. All the queens are portrayed by very talented thespians, and the supporting cast is superlative. All in all, this series provides a fully absorbing historical drama that should not be missed. It is through the story of each of the wives that one is able to see England transform itself from a catholic country to a protestant one. It also provides a birdseye view of the political intrigues that fueled the Reformation.
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71 of 74 people found the following review helpful
"The Six Wives of Henry VIII" is the original BBC series of six 90 minute plays chronicling the reign and marriages of England's King Henry VIII. Each of the six plays or segments, "Katherine Aragon", "Anne Boleyn", "Jane Seymour", "Anne Of Cleves", "Catherine Howard" and "Catherine Parr," is written by a different author. The series was released to great popular and critical acclaim in 1971 and televised on PBS' Masterpiece Theater. This is a three-disc DVD boxed set, with two 90-minute teleplays per disc (one per spouse). Keith Michell is outstanding as the multiple-married monarch. From a boisterous, athletic, handsome Hal, at the time of his marriage to Katherine of Aragon, (Annette Crosbie), the superb Michell, and make-up, transform the king before our eyes to a porcine, tyrannical, and sickly ruler. Although each drama is limited in scope due to time restrictions, the monarch's personal and political reasons for selecting and/or rejecting, (or beheading), his spouses are depicted to some extent.

"My, you ought to seen old Henry the Eight when he was in bloom. He was a blossom. He used to marry a new wife every day, and chop off her head next morning. And he would do it just as indifferent as if he was ordering up eggs." Thus Mark Twain describes our protagonist in "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." As this series demonstrates, Henry was not quite the womanizer he is reputed to be. He was married to Katharine of Aragon for over twenty years and had just a few mistresses before this - unusual for a prince. He waited years to physically consummate his relationship with Anne Boleyn, and remained faithful to her until marriage.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling
I have watched this video many times, as I am a real Tudor buff. All the wives have compelling stories and the stories left me with compassion for each of the wives. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Miranda
5.0 out of 5 stars One of BBC's best!
Our entire family watched the series together when it was first broadcast, and still remember the good times doing so. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Mary E. Akin
5.0 out of 5 stars Great play
Remember, this is a play, not a Hollywood multi-million dollar budgeted blockbuster, but it was done really well for so long ago. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Paul Koerschgen
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent DVD Set!
I bought this in VHS format a few years ago. I recently bought the DVD version as well, and I love it. It's very clear, and well presented.
Published 1 month ago by Marilyn G. Consaul
5.0 out of 5 stars dvd
fantastic, loved it, took me back a few years when I watched it on T.V. I could watch it over and over.
Published 1 month ago by helen ashby
1.0 out of 5 stars Video Quality.....
Extremely disappointed in this DVD because of the lack of quality in the video presentation.
It is grainy...foggy...and very difficult to watch. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dorothy Katz
5.0 out of 5 stars Henry VIII
Absolutely outstanding acting and dialogue. Keith Michell is phenomenal. The performances easily overcome the dated production values. Buy this and watch it at least twice! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Steven Booth
3.0 out of 5 stars Old series
Would have preferred being able to have subtitles, as the characters speaking are hard to understand and the voice level is very low compared to background noise level.... Read more
Published 3 months ago by W. Sutton
3.0 out of 5 stars Fond Memories of this on TV
I got this because I remembered how much I enjoyed it way back when it was on TV. For me, it doesn't really hold up over time. Read more
Published 3 months ago by millie
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Six Wives of Henry VIII
I love the Six Wives of Henry VIII...This has always been one of my very favorite series....I saw it many, many years ago and was thrilled to be able to see it again!! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Lisa G. Weaver
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the actresses who portray the wives
I recall watching it on TV (PBS in 1973) and thinking the 'wives' were rather plain also. My mom pointed out that in those times (16th century), standards of beauty were vastly different. People bathed infrequently hence greasy hair, dental care was unknown hence grotesque oral care and lots of... Read more
Jun 5, 2009 by Buche de Noel |  See all 13 posts
Can someone please comment on the DVD quailty?
I just finished watching the DVD and the colors are very faded. But I am not sure if this is due to the program being shot on video and not on film.
Jan 8, 2008 by Movie Mania |  See all 5 posts
Does this version have closed captions or English subtitles? Be the first to reply
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