Charles Laughton gulps beer and chomps on mutton, in his first of many iconic screen roles, as King Henry VIII, the ultimate anti-husband. Alexander Korda’s first major international success is a raucous, entertaining, even poignant peek into the boudoirs of the infamous king and his six wives. —The Criterion Collection
The first motion picture producer ever to receive a knighthood from the British Crown, Alexander Korda was a guiding force behind the British film industry throughout the 1930s as a studio chief, producer, and sometime director, and continued as a major film producer until his death in early 1956. Indeed, he was the single most important movie producer ever to work in England following the advent of sound, and the closest that the British film industry ever got to having a Hollywood-style mogul in its midst. Ironically, although he became synonymous to the world with British films, Korda was Hungarian-born, and had made movies in Budapest, Vienna, Berlin, and Hollywood without finding any sustained success before setting up shop in London in 1932. He was a crafty businessman as well as a flamboyant personality; he favored bold, ambitious, opulent productions that challenged not only the financial resources of his studio at any given moment, but also the technical and creative abilities… read more
Remember that cartoon from the 90's, "Histeria"? Where they took a historical figure and made a comedic story out of his or her life, while at the same time teaching you something? This film is aspiring toward the same end. Laughton is a bit annoying with all of his prancing about and guffawing, but there were some great racy jokes here and there.