Forget all you think to know about the ambitious Anne Boleyn who seduced Henry VIII by thirst of power. No, Lubitsch tells us the story of an heroin who sacrificed herself for England in order to give a son to her country. Now, also observe the way Lubitsch films the crowd scenes here, it's really unbelievable. Recommended to movie lovers and curious ones.
Between this and Madame DuBarry, I'm ready to declare Lubitsch's silent costume dramas as the most strangely underrated corner of his filmography—strange, because they're what made him famous in the first place. His take on period melodrama is delightfully parodic already, showing lives lost and history made by a king's adolescent horniness. Shakespeare might have noted the same, but Lubitsch recognizes pure comedy.
Truly a so-called Monumentalfilm, still more so than "Mme Dubarry". Amazed at the massive production values, given this was made in Germany's troubled post-WW1 days. "Anna Boleyn" is aesthetically more interesting, sophisticated, than "Mme Dubarry". Emil Jannings & Henny Porten: excellent. But the film far outlasts its proper running time. Saw it with an unattributed piano score—pretty good, as piano scores go.