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138 Ratings

The Private Life of Henry VIII

Directed by Alexander Korda
United Kingdom, 1933
Comedy, Drama, Biography


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.

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The Private Life of Henry VIII Directed by Alexander Korda

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1934 | Winner: Best Actor in a Leading Role

1934 | Nominee: Best Picture

National Board of Review

1933 | Winner: Top Foreign Films

Critics reviews

Seen many times by the Siren, and she isn’t tired of it yet. Historians sigh and roll their eyes, but Charles Laughton’s carnivorous oversexed mountain of a man remains what critic Michael Koresky calls the “culturally definitive” portrait of Henry VIII. Laughton was just 34 and turns in a raucous, brawling performance that’s one of the best things this great actor ever did.
January 11, 2019
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it was with Henry VIII that [Laughton] truly emerged as a cinematic force, not only creating his firstindelible character (his Captain Bligh, oft imitated by Bugs Bunny, was a mere two years away) but also giving the world its definitive moving image of the British king.
September 10, 2012
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