The Private Life of Henry VIII
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The Private Life of Henry VIII
Charles Laughton became an international star by chewing both mutton and scenes in his Oscar-winning turn as King Henry VIII. Alexander Korda's British super-production also put the British cinema on the map, which, until this film, received precious little respect in the international film community. The film, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, details the private life of the famous British monarch. His first wife, Catherine of Aragon, is barely mentioned -- explained away by a prologue which states that she was "too respectable to be included." Henry then marries Anne Boleyn… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Director Alexander Korda is the chief beneficiary of Laughton's larger-than-life performance, as his conservative helmsmanship fails to provide the film with a distinctly personal stamp"
‑ Dan Jardine, Cinemania
"Korda and his humorists make sure the usual biopic solemnity is not part of this royal court"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Sometimes stiff but fascinating biopic"
‑ Daniel Eagan, Film Journal International
"Charles Laughton's great performance elevates this sometimes stuffy period piece."
‑ Dan Jardine, All Movie Guide
"Charles Laughton, who wa sonly 33 but looked older, won the Best Actor Oscar for playing the titular role with such bravado."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"... an illusion of grand production values and produced and released... with a mix of high culture and popular showmanship."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Turner Classic Movies Online
"It ain't history, but it's hugely entertaining."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"The film's most famous bit involves Laughton eating a chicken with a primal gusto that clearly defines King Henry's character as a gluttonous man devouring whatever is put before him."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Laughton's definitive performance is reason to see this elaborate costume drama."
‑ Steve Crum,
"Educational and hilarious. The quintessential Laughton role!"
‑ Luke Y. Thompson, New Times
More reviews for The Private Life of Henry VIII on Rotten Tomatoes