The Private Life of Henry VIII
The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933)

Alexander Korda's look at the reign of England's oft-married monarch stars Charles Laughton as the title character.

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: September 21, 1933
DVD Release Date: January 23, 2003
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Available Online

Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Dan Jardine

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

Full review…
Fernando F. Croce

Korda and his humorists make sure the usual biopic solemnity is not part of this royal court

Full review…
Daniel Eagan
Film Journal International

Sometimes stiff but fascinating biopic

Emanuel Levy

Charles Laughton, who wa sonly 33 but looked older, won the Best Actor Oscar for playing the titular role with such bravado.

Full review…
Sean Axmaker
Turner Classic Movies Online

... an illusion of grand production values and produced and released... with a mix of high culture and popular showmanship.

Full review…
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

It ain't history, but it's hugely entertaining.

Cole Smithey

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.

Full review…
Steve Crum

Laughton's definitive performance is reason to see this elaborate costume drama.

Luke Y. Thompson
New Times

Educational and hilarious. The quintessential Laughton role!

Flixster Audience Score: 74% Flixster User Reviews
Jim Hunter
Henry VIII, a gigantic, gloating personality, marries multiple women and wrestles members of his court all while chewing on a turkey leg. Charles Laughton is… More
John Ballantine
It is ironic that this was considered to be Laughton's star turn because it is probably one of the worst performances that I have seen him in. This Henry… More
Veronique Kwak
"private life of henry viii" is the academy award winner for best actor for non-american actor, charles laughton, in a non-american movie, helmed by… More
Daniel Dolgin
Henry VIII is an interesting historical character.His Private life is the most fascinating part about him. For these reasons I'm shocked that The Private… More
Byron Brubaker
The time period is illustrated well. Most people think, like I used to, that all these old B&W dramas are dusty and ancient, so far removed from movies of… More
Chris Browning
A stunning portrayal of Henry VIII is given by Charles Laughton who won an Oscar for his role, is the center of The Private Life of Henry VIII. The film is a… More