The Six Wives of Henry VIII

Season 1 Episode 2

Anne Boleyn

0
Aired Unknown Jan 08, 1970 on BBC Two
7.7
out of 10
User Rating
7 votes
2

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Episode Summary

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This second episode of the series overlaps with the first, and thus begins when Queen Anne and King Henry are already estranged. After several pregnancies, Anne has provided her husband with only one surviving child, Princess Elizabeth. Extremely unpopular with both the public and the aristocracy, Anne has few friends to protect her when Henry's eye lights upon the virginal Jane Seymour. New prime minister Thomas Cromwell manufactures adultery charges against the queen, including a charge of incest with her own brother which are confirmed by her vengeful sister-in-law, Lady Rochford. Put on trial for treason, the result is a foregone conclusion and Anne Boleyn bravely faces the executioner's axe.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Interesting, but still a missed opportunity

    7.0
    The only scene I remember from this episode when I saw it as a child, was the final one, in which Anne Boleyn prepares to be beheaded. (I'm sure I'm not giving away any secrets.) I was quite shocked by it. Seeing it again after all these years, I can't say I'm very enthusiastic about the full ninety minutes.



    I happen to be reading a new biography of King Henry VIII ('Henry VIII, Reformer and Tyrant' by Derek Wilson) while dipping in and out of this series on DVD. Comparing what I discover about the historical facts and what I see in this episode, I feel let down. The play shows Anne Boleyn as a feisty woman, interested in fun and not afraid of anyone. This is probably correct, but she was more. Queen Anne was instrumental in spreading new religious ideas throughout Britain. Intellectually, she was more than likely Henry's superior. All of this is missing in the play. Instead, we get the tired, old view of Henry being besotted by Jane Seymour and wanting to get rid of Anne. The tragedy is, of course, the ridiculous nature of the charges brought against Anne, partly by a jealous sister-in-law.



    Dorothy Tutin plays her as a woman to be reckoned with, but at forty she seemed a bit old.moreless
  • Anne Boleyn - Whore or Wife?

    10
    Anne Boleyn is probably the most important wife Henry VIII had. They were married for only 2 1/2 years but struggled for 8 years to marry each other. The English Reformation was arranged because Henry VIII desired to marry Anne so that he could have a son. When she failed to have a son, she was condemned to die for practicing witchcraft and accused of having sex with her brother, her musician and others. This drama is one of the best of any dramatization of Henry VIII and his six wives. I remember seeing it as a kid and it was one of the first Masterpiece Theatre dramas I ever followed loyally. Anne Boleyn is one of the most exciting episodes of this series. It begins after Anne has married Henry and has had their daughter Elizabeth. He is thrilled but soon Anne continues on the path Catherine experienced, she constantly miscarries and the last one is a deformed male fetus. The king chooses to get rid of her and does. Anne who was successful in getting rid of another queen and becoming queen herself, ends up with her head cut off and replaced by another.moreless
Dorothy Tutin

Dorothy Tutin

Anne Boleyn

Guest Star

Anne Stallybrass

Anne Stallybrass

Jane Seymour

Guest Star

Jonathan Newth

Jonathan Newth

George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford

Guest Star

Wolfe Morris

Wolfe Morris

Thomas Cromwell

Recurring Role

Bernard Hepton

Bernard Hepton

Archbishop Thomas Cranmer

Recurring Role

Sheila Burrell

Sheila Burrell

Lady Rochford

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Jane Boleyn, Viscountess Rochford, was married to Anne Boleyn's brother, George, and provided evidence against both that lead to them being executed on charges of adultery, incest, and treason. She later became chief attendant to the fifth wife of Henry VIII, Catherine Howard. Accused on complicity in Catherine's affair with one Thomas Culpeper, Lady Rochford ended up going to the block in the Tower of London on the same day as Queen Catherine but not after feigning insanity in order to try and avoid execution.

    • Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury during the period in which the series is set, would later meet a more grisly fate than the one suffered by Anne Boleyn. Condemned as a heretic by Queen Mary (the daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon) during her attempt to re-establish Roman Catholicism in England, Cranmer was burned to death at the stake in 1556.

  • QUOTES (14)

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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