The Private Life of Henry VIII. (1933)

Director: Alexander Korda Cinematographer: Georges Périnal
 The Private Life of Henry VIII. (1933) on IMDb

Having had difficulties working with American companies in both Hollywood and the UK, Hungarian filmmaker Alexander Korda audaciously started his own company, London films. The gamble paid off with his international breakthrough film, The Private Life of Henry VIII. Starring Charles Laughton, the costume drama focuses on the reign and particularly the marriages of the notorious King Henry VIII of England. While, Laughton’s fat, lecherous and crude king is certainly lacking in historical accuracy, the performance brought him an Academy Award for Best Actor and became the most recognisable image of Henry in popular culture. The first non-Hollywood film to win at the Oscars, it marked the beginnings of huge success for Korda in the British film industry and allowed him to build the UK’s largest studio at Denham.

Buy or Rent (watch online)
Eclipse Series 16: Alexander Korda’s Private Lives (The Private Life of Henry VIII / The Rise of Catherine the Great / The Private Life of Don Juan / Rembrandt) (The Criterion Collection) DVD
Private Life of Henry VIII (1933) / Captain Kidd (1945) DVD
Classic Movie Double Bill: Abraham Lincoln and The Private Life of Henry VIII (DVD)



  • Charles Laughton as Henry VIII
  • Merle Oberon as Anne Boleyn
  • Wendy Barrie as Jane Seymour
  • Elsa Lanchester as Anne of Cleves
  • Binnie Barnes as Catherine Howard
  • Everley Gregg as Catherine Parr
  • Robert Donat as Thomas Culpeper
  • Franklin Dyall as Thomas Cromwell
  • Miles Mander as Wriothesley
  • Laurence Hanray as Archbishop Thomas Cranmer
  • William Austin as The Duke of Cleves
  • John Loder as Thomas Peynell
  • Lady Tree as The King’s Nurse
  • John Turnbull as Hans Holbein
  • Frederick Culley as Duke of Norfolk
  • William Heughan as Kingston
  • Judy Kelly as Lady Rochford
  • Hay Petrie as The King’s Barber
  • Wally Patch as Butcher
  • Arthur Howard as Kitchen Helper
  • Annie Esmond as Cook’s Wife
  • Claude Allister as Cornell
  • Gibb McLaughlin as The French Executioner
  • Sam Livesey as The English Executioner

Directed by Alexander Korda
Produced by Alexander Korda, Ludvico Toeplitz
Screenplay by Lajos Bíró, Arthur Wimperis
Music by Kurt Schröder
Cinematography Georges Périnal
Edited by Stephen Harrison
Running time 97 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

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