With Natalie Portman, Jude Law and other stars in the lead roles: a selection of the best films about Henry VIII, who had 6 wives

Kateryna MalayNews
Many films and TV series have been made about the life of Henry VIII

Even those who skipped history classes and don't like documentaries have heard of King Henry VIII of England. The monarch, who is associated with the hero of the French fairy tale Bluebeard, lived in the 16th century and had six wives, which was unacceptable in those days. Moreover, he divorced two of them, which was also forbidden by the church, which had absolute power.

The king also sent two of his queens to the scaffold, who were executed on false charges. His life is regularly depicted in movies and TV series. OBOZ.UA has collected the best films about the Tudor era.

The Queen's Gambit, 2024

The most anticipated historical project of recent years, one of the winners of the last Cannes Film Festival from innovative director Karim Ainuz, reveals the previously little-known truth about Catherine Parr, the last wife of the tyrant king Henry VIII, who demonstrated incredible survival skills at court.

The role of the queen is played by Oscar winner Alicia Vikander, who has received the best reviews for this role in recent years. But the main star of the film is the sex symbol of many generations, Jude Law. He played his most daring role – a dying paranoid king.

What is the movie about?

Tudor England is an era of blood and intrigue. Queen Catherine Parr remains the regent of England and mentor of the future Queen Elizabeth until the ever-suspicious king returns from the war. He persecutes radical Protestants, one of whom is secretly his wife. When her childhood friend is burned at the stake, Catherine finds herself in danger. To survive, she must play a dangerous game where her own life is at stake.

Another of the Boleyns, 2008

This movie is a real benefit for Oscar winner Natalie Portman, who is accompanied by another superstar and sex symbol Scarlett Johansson. Together, the beauties fight for the heart of Henry VIII, played by the incredible Eric Bana.

Although the movie has some discrepancies with historical events, it is perfect from a visual and dramatic point of view.

What is the movie about?

King Henry is faced with a difficult choice because both sisters are beautiful and have already been in his arms. But which choice will be the right one, and which of the Boleyn family is destined to become a true queen? Along with the problem of choice, the king faces another one: his wife cannot give him an heir. But one of the sisters won't admit to her terrible secret – she can't become a mother either.

The Tudors, 2007-2010

The luxurious costume drama told the audience about the reign of Henry VIII and his path from an ideal Renaissance monarch to a real monster in a simple and spectacular manner. Young and sexy superstars are the show's main attraction: Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Henry Kivell and Natalie Dormer. The series has set a trend for historical projects that tell the story of events known from textbooks but in a new format – bold, uninhibited, and dynamic.

What is the show about?

While an ambitious ruler desperately needs to have an heir, Anne Boleyn appears in his life and becomes the king's obsession. In love with Anne, the king begins to look for ways to dissolve his marriage to his wife Catherine and turns to Wolsey for help. Against the backdrop of troubles in King Henry's personal life, political intrigues and insidious plots unfold around powerful members of the royal court.

Wolf Hall, 2015

The show is based on the novel of the same name by Hilary Mantel. It received favorable reviews from the press, critics, and mass audiences, which is a rare occurrence. The show received three Emmy nominations and even won a Golden Globe for Best Miniseries.

What is the series about?

Wolf Hall is set in England back in 1529. The country is facing a civil war that could destroy the state, as Henry VIII has decided to divorce his wife. The king has no heirs, so if he dies, England will face a catastrophe. The Pope and European monarchs are trying to prevent the divorce, which will lead to sad consequences.

Anne Boleyn, 2021

The scandalous series about the events at the court of Henry VIII has set netizens and leading critics at odds. The fact is that the main character, Queen Anne Boleyn, was played by a black actress, Jodie Turner-Smith.

Many people did not accept this historical discrepancy, and the show's creators and supporters responded to critics that they wanted to tell a story related to personalities, excluding the issue of race.

After the project's release, its ratings plummeted to zero, but the specialized press was supportive of the show and its main actress, noting that they created a realistic picture of Anne Boleyn's life and reign and highlighted previously unknown aspects of her life.

What is the series about?

The show begins with the phrase "Based on truth... and lies". The classic story of the second wife of English King Henry VIII Tudor is shown through the prism of her view of the position of women in high society in the 16th century, and the black Anne Boleyn appears as a medieval feminist and fighter against the patriarchal society of the Tudor era.

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