Saturday, October 6, 2007

Anne Of The Thousand Days

Anne of The Thousand Days (1969) told the story of Anne Boleyn (1507-1536). This is another great work from director Charles Jarrott, who also directed Mary, Queen of Scots.

I like very much Richard Burton as King Henry VIII. Burton's portrayal showed a king maddened by love and would do anything for it. It reminded me a bit of The King's Whore (1990), which also studied about passion in human life.

King Henry first saw Anne in a dancing party in the palace and wanted her instantly, but Anne didn't want to be his mistress after seeing what he had done to her sister. So Henry tried to annul his marriage to Katherine of Spain and when Rome refused him, he cut off from Rome, made himself the supreme head of the church and got rid of Katherine. Next, he made Anne's daughter, Elizabeth to be his successor with The Act of Succession, followed by several executions for those who refused to sign the Act, including Sir Thomas More. However, Henry wanted a son and when Anne couldn't give it to him, he got rid of her with the help of Cromwell, his chief adviser. In this movie, it was clear that Anne was innocent; she never committed the adultery which was accused to her. Her daughter, Elizabeth, would turn out to be the best queen England ever had.

Those were great moments in this movie: 1) When Anne told Henry, in front of Wolsey, how the cardinal was more powerful and wealthier than the king himself. 2) When Henry realized he was probably bewitched by Anne and that his excommunication from Rome gained him nothing but a useless daughter. 3) When Henry confronted Anne in the prison, how he could save her life if she and Elizabeth agreed to leave England; but Anne taunted him by saying she did commit adultery, and even incest with her brother. 4)The execution scene, when Anne turned her head to see her executioner.

In the end, Anne's sister, Mary's warning turned to be right. Once the king got what he wanted, he would get rid of it soon. Six years Anne resisted, because she was separated from her boyfriend, Percy, by force; but she gave up when Percy married another woman. In the end, she fell in love with Henry, but Henry didn't want her anymore because she couldn't give him the most thing he wanted: a son. In 3 years she was the Queen of England (although the people hated her). That was why this movie is called: Anne of The Thousand Days.

The movie ended perfectly with the moment Henry, who was out hunting, heard the cannon which announced the death of Anne, and then he turned his head to pursue Jane Seymour.

Cast: Richard Burton, Geneviève Bujold

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