The Private Life of Henry VIII. 1933. Great Britain. Directed by Alexander Korda. Screenplay by Lajos Biró, Arthur Wimperis. With Charles Laughton, Merle Oberon, Robert Donat, Elsa Lanchester. 97 min.
Presented in all its visual grandiosity in a new 4K restoration, the immensely successful and entertaining Henry VIII not only gave Academy Award winner Charles Laughton his most petulant, bawdy, yet noble of roles (equalled only by his Ruggles of Red Gap two years later, leading Graham Greene to call him “the best kind of ‘ham’”), but also transformed British cinema through the epically lavish efforts of London Films, the genteel outfit led by three Hungarian-Jewish émigré brothers—director-producer Alexander Korda, art director Vincent, and screenwriter-producer-director Zoltan—who enlisted some of continental Europe’s preeminent talents.
New digital restoration by the BFI National Archive and The Film Foundation, in association with ITV and Park Circus, with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation