The Private Life of Henry VIII | Chicago Reader

The Private Life of Henry VIII

Charles Laughton chomps the drumsticks in his most celebrated performance. Alexander Korda's direction is never inspired, but Laughton's work is shrewd and zesty; it's a marvelous record of the most meticulous ham actor who ever lived. The screenplay, by Lajos Biro and Arthur Wimperis, has moments of shivering wit; unfortunately, it's almost impossible to make out the dialogue in the extremely poor dupe prints that have been circulating ever since this 1933 production slipped out of copyright. With Elsa Lanchester, Robert Donat, Merle Oberon, Binnie Barnes, and Wendy Barrie. 97 min.

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