Anne of the thousand days

Anne of the Thousand Days ( Anne of the Thousand Days ) is a British film by Charles Jarrott , released in 1969 .


King for almost twenty years, Henry VIII of England , married to Catherine of Aragon who gave him a girl, consoles himself with occasional mistresses. During a party, he meets a lady companion of his wife, Anne Boleyn , daughter of Thomas Boleyn and sister of one of his former mistresses. The king falls in love and then asks his chancellor, Cardinal Wolsey , to do what is necessary.

Wolsey then goes to Thomas Boleyn who can only agree to the royal request. Anne, betrothed to a young duke, refuses, however, to become the concubine of the sovereign. The latter breaks the engagement and begins an assiduous court which becomes more and more pressing. Anne ends up by declaring to her that she will give herself to him only if she becomes his legitimate wife.

Wolsey therefore leaves for Rome to ask for the divorce of his sovereign, but the pope, prisoner of Charles V , German emperor and king of Spain, nephew of Catherine of Aragon, does not dare to pronounce it. Disappointed by Wolsey, Henry VIII dismissed his post. His new adviser, Thomas Cromwell , then proposes to him to become head of the Church of England, which will allow him to pronounce his own divorce. Henry VIII separates himself from the Catholic Church, putting himself at the back of a part of his subjects.

The king married Anne Boleyn who had ended up making love to her not long before. She gets pregnant but gives birth to a daughter, the future Elizabeth re . Obsessed by his desire to have a male heir, Henry begins to lose interest in his wife and looks at another lady companion. Anne falls however pregnant but gives birth to a still-born son.

Henry VIII is this time determined to divorce again but Thomas Cromwell advises him another solution. Anne is soon arrested and taken to the Tower of London . Accused of adultery with a former minstrel and other courtiers as well as incest with her brother, she goes on trial but the indictments seem quickly unconvincing. The king will find her at the Tower of London and tries to persuade her to accept a divorce but the queen refuses. He ends up signing his act of execution. Anne Boleyn is beheaded. Meanwhile, little Elizabeth is practicing walking like a princess in one of the alleys of the palace.

Technical sheet

  • Original title: Anne of the Thousand Days
  • French title: Anne des mille jours
  • Director: Charles Jarrott
  • Scenario and adaptation: Bridget Boland , John Hale and Richard Sokolove after Maxwell Anderson’s play
  • Production: Hal B. Wallis
  • Production Company: Hal Wallis Productions
  • Photography: Arthur Ibbetson
  • Music: Georges Delerue
  • Artistic direction: Lionel Couch and Maurice Carter
  • Costumes: Margaret Furse
  • Makeup: Tom Smith
  • Country of origin: United Kingdom
  • Format: color ( Technicolor ) – 35mm – 2.20: 1 / 2.35: 1 – mono (Westrex Recording System) / 70mm 6-Track / 4-Track Stereo
  • Genre: historical film , drama
  • Duration: 145 minutes
  • Release date :
    •  United States :


  • Richard Burton ( VF : Gabriel Cattand ) : Henry VIII
  • Geneviève Bujold ( VF : herself) : Anne Boleyn
  • Irene Papas : Queen Catherine of Aragon
  • Anthony Quayle ( VF : André Valmy ) : Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
  • John Colicos ( VF : Hubert Noel ) : Thomas Cromwell
  • Michael Hordern ( VF : Jean-Henri Chambois ) : Thomas Boleyn
  • Katharine Blake : Elizabeth Boleyn
  • Valerie Gearon : Mary Boleyn
  • Michael Johnson ( VF : Michel Le Royer ) : George Boleyn
  • Peter Jeffrey ( VF : Jean-Louis Jemma ) : Duke of Norfolk
  • Joseph O’Conor ( VF : Louis Arbessier ) : Bishop Fisher
  • William Squire ( VF : Jacques Thebault ) : Thomas More
  • Esmond Knight ( VF : Yves Brainville ) : Kingston
  • Elizabeth Taylor : A courtesan
  • Kynaston Reeves : Willoughby
  • Marne Maitland : Campeggio
  • Nora Swinburne : Lady Kingston
  • TP McKenna : Norris
  • Vernon Dobtcheff ( VF : Michel Gudin ) : Mendoza the ambassador
  • Terence Wilton ( VF : Claude Giraud ) : Lord Harry Percy
  • Terence Mountain ( VF : Claude Joseph ) : The Executioner



The film’s script is based on Maxwell Anderson’s play Ann of the Thousand Days, which was produced on Broadway the  with altogether 288 performances.


The role of Anne Boleyn was first proposed to Olivia Hussey who refused because of personal problems. The role was then offered to Faye Dunaway who also refused. Also actress Claude Jade was making a trip to London to meet Richard Burton . The actress playing the role of the disturbing courtesan Catherine of Aragon in prayer is Elizabeth Taylor , not credited in the credits. Kate Burton , the daughter of Richard Burton who was 12 years old at the time has a small role in the film.

Filming Locations

The indoor scenes were shot at Pinewood Studios in Iver Heath in Buckinghamshire . The hunting scenes were shot in Richmond Park in Surrey , the largest park in the London suburbs. The Tudor Gardens are those of Penshurst Place in Penshurst . Castle Thomas Boleyn is the Hever Castle . The scenes related to the Greenwich Palace were filmed at the National Maritime Museum in London, which at the time was Royal Naval College.


received prices
Oscars 1970: Oscar of best costumes to Margaret Furse;
Golden Globes 1970

Prize of the direction, to Charles Jarrott;
Best Dramatic Film Award;
Award for best actress in a dramatic film, to Geneviève Bujold;
Best Screenplay Award, to John Hale, Bridget Boland and Richard Sokolove.
Oscars 1970:

Oscar nomination for Best Actor, by Richard Burton ;
Anthony Quayle’s Oscar nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role;
Oscar nomination for best actress, Geneviève Bujold;
Oscar nominations for Best Sets by Maurice Carter, Lionel Couch and Patrick McLoughlin;
Arthur Ibbetson’s Oscar nomination for Best Photography;
Nomination for the Oscar of the best music of a non-musical film, by Georges Delerue
Oscar nomination for best film, by Hal B. Wallis;
Nomination for the Oscar for Best Sound, by John Aldred;
Oscar nomination for Best Adaptation Scenario by John Hale, Bridget Boland and Richard Sokolove;
American Cinema Editors (United States) 1970, nominated for best editing, by Richard Marden;
BAFTA 1971:

Nomination for Maurice Carter’s Best Artistic Award;
Nomination for Margaret Furse’s Best Costume Award;
Golden Globes 1970

Nomination for the Best Actor Award, by Richard Burton;
Nomination for the prize for the best original music by Georges Delerue;
Nomination for Anthony Quayle’s Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role;
Writers Guild of America, 1970, nomination for Best Adaptation Scenario, by John Hale and Bridget Boland.

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