Release Date(s)1969 (December 18, 2018)
Studio(s)Universal Pictures (Twilight Time)
- Film/Program Grade: A
- Video Grade: A
- Audio Grade: A
- Extras Grade: D+
Anne of the Thousand Days is a Hal Wallis production that stars Richard Burton as King Henry VIII, Genevieve Bujold as the seductive young Anne Boleyn, and Irene Papas as Catherine of Aragon, documenting a small portion of their lives during its 150-minute running time.
The story of Anne of the Thousand Days began as a play when it was first performed on Broadway in 1948. In it, Henry discards his wife Catharine for failing to produce a male heir. Determined to have a son, his desire turns to the young and beautiful Anne, whom he hopes will give him a boy. The film version of this story took twenty years to reach the screen, mostly due to its content involving adultery, illegitimacy, and incest, which were all taboo subjects to the motion picture industry at the time.
For those who love colorful costume dramas, Anne of the Thousand Days is just the film for you. Filled with great performances, including Richard Burton (despite disliking the film received an Academy Award nomination), brilliant direction by Charles Jarrott, and an excellent musical score by Georges Delereue, it all makes the film worth revisiting.
Twilight Time has given the film a new Blu-ray release with breathtaking picture quality. Colors are a sight to behold, appearing rich and bold throughout with a great deal of depth. Reds look especially strong. There’s also a lot of detail and textures in the outdoor scenery as well. For the audio, an English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track is available and it sounds just as terrific. Dialogue is clear without any dropouts or hiss, while some of the sound effects and musical numbers have plenty of heft to them. Subtitles in English SDH are also available.
Special features include an isolated music track, the original theatrical trailer, a scroll-through of the current Twilight Time catalogue, and an 8-page insert booklet with an essay on the film by Julie Kirgo.
While not considered an all-time classic, Anne of the Thousand Days is recommended to those who have an admiration and appreciation for colorful historical dramas that didn’t rely on special effects or visuals to wow an audience.
– David Steigman