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Anne of the Thousand Days

Anne of the Thousand Days(1969)

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King Henry VIII of England, whose marriage to Catherine of Aragon has failed to produce a male heir to the throne, becomes infatuated with Anne Boleyn, who is in love with Harry Percy. The king prevents their marriage by sending Percy away and ordering that Anne be made a lady-in-waiting to Catherine. Anne, who has acquired a taste for power, consents to have sex with Henry only if he will marry her and make her queen of England. Henry turns to his counselor, Cardinal Wolsey, to intercede for him with the pope in Rome to have his marriage annulled, but the pope is a prisoner of Catherine's father, King Ferdinand of Spain, and refuses to grant the annulment. When Wolsey also fails to get the annulment approved from the local ecclesiastical body, Henry strips him of his position and appoints Thomas Cromwell in his place. As a final recourse, Henry breaks with the Catholic Church and appoints himself head of the Church of England. Henry, who demands an oath of loyalty recognizing himself as head of both church and state, has Sir Thomas More beheaded when he fails to comply. Now free of his ties to Catherine, Henry marries Anne, and soon afterward she bears him a daughter, Elizabeth. When their second child, a son, is stillborn, Henry becomes furious and orders that his new lover, Jane Seymour, be made one of Anne's ladies-in-waiting. At Henry's command, Cromwell fabricates a case of adultery against Anne, and she is convicted by the court. The strong-willed Anne refuses Henry's offer of clemency if she will renounce the marriage, and as she faces the guillotine, Henry rides off to visit Jane.