Saturday, April 30, 2011

Movie Moments: #18

Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

Henry V111 (Richard Burton) and Anne Boleyn (Genevieve Bujold)

King Henry VIII: Then, Anne, lets do all gently for old times sake. I have no wish to harm you, and your words have moved me deeply. I must be free to have a son, and the son must be free to rule England when I die.

Anne: Why must you leave a king to follow you, Henry? Why not a queen?

King Henry VIII: This country has never been ruled by a queen. I know it never could be. We can never have a son now, God has spoken. I must have a son elsewhere. And it's getting late. I'm not as young as I was.

Anne: What do you want of me?

King Henry VIII: Agree to annul the marriage and give up all rights. You shall go abroad and take Elizabeth

with you. You will be well cared for. Please set me free.

Anne: To marry Seymour and make our child a bastard? No. No. No.

Anne: But Elizabeth is yours. Watch her as she grows; she's yours. She's a Tudor! Get yourself a son off of that sweet, pale girl if you can - and hope that he will live! But Elizabeth shall reign after you! Yes, Elizabeth - child of Anne the Whore and Henry the Blood-Stained Lecher - shall be Queen! And remember this: Elizabeth shall be a greater queen than any king of yours! She shall rule a greater England than you could ever have built! Yes - MY Elizabeth SHALL BE QUEEN! And my blood will have been well spent!

Movie Trivia

Richard Burton had been with Elizabeth Taylor since 1963, when Cleopatra had been filmed. By 1969 when Anne of the Thousand Days was being filmed, there were reports that his eye had begin to wander. Shooting was in England and word came back to Elizabeth Taylor that Burton and Genevieve Bujold, the female lead of Anne, were getting on perhaps a little too well. She decided to visit the set and did so when the final scene was being filmed, the scene in which Henry confronts Anne in the Tower of London. The above monologue by Anne comes from that final scene. When Bujold heard of Taylor’s arrival, she “was fighting mad” records the producer, Hal B Wallis. According to Wallis: "She turned to Jarrott and me and said, ‘I'm going to give that bitch an acting lesson she'll never forget!’ then took her position in front of the camera. What seemed a misfortune suddenly turned into an advantage. Genevieve flung herself into the scene with a display of acting skill I have seldom seen equalled in my career. Then she stormed off the set. Soon after filming finished, we had an end-of-the-picture party. The two actresses held court at opposite ends of the room. Richard Burton very pointedly never left Elizabeth's side."

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