Henry VIII of England discards one wife, Katharine of Aragon, who has failed to produce a male heir, in favor of the young and beautiful Anne Boleyn.
Geneviève Bujold is on super form here as the manipulative and ambitious Anne. She captures the heart of the King (Richard Burton) and he proceeds to shake his kingdom to it's foundations in order to possess, then dispose of her. Even if you are not familiar with the story of Anne Boleyn, it is told here by way of a retrospective so we see right from the beginning that her goose is cooked. What ensures depicts how she rose to power, connived the downfall of many around her - most notably the Queen herself (Irene Papas) and Cardinal Wolsey (Anthony Quayle). With the help of a suitably obsequious character of Thomas Cromwell (John Calicos), the internecine and fickle politics of Henry VIII's court is laid bare for us to watch. Perhaps Burton is a bit overly theatrical at times, but there is a smouldering chemistry between the two; the look of the film is great with superb location and costume detail too. Towards the end you almost begin to feel sorry for the poor woman who played the game for all it was worth, but the King's caprices and her inability to have a son wrote her death warrant for her. It is too long, but still one of the best period dramas made on this topic.