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Best Picture Movie Marathon, Part 75

Part 75: 1970


MOVIES:

  • Z

  • Midnight Cowboy (winner)

  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (hidden gem)

  • Hello, Dolly!

  • Anne of the Thousand Days


Z

Director: Costa-Garvas

Starring: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Yves Montand, Irene Papas, Pierre Dux, Jacques Perrin, Charles Denner, Francois Perier, Georges Geret, Bernard Fresson, Marcel Bozzuffi, Julien Guiomar, Magali Noel, Renato Salvatori, Clotilde Joanno, Maurice Baquet, Gerard Darrieu, Jean Bouise, Jean-Pierre Miquel, Van Doude, Jean Daste, Jean-Francois Gobbi, Guy Mairesse, Andree Tainsy, Eva Simonet, Hassan El-Hassani, Sid Ahmed Agoumi

Oscar Wins: Best Film Editing, Best Foreign Language Film

Other Nominations: Best Director, Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay), Best Picture

 

In 1968, the world was a hotbed of political unrest. With the Vietnam War in full swing and Richard Nixon winning the White House, protests and violent demonstrations were almost a daily occurrence. People of all ages gathered to protest the violence overseas, unfair political elections, twisted local elections, even the Olympics. In every square in every city all over the world, students and workers were on the march.

 

It was the perfect year for a movie like Z to come out, a story about a “traffic accident” that claimed the life of a Greek political activist.



Loosely based on facts, Z is a fictionalized telling of the rise and fall of the Greek opposition leader, Gregorios Lambrakis. After having fought for the Greek Resistance against the Nazis, Lambrakis became involved in the Greek United Democratic Left, through which he ascended into Parliament in 1961.

 

His time in Parliament was spent fighting against the Vietnam War and calling for an end to the Cold War. He never hid his Leftist heart, even participating in the outlawed March for Peace from the town of Marathon to the capital building. Bravely he walked into Athens, holding a banner calling for peace, and – for this – was mysteriously killed just one month later.

 

The narrator in Z begins by cluing us into the crazy laws implemented by the Greek military: “The military banned long hair on males; mini-skirts; Sophocles; Tolstoy; Euripides; smashing glasses after drinking toasts, labor strikes; Aristophanes; Ionesco; Satre; Albee; Pinter; freedom of the press; sociology; Beckett; Dostoyevsky; modern music; popular music; the New Mathematics; and the letter Z, which in ancient Greek means: ‘he is alive!’”



The letter Z was the symbol used by Lambrakis, as well as all those hippie Leftists, unionists, and mini-skirters, those who were targeted and attacked during the years this movie takes place. However, director Costa-Gavras elected not to use the names of the actual participants when he made the film. By using generic descriptors like “The Deputy”, “The General”, and “The Judge”, he is able to move his film out of a specific time and place and give it a more universal feel. However, there’s no mistaking the historical events that inspired it.

 

The film begins with a warning: “Any similarity to actual persons or events is deliberate.” Spicy, Costa, very spicy!

 

The first section focuses on the assassination of The Doctor (Yves Montand), the embodiment of Lambrakis. His Leftist movement is described as “mildew” and he represents everything the government despises. While speaking at a rally for disarmament, he’s warned that there might be an attempt on his life – a premonition that proved to be true. 

 

Following his death, the second section details the investigation into what is called “the murder”. A magistrate is appointed to investigate the death, even though police authorities claim the death was the result of a drunk driving accident and should be immediately resolved. Skeeeeetchy.



Soon a high-level conspiracy comes to light and those responsible face the ultimate humiliation – but is it enough? The final moments don’t offer resolve, but anger, leaving us with a sense of how the world really works in situations like this.

 

“Why do our ideas provoke such violence?” The Doctor asks the crowd in his final speech. “Why don’t they like peace?...We lack hospitals and doctors, but half of the budget goes to military expenditure…a cannon is fired, and a teacher’s monthly salary goes up in smoke…Around the world too many soldiers are ready to fire on anything moving towards progress. We live in a weak and corrupt society where it’s every man for himself – where even imagination is suspect, yet it is imagination that is needed to solve the world’s problems…They want to prevent us from reaching the obvious political conclusions based on these simple truths – but we will speak out…the people need truth!”

 

Peaceful, calm, confident and wise – it’s no wonder so many were captivated by The Doctor and his “radical” beliefs. You can almost hear Bernie Sanders saying something similar in today’s insane political climate. Though the speeches sound powerful and uplifting, particularly to this little Leftie Socialist, the film as a whole was a bit of a snooze fest. It’s thick with exposition and expects viewers to pay attention…so if your mind wanders or you’re not FASCINATED by political thrillers, you may find yourself catching Z’s of a different kind…

 

Midnight Cowboy

Director: John Schlesinger

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Sylvia Miles, John McGiver, Brenda Vaccaro, Barnard Hughes, Ruth White, Jennifer Salt, Gilman Rankin, Georgann Johnson, Anthony Holland, Bob Balaban, Viva, Paul Rossilli, Craig Carrington

Oscar Wins: Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay), Best Director, Best Picture

Other Nominations: Best Actor (Dustin Hoffman), Best Actor (Jon Voight), Best Supporting Actress (Sylvia Miles), Best Film Editing

 

I’ve said it several times now, but one of the greatest things about this movie project is seeing the films that set the bar, that broke ground in their genre, walking so that others could run. Most of these films were obviously released several decades ago (Stagecoach is a great example), when movie technology itself was new and exciting. In recent years, few films have had the honor of being a groundbreaker in one category, let alone several.

 

As a New York movie; a representation of a new, more daring Hollywood; as a buddy film; and as a movie that, if not gay, certainly made the notion of a gay movie possible, Midnight Cowboy is one such film. With scenes depicting gang rape, homosexuality, targeted violence, and drug use, Midnight Cowboy broke so many rules that no one could have guessed it was actually rewriting them.



New York City. For years it’s been the Northern Star of singers, dancers, actors, writers, and all those other hopefuls hoping to hit it big. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere, right? But the sad reality is, for every one person who makes it, there are hundreds who don’t…hundreds who carry their unfulfillable hopes in tattered suitcases and end up living on the edge of desperation. Joe Buck (Jon Voight) is one such hopeful who wants to leave the Texas dust behind him in search of something better. Has the kind of innocence that preserves dumb good looks. He idolizes Paul Newman and John Wayne and, at the beginning of the film, comes to The Big Apple to make something of himself.

 

First step: money. Adorned with a big cowboy hat and plenty of southern charm, Joe figures he can be a gigolo for rich Park Avenue ladies…but he’s not quite smart enough for these shady women who con him for all he’s got. It seems the only paying customers are other lonely men, looking for love in dingy hotel rooms and in the back rows of movie theaters.

 


Joe’s only friend is the fast-talking conman Ratso (Dustin Hoffman). Ratso is well named. Like a rat, he makes his own way in the city, hated, asking no favors, living the life he knows. He helps Joe find a place to live and soon they are bickering like an old married couple, fighting over dinner responsibilities and income. Their friendship forms the heart of Midnight Cowboy, as these two lonely men learn how to navigate a city hell-bent on destroying them.

 

Like its Oscar competition, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Midnight Cowboy is a story about two guys who clearly prefer each other’s company to that of any woman who might come between them. But whether it’s technically a gay relationship remains up in the air. It is a film by a gay director that does depict several same-sex encounters, and a deep bond between two men lies at the film’s core. But Midnight Cowboy doesn’t quite sit comfortably in the LGBTQIA canon. There isn’t a story of liberation, pride or self-assertion. Furthermore, there is no sexual relationship, or even desire for that matter, between Ratso and Joe…nor is there any real reason to believe that either man is gay. Ratso uses gay slurs almost constantly and Joe never seems as comfortable with his male lovers as he does with his female ones.

 


Perhaps Midnight Cowboy is best understood as a movie not about sexuality, but humanity, and the stress these men feel about doing what society expects them to do. Joe can idolize John Wayne and Paul Newman all he wants, can dress like a cowboy, tip his hat to rich women, but under that tough cowboy façade is still a human who just wants to be loved.

 

And speaking of cowboys, the fact that Joe paraded himself around as a “cowboy” wasn’t just a fetish – it embodied what a man used to be and wasn’t anymore. One of the reasons Midnight Cowboy is considered a groundbreaking film, at least in my opinion, is that it helped mark a passage from an old world to a new one. It was a film no one expected to become the smashing success it did. Its success at the Oscars was a powerful testament to the industry’s acceptance of the rise of a New Hollywood, filled with films like Five Easy Pieces, A Clockwork Orange, The Conversation, and Taxi Driver, movies that showcased vulnerable men with real, relatable, emotional issues.

 

Ironically, John Wayne did beat out both Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight for Best Actor (for True Grit)…proof that Hollywood was in a transitional period. Wayne’s Rooster Cogburn was the Hollywood cowboy, rugged and masculine. Voight’s Joe Buck was the real one, insecure and emotional. At the time, they represented the yin and yang of what movies, and life, could be – one dream giving way to another.

 

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Director: George Roy Hill

Starring: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross, Strother Martin, Henry Jones, Jeff Corey, George Furth, Cloris Leachman, Ted Cassidy, Kenneth Mars, Donnelly Rhodes, Timothy Scott, Charles Dierkop, Paul Bryar, Sam Elliott, Jody Gilbert

Oscar Wins: Best Music (Original Score - For Motion Picture [not a musical]), Best Cinematography, Best Music (Song) ("Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head"), Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

Other Nominations: Best Director, Best Sound, Best Picture

 

It’s the mother of all buddy movies – or maybe the father of all bromances. Set at the tail end of the Old West, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid ushered in a new kind of Western…one that trades in horses for bicycles and turns the classic western hero into a vengeful tough guy.

 

As the film moves from a sepia introduction into full color, it becomes clear that the times, they are a-changing. Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman) and the Sundance Kid (Robert Redford) represented the New West, filled with bank robberies, gang violence and, most importantly, the antihero. As the ringleaders of the notorious Hole-in-the-Wall Gang, Butch and the Sundance Kid make a living stealing money from passing trains – but when a posse of hired gunmen come after them, they flee to Bolivia, where robbing banks is easy (so long as you can remember the words in Spanish).

 

The playful script, written by William Goldman (who also wrote The Princess Bride), mixes a little history with a lot of fiction, resulting in a Western that aims to reinvent the West not as it was, but as the place we all wanted it to be.

 


When we first meet our antiheroes, they’re doing what they do best – robbing a train. With pockets full of money, Butch does what any self-respecting cowboy would do with loads of stolen bills – hits the brothel. Sundance, meanwhile, heads home to see his lover. This enjoyable intro to the film (including the famous bicycle ride scene), gives us a leisurely opportunity to get to know these characters. Butch is affable, a man who can turn on the power when he wishes but usually is a sociable, talkative charmer. Sundance is the quiet one, quick with his gun but never showing an evil temper (despite his reputation). Together, they make a great team – two handsome blokes with great smiles and even better banter. Sign. Me. Up.

 

Still high on the success of their first train robbery, the duo is eager to hit the tracks again. However, their second robbery isn’t as successful. Too much dynamite demolishes the safe they were trying to open, sending all their money into the wind. As the gang scrambles to gather it, a second train arrives, carrying a team of six lawmen. Butch and Sundance take off, but the posse is relentless. Several close calls culminate in Butch and Sundance leaving the country for Bolivia.

 


Upon arrival, Sundance is less than impressed with the living conditions there – but Butch is optimistic. The Bolivia segment contains some great comedic and dramatic moments, like when Butch and Sundance try to rob a bank, but don’t know enough Spanish to get the job done. This segment also includes the final shootout, which gives Butch and Sundance a much more dramatic ending than their real-life counterparts.

 

There’s little surprise that the biggest asset of the film is the chemistry between Newman and Redford. There’s a classic give-and-take between these two, a friendship that goes beyond the script. It’s the kind of movie that you really couldn’t make with someone you didn’t like, and it’s obvious these two had a blast with this script. In fact, director George Roy Hill would unite Paul Newman and Robert Redford again in The Sting (a better film, in my opinion), which came out four years later. 



Despite arriving during the era when this kind of movie was falling from public favor, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid remains a solid and beloved Western. It was one of the most popular tickets in 1969, making more than Midnight Cowboy and Easy Rider combined (the film grossed $103 million at the time, about $870 million today). It racked up seven Oscar nominations (winning four) and has made the list of Best Screenplays and Best Westerns numerous times. However, its biggest claim to fame is that it became a template of sorts for countless later films. The so-called “buddy elements” of the movie have been replicated and refined throughout the years, particularly in the 1970s and 80s. And although Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was not the first movie to pair up a couple of wisecracking friends in an adventure setting, it certainly became a model of how well that approach could work if done right.

 

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is such a good time that it takes a minute to notice that it’s about the end of the line for its (anti)heroes. Their celebrity is already widespread when the film opens and, ultimately, hastens their demise. “Your times is over and you’re goona die bloody,” warns a sheriff, prophetically, in an early scene. Despite all their crimes, they’re mostly guilty of simply stealing from the wrong guy – a man who spends more money trying to catch them than they rob from his safes. But it’s an opportunity for a powerful man to send a message about who’s really in charge. Guys like Butch and Sundance can take on local lawmen, but they can’t fight progress. The rich men of the world will make certain of that.

 

Hello, Dolly!

Director: Gene Kelly

Starring: Barbara Streisand, Walter Matthau, Michael Crawford, Marianne McAndrew, E.J. Peaker, Danny Lockin, Joyce Ames, Tommy Tune, Judy Knaiz, David Hurst, Fritz Feld, Richard Collier, J. Pat O'Malley, Louis Armstrong

Oscar Wins: Best Music (Score of a Musical Picture - Original or Adaptation), Best Art Direction, Best Sound

Other Nominations: Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Picture

 

The 1960s was an incredible decade for high-risk, high-reward musicals.  From 1959 to 1970, five Best Picture winners came from this genre (Gigi, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, and Oliver!). While the classic movie musical had no trouble bringing audiences in, studios were less willing to green light the enormous budgets these movies needed to finish production. By the end of the 1960s, the future looked grim for this beloved genre.

 

When 20th Century Fox earned the rights to produce Hello, Dolly!, they were so confident in its success that they put their top talent on the job. It was directed by screen legend Gene Kelly; it was written and produced by the writer of three previous classics (The King and I, West Side Story, and The Sound of Music); and it would star one of Hollywood’s brightest up-and-coming stars: Barbra Streisand.



And, technically, 20th Century Fox wasn’t wrong. Audiences loved the film. To give you a better idea of its popularity, Louis Armstrong’s recording of the title track pushed The Beatles off the top of the Billboard Hot 100 list at the height of Beatlemania. But, just one year later, the film would barely make its money back and, eventually, would fade into the darkness.

 

So, what went wrong? Well, besides the numerous production problems, the ever-growing budget, and the fact that everyone involved hated everyone else, one problem Hello, Dolly! faced was its campy feel. Somehow Kelly managed to create a movie that combined the worst elements of canned theater with the silly excesses of the musical film, and almost none of it worked, then or now. It somehow looks both overproduced and cheap at the same time and features songs that are almost instantly forgettable. But none of that compared to the horrible casting.

 

But first, prologue!

 


Hello, Dolly! opens in New York City, where the most famous and beloved matchmaker Dolly Levi (Streisand) is heading to Yonkers to snare the wealthy, grumpy Hay & Feed store owner, Horace Vandergelder (Walter Matthau). For someone so used to arranging marriages, this certainly requires a lot of trickery and conniving on her part, for Horace is already planning to propose to a wealthy haberdasher named Irene Molloy (Marianne McAndrew).

 

Dolly’s scheme involves encouraging Mr. Vandergelder’s chief clerk Cornelius Hackl (Michael Crawford) and his young coworker Barnaby Tucker (Danny Lockin) to head into the city first, with the sole task of wooing over one Irene Molloy and her young protégé, Minnie Fay (E.J. Parker). At the same time, she encourages Vandergelder’s despondent niece Ermengarde (Joyce Ames) to sneak off with her illicit boyfriend Ambrose Kemper (Tommy Tune). Farce ensues, ultimately leading to everyone ending up with their most ideal person – assuming there’s a world where a 26-year-old Streisand and a 50-year-old Matthau qualify as an ideal pair.

 


Overall, there were some things Hello, Dolly! got right. The costumes were super fun and were almost characters in and of themselves. The Oscar-winning 15-acre New York set was also pretty impressive, as was the staging and blocking of the bigger dance numbers (no surprise with Gene Kelly at the helm). But all of that was overshadowed by the poor choice to cast, well, everyone in this movie.

 

Carol Channing was 43 when she created the role of Dolly onstage, and that’s just the minimum age requirement for a worldly widow who has spent a lifetime getting involved in everyone else’s life and has finally decided to settle down before the parade passes by. At half her age, Streisand didn’t have the maturity to sell that very important aspect of the character. Instead, she played Dolly like a young Mae West, adding a corny twirl to every line and lip syncing so poorly that you’d think she was doing a music video rather than a feature film.

 

Walter Matthau, who so very obviously hated Streisand in performance and reality, gives his best W.C. Fields impression, grumpily trudging through his songs like an old man who hasn’t had his morning prune juice yet. His performance comes across as more unpleasant than comic, and his eventual thawing comes from nowhere whatsoever.

 


All the other side pieces are SO over the top that it’s honestly distracting. Crawford and E.J. Parker in particular play to the back row of the theater, with highly theatrical responses that don’t really match the energy of their co-stars, let alone the entire dragging production.

 

Overflowing with big sets, big hats, big dance numbers, and even bigger egos, Hello, Dolly! feels bloated from start to finish. The big showstoppers, “Before the Parade Passes By” and “Put on Your Sunday Clothes”, are nothing but sensory overload and even the quiet moments don’t really have any heart.

 

The warning signs, it seemed, were finally there for the genre. By the start of the 1980s, the movie musical as audiences knew it would be dead. But, funnily enough, Hello, Dolly! would enjoy a bit of a resurrection through the eyes of one happy viewer: WALL-E. This beloved robotic Pixar character would learn how to understand and process his feelings from a dusty Betamax copy of the film, found in the rubble of the polluted planet Earth. It’s almost fitting that, on a planet consumed by excess, the bloated and indulgent Hello, Dolly! would be the one relic to survive.

 

Anne of a Thousand Days

Director: Charles Jarrott

Starring: Richard Burton, Genevieve Bujold, Irene Papas, Anthony Quayle, John Colicos, Michael Hordern, Katharine Blake, Valerie Gearon, Michael Johnson, Peter Jeffrey, Joseph O'Conor, William Squire, Esmond Knight, Nora Swinburne, Vernon Dobtcheff, Brook Williams, Gary Bond, T.P. McKenna, Denis Quilley, Terence Wilton, Lesley Paterson, Nicola Pagett, June Ellis, Kynaston Reeves, Marne Maitland, Cyril Luckham, Amanda Jane Smythe, Kate Burton

Oscar Wins: Best Costume Design

Other Nominations: Best Actor (Richard Burton), Best Actress (Genevieve Bujold), Best Supporting Actor (Anthony Quayle), Best Art Direction, Best Music (Original Score - For Motion Picture [not a musical]), Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay), Best Sound, Best Cinematography, Best Picture

 

Rarely does a period piece, particularly one about the British Royals, structure the characters and events to make them more appealing to a modern audience. In Anne of the Thousand Days, the well-known story of Anne Boleyn is given a feminist twist that no doubt spoke to young women at the time, giving us a heroine that not only stood up for herself against King and Country, but did so courageously and with little regard for consequence. Were this Anne alive today, she would have led the #metoo movement, offered shelter and support to the likes of Princess Diana and Megan Markle, and probably would have been trading friendship bracelets with young Swifties at Wembley Stadium.

 

Nice to meet you, where you been? I could show you incredible things. Magic, madness, heaven, sin Saw you there and I thought “Oh my God. Look at that face. You look like my next mistake. Love’s a game…wanna play?



Early on in the film, we are treated to Anne’s life before Henry VIII. As a young girl, Anne Boleyn (Genevieve Bujold) is with her young lover (also named Henry), whom she loves dearly and wants to marry. As they’re canoodling in the gardens one day, Anne boldly admits to young Henry that she’s not a virgin. “We don’t come out of a rainbow at 17 and it’s no use pretending we do.” It’s a risky move, since Henry could spread the word that she’s a “spoiled woman”, thereby ruining any possibility she may have of marrying into wealth, let alone royalty.

 

A woman of this time would never think to admit this and, if it were true, she would try to hide the fact at all costs…yet Anne is proud of it. To an audience watching this movie in the midst of the feminist movement, this is a big step for Anne and her sexual independence.

 

Henry VIII (Richard Burton), as history has told us, was never one to shy away from a pretty face. His many affairs during his first marriage to Queen Catherine were well known, including a dalliance with Anne’s older sister, Mary. But when the King takes notice of Anne, he takes an immediate interest in her. Catherine, who was well beyond her child-bearing years, was given the boot. Anne, who was young, vital, and beautiful, was tasked with a challenge: giving the King a son.

 

Cherry lips, crystal skies I could show you incredible things. Stolen kisses, pretty lies, You’re the King, baby, I’m your Queen. Find out what you want, Be that girl for a month Wait, the worst is yet to come…



Not that it mattered to King Henry, but Anne really had no interest, at least at first, of becoming the latest royal plaything. She criticizes the King to his face and continually refuses his advances, actions that would have gotten her into a lot of trouble IRL. But he’s relentless in his pursuit.

 

She taunts the King by telling him that, even if she gave him a son, he would be a bastard since the King was still married to Catherine. This confrontation is what ultimately inspires the King to form The Church of England so he could divorce Catherine and marry Anne (this is depicted in the film, A Man for All Seasons). In her battle with Henry for love and power, the more forthright Anne is, the more equal the playing field. In reality, she would have been much more subtle, as the balance of power can never be equal when your squalling partner is the King.

 

In the later half of the film, Henry starts to grow on Anne, if only a little. The divorce with Catherine is finalized and Anne quickly becomes pregnant. However, all hopes of happiness are dashed when Anne gives birth to a baby girl. Almost immediately, Henry’s attentions turn elsewhere.

 

Screaming, crying, perfect storms I can make all the tables turn. Rose garden filled with thorns, Keep you second guessing like, “Oh my God. Who is she?” I get drunk on jealousy. But you’ll come back each time you leave, Cause darling, I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream.



Anne gets pregnant twice more – another girl only works to piss Henry off more, but Anne’s fate is ultimately sealed when her third baby, a boy, is miscarried. Henry quickly explodes into a rage of hysteria and tasks his men to come up with a way to get rid of his albatross of a wife. With divorce out of the question, a more severe method would have to be found. Eventually the decision is made to torture one of Anne’s servants into falsely confessing to having sex with the Queen, an action penalized by death. But one wasn’t enough…Several men were falsely accused of similar crimes, including Anne’s own brother.

 

She defends herself in trial, having a hard time believing her husband was behind such absurd accusations…but it soon becomes clear that Henry will stop at nothing to have a son.

 

In a scene towards the end of the film, King Henry visits Anne on the night before her execution. He offers her a deal, saying he will exile her in peace with their daughter as long as she agrees to their marriage being annulled and Elizabeth (the daughter) being declared a bastard. Anne refuses, choosing her daughter’s future over her own life. She delivers an Oscar-worthy speech to her husband, saying, “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!”



Not only does this powerhouse monologue showcase Anne as a strong, selfless woman, it further connects her to a modern audience by driving home the fact that she was the mother of one of the most famous monarchs England ever had. Tying Anne to Elizabeth makes the reign of such a great Queen partially due to the tenacity of her mother, a woman who wanted no part in royalty but was, instead, forced into it. 

 

Anne was only Queen for about a thousand days before her execution. For many years, Anne was viewed as a terrible woman who betrayed her husband and had a dangerous sexual appetite; however, the more popular view of Anne is as a pro-feminist, using her intelligence and sexuality to her advantage.

 

Henry’s next wife, Jane Seymour, did manage to give the King a son, the sickly Prince Edward. He then married three more times before dying himself in 1547. After his death, his son Edward did reign briefly, but Anne Boleyn had the last laugh when her 25-year-old daughter Elizabeth took the throne in 1558 and enjoyed a spectacular reign that lasted 45 years.

 

Nominated for 10 Oscars, Anne of the Thousand Days would only win one for Best Costume Design. However, it remains a favorite for many lovers of British history. Ironically, Anne of the Thousand Days was also a favorite film of one woman not too unlike Anne herself: one Princess Diana.

 

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