Anne: For six years, this year, and this, and this, and this, I did not love him. And then I did. Then I was his. I can count the days I was his in hundreds.
[picks up day counter]
Anne: The days we bedded. Married. Were Happy. Bore Elizabeth. Hated. Lusted. Bore a dead child... which condemned me... to death. In all one thousand days. Just a thousand. Strange. And of those thousand, one when we were both in love, only one, when our loves met and overlapped and were both mine and his. And when I no longer hated him, he began to hate me. Except for that one day.
~from Anne of the Thousand Days
I think what makes Anne of the Thousand Days stand out among the period films churned out by Hollywood is the outstanding screenplay by Maxwell Anderson. While a few historical liberties are taken for the sake of the flow of the story, Anderson captures the tumultuous rise and catastrophic fall of a young English aristocratic lady who once caught the glance of a king. Richard Burton totally projects Henry VIII's obsessive, all-consuming lust that is willing to destroy his wife, his daughter, his best friends, his church and thousands of his subjects in order to obtain his lady. Richard looks at Genevieve Bujold (Anne Boleyn) with such a mix of torment, passion and guilt that it is almost as if he were looking at Elizabeth Taylor, but such is the great actor's ability to become Henry VIII in this film. Bujold is magnificent as Anne, graceful, witty, winsome, and strong-willed. I was struck by the unhappiness of the couple when they were finally together, living in opulence from the confiscated monasteries. Henry's love of Anne seemed to die almost as soon as he finally sated his desire for her. Bujold's Anne goes to her death with brash dignity, while Henry moves on to another wife. An incredible tragedy in which many innocent people suffered is well-depicted with authentic costumes and stunning sets. Share