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The Other Boleyn Girl

Updated on April 5, 2012
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Alicia has been an Author, Columnist, and Reviewer for 10 years. Her success came from perseverance plus organized goal setting.

Mary Boleyn, 1499/1500 – 1543

Movie Review

In 2003 BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) released The Other Boleyn Girl starring Natascha McElhone, Jodhi May, Steven Mackintosh, Anthony Howell, Yolanda Vasquez, Jared Harris, and Phillip Glenister. This film portrays the life of Mary Boleyn and Anne Boleyn, each telling their own story and explaining their relationship as sisters. This film gives a fair assessment of the 16th Century and the Tudor period; describing perfectly the court intrigue and to what lengths all, especially those in attendance at Court, went to "please the King".

Excellent acting and cast mix. The costuming and props were incredibly period. I fell in love with the English backdrop. The Other Boleyn Girl was based on the best selling novel (title same as movie) written by Phillippa Gregory. The director Phillippa Lowthorpe, a documentary filmmaker, created an excellent historic piece that assisted the viewer into feeling and seeing the Tudor Period.

I did some research into Mary Boleyn. She was in fact one of the mistresses of King Henry VIII. Allegedly Mary's eldest son, Henry Carey, was Henry VIII's son, but Henry VIII never indicated this to be true. Mary Boleyn was King Henry VIII's mistress until his favor switched to her younger sister Anne Boleyn, who later became Queen Consort of England. This film did take some fictional license having Mary visit Anne after being married to her second husband. Historically, after Mary secretly married William Stafford, a commoner and soldier, in 1534 she was banished from court and exiled from her family, never again to visit Court or her family. In spite of the historical flaws of the storyline in this film, it still was an excellent representation of Mary and Anne Boleyn. The 16th century was not an easy time period for anyone, especially women. The Other Boleyn Girl poignantly describes this.

The cast includes: Natascha McElhone (Mary Boleyn), Jodhi May (Anne Boleyn), Steven Mackintosh (George Boleyn), Yolanda Vasquez (Katherine of Aragon), Jared Harris (Henry VIII), Anthony Howell (William Carey), Geoffrey Streatfeild (Francis Weston), Philip Glenister (William Stafford), Jack Shepherd (Thomas Boleyn) and Ron Cook (Thomas Cromwell).

The Other Boleyn Girl is rated NR. There is very adult subject material portrayed. My recommendation is this film was made solely for adult viewing. Are you a History buff? If so, this movie is a "must see!"

For more information about Mary Boleyn:

For more information about Anne Boleyn:

The Other Boleyn Girl authored by Phillippa Gregory is available online.

Other books by Phillippa Gregory are: The Other Queen, The Constant Princess, The Wise Woman, The White Queen, The Virgin's Lover, The Queen's Fool, Meridon, A Respectable Trade, Fallen Skies, and The Boleyn Inheritance.

4 stars for The Other Boleyn Girl, BBC 2003

Books by Phillippa Gregory


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