Countless films, television series and documentaries have been made about the very addictive Tudor period. Not all are great but there are some true gems included in this list.
Please let me know if you know of another title that should be added to this list.
The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots (1895)
A short, black and white, silent film depicting the execution of Mary, Queen of the Scots.
Henry VIII (1911)
Silent black and white short film.
Jane Seymour and Henry VIII of England (1912)
A French film.
Anna Boleyn (1920)
The story of the ill-fated second wife of the English king Henry VIII, whose marriage to the Henry led to momentous political and religious turmoil in England.
The Virgin Queen (1923)
Black and white, silent film.
The Private Life of Henry VIII. (1933)
Tells how King Henry VIII came to marry five more times after his divorce from his first wife.
Tudor Rose (1936)
A dramatization of Lady Jane Grey’s short life, from her forced marriage (which she resisted) to her brief reign as monarch of England and finally to her beheading.
Mary of Scotland (1936)
The recently widowed Mary Stuart returns to Scotland to reclaim her throne but is opposed by her half-brother and her own Scottish lords. Starring Katharine Hepburn as Mary Stuart.
Fire Over England (1937)
The film is a historical drama set during the reign of Elizabeth I (Flora Robson), focusing on the English defeat of the Spanish Armada.
Starring Laurence Olivier and Vivienne Leigh.
The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939)
A depiction of the love/hate relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex. Starring Bette Davis as Queen Elizabeth and Errol Flynn as the Earl of Essex.
Mary Queen of Scots (1940)
German film about the life of Mary Queen of Scots.
Young Bess (1953)
Chronicles the life of Elizabeth Tudor before she becomes Queen of England. Based on the novel by Margaret Irwin and starring Jean Simmons as the young Elizabeth.
The Sword and the Rose (1953)
Tells the story of Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon.
Richard III (1955)
Based on Shakespeare’s play and starring Laurence Olivier as Richard III.
The Virgin Queen (1955)
Sir Walter Raleigh overcomes court intrigue to win favor with the Queen in order to get financing for a proposed voyage to the New World. Starts Bette Davis.
A Man for All Seasons (1966)
The story of Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarriage.
Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)
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.
Starring Geneviève Bujold as Anne Boleyn.
The Six Wives of Henry VIII (TV mini-series 1970)
A six-episode dramatization of Henry VIII’s relationships with each of his six wives. Each episode is devoted to one wife, and is a complete play in itself.
Mary, Queen of Scots (1971)
Starring Vanessa Redgrave and Glenda Jackson.
Elizabeth R (TV mini-series 1971)
Starring Glenda Jackson as Elizabeth I.
Carry on Henry (1971)
Henry VIII has just married Marie of Normandy, and is eager to consummate their marriage. Unfortunately for Henry, she is always eating garlic, and refuses to stop. Deciding to get rid of her in his usual manner, Henry has to find some way of doing it without provoking war with Marie’s cousin, the King of France. Perhaps if she had an affair…
The Shadow of the Tower (TV mini-series 1972)
A series of dramas by various writers recording the key events in the reign of Henry Tudor and his founding of the Tudor Dynasty.
Henry VIII and His Six Wives (1972)
On his deathbed, King Henry VIII looks back over his eventful life and his six marriages.
Crossed Swords (1977)
A poor boy and the Crown Prince of England exchange identities, but events force the pair to experience each other’s lives as well.
The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight (TV 1979)
Based on Shakespeare’s Henry VIII
Anna Bolena (TV 1984)
God’s Outlaw (1986)
A dramatized biography of William Tyndale, the 16th Century reformer determined to translate the Bible into English, which illegal act set him at odds with the Catholic Church, Sir Thomas More and King Henry VIII.
Lady Jane (1986)
Helena Bonham Carter as Lady Jane Grey
A Man for All Seasons (TV 1988)
Henry VIII wants to divorce his wife, and seeks the approval of the aristocracy. Sir Thomas More is a man of principle and reason, and is thus placed in a difficult position:
Henry VIII (TV 1991)
Quentin Crisp plays Elizabeth I in this strange tale based on Virginia Woolf’s novel.
The Prince and the Pauper (BBC TV mini-series 1996)
BBC mini-series based on the Mark Twain story.
Henry VIII (TV mini-series 1997)
Documentary written by David Starkey.
A film of the early years of the reign of Elizabeth I of England and her difficult task of learning what is necessary to be a monarch.
Starring Cate Blanchet as Elizabeth.
In Search of History: The Missing Princes (TV 1998)
Explore one of the enduring mysteries of British history — the mysterious disappearance of two royal heirs in 1483.
Shakespeare in Love (1998)
A young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays.
The Royal Diaries: Elizabeth I – Red Rose of the House of Tudor (TV 2000)
Towards the end of her father Henry the VIII’s reign, a young Elizabeth quarrels with half-sister Mary Tudor and worries that her beloved stepmother Catherine Parr will face the same fate as Henry’s other wives, including Elizabeth’s mother Anne Boleyn.
Elizabeth (TV 2000)
A Documentary about the life of Elizabeth I of England – David Starkey.
The Six Wives of Henry VIII (TV mini-series 2001)
What the Tudors Did for Us (TV Series 2002)
Edward and Mary: The Unknown Tudors (TV Series 2002)
The Other Boleyn Girl (TV 2003)
Based on the controversial novel by Philippa Gregory.
Henry VIII (TV 2003)
Two-part TV series documenting the stormy 38-year reign of King Henry VIII. Starring Ray Winstone as Henry VIII.
Gunpowder, Treason & Plot (TV 2004)
Mini series depicting the turbulent and bloody reigns of Scottish monarchs Mary, Queen of Scots and her son King James VI of Scotland who became King James I of England and foiled the Gunpowder Plot.
Princes in the Tower (TV 2005)
Was Perkin Warbeck the rightful heir to the throne or an impostor?
The Virgin Queen (TV mini-series 2005)
The Virgin Queen explores the life of Elizabeth I.
Elizabeth I (TV mini-series 2005)
Miniseries about the the public and private lives of the later years of Queen Elizabeth I. Starring Helen Mirren and Hugh Dancy.
A Tudor Feast at Christmas (TV 2006)
A group of historians and archaeologists prepare a Tudor feast as it would have been over 400 years ago, including the use of period clothes, recipes from the era, food sourced from the land and the absence of modern conveniences.
The Madness of Henry VIII (TV 2006)
Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)
A mature Queen Elizabeth endures multiple crises late in her reign including court intrigues, an assassination plot, the Spanish Armada, and romantic disappointments.
Starring Cate Blanchet as Elizabeth.
Living with the Tudors (2007)
After four years of participation as costumed historical re-enactors, Karen Guthrie & Nina Pope were given unprecedented access with their cameras to the UK’s oldest and largest historical re-enactment at Kentwell Hall in rural Suffolk.
The Tudors (TV Series 2007–2010)
A dramatic series about the reign and marriages of King Henry VIII, starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Henry.
The Twisted Tale of Bloody Mary (2008)
The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)
Based on the novel by Philippa Gregory and staring Natalie Portman, Scarlet Johansson and Eric Bana.
Henry VIII: Mind of a Tyrant (TV Series 2009)
Secrets of the Virgin Queen (TV 2010)
They called her the Virgin Queen, England’s first Queen Elizabeth, a revered ruler in her own lifetime. Yet behind her fame lie many dark secrets, and an unsolved mystery. Why didn’t the queen marry and provide an heir to the throne? For centuries, rumours have swirled of claims of illegitimacy, adultery and even that the queen may not have been a woman. Now NGC reveals the startling stories and secrets behind England’s Virgin Queen.