Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall

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Thomas Cromwell is a brutal blacksmith's son who rises from the ashes of personal disaster and deftly picks his way through a court where 'man is wolf to man.' King Henry VIII is obsessed with protecting the Tudor dynasty by securing his succession with a male heir to the throne. Told from Cromwell's perspective, "Wolf Hall" follows the complex machinations and back room dealings of this pragmatic and accomplished power broker who must serve king and country while dealing with deadly political intrigue, Henry VIII's tempestuous relationship with Anne Boleyn, and the religious upheavals of the Protestant reformation.

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d
dmckenziehague
May 15, 2017

it worth watching this series just to see the actor Mark Rylance do his magic as Cromwell-its riveting -Read the book first though

r
rgally
May 06, 2017

Beautifully done and brilliantly acted.

Highly recommended

w
Wilson1986
May 03, 2017

The beauty of this production takes my breath away. It's like watching a series of beautifully composed paintings by Vermeer.

d
DASTardlyGal
May 01, 2017

I give this a 4 1/2 stars. I have always hated Thomas Cromwell because I thought of him as an evil, opportunist slug. One day, a few years back, I kept going to my neighborhood library and I kept seeing this book on the "New Books" shelf. It was "Wolf Hall". For a whole month, it sat there, calling my name. I finally checked it out, thinking, with its heft and nine or ten inch width and that it had been sitting on the shelf for a whole month, that I would have all the time in the world to read it. I found it interesting, but, I got confused with all the "he's" that "he" was referring to, so, that sort of made it bad, and judging from other reviews, I wasn't the only one having the problem with the "he's". Anyway, seems I couldn't renew it when the time came because, suddenly, five or six people were on a waitlist. Took me another year before I tried to read it, and, I finally gave up, since people were waiting for it. Thank heavens, this show came out about it. It help TREMENDOUSLY to see what I had read a little about. It helped me visualize what I couldn't in the book. The few complaints are as follows: 1) Anne was supposed to be a fashion plate, had magnificent clothes and jewelry. I realize that there was probably budgetary concerns and they spent more on the scenery than the clothing for this production, but, I found Anne's clothing anything but magnificent, rich and fashion forward. She wore a lot of the same clothes over and over and over and they looked like the clothes that one of her ladies in waiting, who's father wasn't that wealthy, would wear. Same goes with Henry's clothes. And another thing that is making upset about contemporary portrayals of Anne and I don't know WHY, the actress can't buy black contacts or the studio buy them, but Anne had BLACK eyes, NOT blue, NOT green, NOT hazel. She also had BLACK hair, NOT light brown, NOT medium brown, NOT blonde. I heard Natalie Porter was supposed to be a blonde Anne Boleyn and that she dyed her hair darker and they told her she shouldn't have done, but, they'd let her continue on in the role. I don't like when they don't portray Anne or Catherine of Aragon how they were in real life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2) It was sort of dry-extremely dry- and seemed like it dragged on and was boring. It wasn't boring, but, yet, it felt like it to me. I guess this is considered a "thinking man's" show, where there is next to nil action to keep one entertained, it's all intellectual drama. Other than that, I really liked the show and it gave me a different perception of good old Thomas Cromwell. I think the actor who played him was great, but, they could of put some stuffing under his clothes to give him some heft, as I was under the impression that Thomas Cromwell was a heavy set man, and the actor playing him was pretty skinny. I loved this show because it gave me something to think about Cromwell and look at him differently. I'm now on the fence as to whether I am going to like him or not. I hope there's a second season. I'm looking forward to it. The reruns are running again, and I'm, again, not missing an episode.

c
chloecat
Oct 16, 2016

Historically accurate, an awful lot of characters to keep straight, sometimes miss out on accents........but, Mark Rylance is absolutely mesmerizing as Cromwell, so watch if only for his performance!!

r
RainbowRabbit
May 12, 2016

While set in history, this is a morality tale. Cromwell is an everyman, not particular good, but not particularly bad, at the beginning of the tale; he is a practical man, a banker. He is hired and mentored by Cardinal Wolsey, but sees his mentor's downfall as due to not being sufficiently diligent in following the King's desires - i.e. not breaking off from the Roman Church. Cromwell (unwillingly?) succeeds Wolsey, but is repeatedly reminded of his vulnerable position. He sees how Henry VIII does not care how Cromwell achieves his aim of ridding Henry of his first two wives, as long as it is done. Cromwell then steels himself to do what his political master has directed him to do. So over the course of the series, we see the moral degradation of Cromwell. Does that not feel like a very modern story?

s
Sofie123
Apr 04, 2016

An intelligent, and unusual look at Cromwell's life during the reign of King Henry VIII. Loved this series - the acting superb, costumes, settings, all first-rate.
Can't get enough of the story!

s
simonbrenden
Mar 26, 2016

A magnificent piece of work with great performances by Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis. Well worth watching a second time due to the complexity of the plot and the performances.

t
tenet
Mar 02, 2016

Rated 8/10.

j
jimg2000
Feb 21, 2016

(Update: BAFTA TV 2016: won best drama series and best actor awards on May 7, 2016 at London’s Theater Royal, Drury Lane.) A fresh look at Henry VIII and his tumultuous relationship with one of his many wives, Anne Boyeyn. At their side was their loyal chief adviser whose worldly experience kept the royal household from dissenters. Slow pacing but very watchable with the lavish production sets and intriguing original twist on Henry VIII saga - no fast forward even for action movie fan like me.

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j
jimg2000
Feb 21, 2016

I wish we would go down to the wield one day. Talk to the iron masters. I've had various drawings, mathematical drawings and advices concerning how our ordinance can be improved, but I... I can't... I can't make as much of it as you would. That's because... Well... Because you are my right hand, sir. So, shall we go down? You and I. Meet the charcoal burners.
===
Lady Rochford: I'm no virgin girl. She induced him to put his seed otherwise than he should have. Now, Henry calls it a filthy proceeding. But God love him, he doesn't know where the filth begins.
===
"The King cannot copulate with a woman. He has neither skill nor vigour." I didn't say that.
These are not my words.
===
But I pray God save the King, and sent him long to reign over you for a gentler nor more merciful prince was there never. And to me was he ever good, a gentle and a sovereign lord. And if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge best.

j
jimg2000
Feb 21, 2016

I represent the King's interests. That's what I am for.
===
Put your men on the road, lay out money, search Europe. You'll not find any talent I possess
that England cannot use.
===
The Cardinal used to tell people that I was an orphan. Or else that... I don't know. I was Irish. Recently escaped from prison. He said it was wise to deceive others about your past, even if there was nothing to conceal. But I was wondering whether it's possible to deceive oneself.
===
I have influence on King Henry, Eustache. But I do not claim to govern him. To succeed with Henry you have to anticipate his desires. But then, if he changes his mind, you stand out there. Exposé, huh?

j
jimg2000
Feb 21, 2016

- The Queen sees enemies everywhere.
- So she should.
===
No. His son is dying. His heir. He'll have to start breeding again, with his new wife. She's 14, you know. He won't leave her alone. Not judging by the startled look on her face.
===
Lady Alice: My husband used to say, "Put Thomas Cromwell in a dungeon, and by evening, he'll be sitting on cushions with jailors owing him money."
Cromwell: Did he talk a lot about putting me in dungeons?
===
How many men can say, "My only friend is the King of England"? You'd think I have everything.
===
If a king cannot have a son... If he cannot give stability to his realm, then it doesn't matter
what else he can do. The victories. For just laws. For famous courts. Nothing.

j
jimg2000
Feb 21, 2016

As for induced, Your Highness knows the king cannot be led. But he can be enticed.
===
She's selling herself by the inch. She wants a cash present for every advance above her knee. She's got long legs. By the time he reaches her secret part, the nation will be bankrupt.
===
You're a man whose money is almost spent. I'm a man who knows how you've spent it. You're a man who's borrowed all over Europe. I'm a man who knows your creditors. One word from me, and all your debts will be called in. ... The world is not run from where you think it is. From border fortresses, even from Whitehall. The world is run from Antwerp, from Florence, from Lisbon. From wherever the merchant ships set sail off into the west. Not from castle walls, from counting houses. From the pens that scrape out your promissory notes. So believe me when I say that my banker friends and I will rip your life apart.

j
jimg2000
Feb 21, 2016

-If it's such an old story, why hasn't the king heard it?
-Part of the art of ruling, perhaps. Know when to shut your ears.
===
-Thomas Cromwell, why don't you marry again?
-No one will have me, Lady Alice.
-Nonsense, your master may be down but you're not poor and you've got everything below in good working order, haven't you?
===
Well, if you ask me about the monks, I speak from experience, not prejudice. And my experiences, well, largely, have been one of corruption and waste. I've seen monks who live like great lords on the offerings of the poor. Take children in, and rather than
educating them as they promised, use them as servants. For hundreds of years, the monks have written what we take to be our history. I think they have suppressed our true history and written one that's favourable to Rome.

j
jimg2000
Feb 21, 2016

Cromwell: This palace belongs to the Archdiocese of York. When did Lady Anne become an archbishop?
Cardinal Wolsey: Now, now, Thomas, everything I have, I have from the King. If he wants to take York Place fully furnished, then I'm sure we'll find some other roof to shelter under.
===
But he believes he's free to choose his own wife. Free to choose his own... He's not some ploughboy! He's the man who'll have to hold the north for us someday.
===
Wolsey: So, Master Cromwell, William Popely tells me I might find a use for you. A man of many talents, he says. A remarkable memory.
Cromwell: It's a technique, My Lord. I learned it in Italy.
Wolsey: How long were you abroad?
Cromwell: Twelve years.
Wolsey: Where are you from?
Cromwell: Putney, left when I was boy.
Wolsey: Your father?
Cromwell: Blacksmith.
Wolsey: Ah, at last! A man born in a more lowly state than myself.

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