Henry V

1944

Biography / Drama

2
IMDb Rating 7.3

Synopsis


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2.61G
Normal
English
/
137 min
P/S 67 / 66
1.65G
Normal
English
/
137 min
P/S 17 / 21

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jacksflicks 10

This is a brilliantly conceived movie-within-a-play-within-a-movie that showcases the genius of Laurence Olivier. Today&#39;s audiences are exposed mainly to Olivier the movie actor. But if you want to see a purer form of acting, see Olivier the stage actor. This is possible by watching his Shakespeare plays on film. And these films are by Olivier the &quot;auteur,&quot; long before the term was coined. Olivier&#39;s is the legacy to which Branaugh and others, who essay Shakespeare on film, must live up to.<br/><br/>And lest you&#39;re expecting a camera pointed at a stage, don&#39;t worry. Olivier, who produced and directed most of his Shakespeare films, has actually used the film medium to enlarge his plays&#39; visual scope, while maintaining the intimacy that is the essence of live theatre. Also, Olivier is mindful of how daunting the language of Shakespeare is for modern audiences and has modified much of the original script to be more comprehensible, while preserving the feel of Elizabethan English.<br/><br/>Olivier&#39;s &quot;Henry V&quot; was to England what Eisentein&#39;s &quot;Ivan the Terrible&quot; was to Russia ? a familiar history rendered as a national epic, for morale purposes, while audiences were fighting off the Germans during World War II. There are other parallels. For example, both use static, formalized composition, in Henry V&#39;s case meant to resemble the images in medieval illuminated manuscripts and books of Hours. (In Ivan&#39;s case, according to Pauline Kael, like Japanese Kabuki.) Thus, a sound stage &quot;exterior&quot; backdrop becomes a tableau that serves to enhance, with its flat perspective and subjective scale, the view we have of that fabulous Age of Chivalry for which the play&#39;s Battle of Agincourt was the closing act.<br/><br/>I&#39;ve always scoffed at the extravagant accolades which show business gives its own. But after seeing this film, or his equally brilliant &quot;Hamlet,&quot; I can understand why Laurence Olivier was so good, that a knighthood wasn&#39;t enough, and so he was raised to the peerage.

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Reviewed by ma-cortes 7

It&#39;s a splendid rendering of Shakespeare book about the warrior king Henry V . The movie begins with an ingenious initiation but the camera from a first general shot on the background lead us until a foreground where some actors are playing at the Glove theater . The film is rightly based on historic events . They are the followings : Henry V vanquishes Charles VI in Agincourt (1415) and took over Normandy . Charles VI of France signs Troyes treatise in what Henry V is wedded to Charles&#39;s daughter . His descendant Heny VI of England will proclaim himself King of France but Charles VII (anterior Delphin) will be crowned king of France in Reims and the ¨100 years war¨ going on until 1453 (date of downfall Constantinopla).<br/><br/>This is the first of three principal movies directed by Laurence Olivier along with ¨Hamlet¨ and ¨Richard III¨ based on Shakespeare plays . It&#39;s an astounding , stirring , stunning and thoughtful film with glimmer , glittering , colorful cinematography and splendid costume . Partly intended as a wartime morale-booster for the British. Certain parts of the play were consequently omitted, such as Henry&#39;s hanging of a friend as an example of firm justice . Laurence Olivier won a honorary and special Oscar for his producing , directing and acting in bringing English history part to vivid life of the screen made with pageantry and perfection . The excellent secondary cast is completed with usual players of the English stage theater and films with important careers : Leo Genn (Quo Vadis) , Leslie Banks (Jamaica inn) , Robert Newton (Treasure&#39;s island) , Ralph Truman (El Cid) , Felix Aylmer (Ivanhoe) , Ernest Thesiger (Bride of Frankestein), Neal McGinnis (Jason and the Argonauts) , Freda Jackson (Brides of Dracula). The especial departments are outstanding , thus : Robert Furse in wardrobe and costumes , the classic musician William Walton and the photographer of superproductions Robert Krasker . Rating : Good . Well worth seeing.

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Reviewed by RARubin 7

I saw a modern remake of this film, 1989, recently with Kenneth Branagh. The battle showed sweat and blood, a non-theatrical production in comparison to this 1944, very theatrical, Olivier production. Some reviewers denounce the heavy-handed acting of 1944, but I find it charming.<br/><br/>Olivier has an economical charisma. His acting has few flourishes, but his voice says everything. Olivier in period costume is mesmerizing. As Shakespeare&#39;s bad-boy prince turned earnest King, Olivier takes charge and demands the return of English lands from the rather effeminate French nobility. Outnumbered 10 to one, his merry band of Englishmen dispatches the Dolphin at Agincourt. Then he courts the French speaking princess Katherine with broken French and economy.<br/><br/>The recreation of old London and the Globe Theatre was delightful. The audience and players went on in heavy rains without complaint. The mention of Falstaff&#39;s name is enough to get applause, though the buffoon has only a short death scene.<br/><br/>I do believe the play has been abridged. Many of the longer speeches seem shortened. Still, this is accessible Shakespeare. How can you go wrong? Never!

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