In the inspired Olivier concept, Shakespeare's play begins as a performance in the Globe Theatre, shifting in broad cinematic terms to an epic narrative of Henry V, who had developed from a dissolute youth to a purposeful monarch. Proving his ability as a soldier and skillful leader, he unites the dissident factions in the English army and goes on to crush the French, against enormous odds, at Agincourt. Arranging a treaty with the French court, he woos Princess Katharine to whom he is formally betrothed as part of the peace agreement.Written by
Many of the sets used for scenes in France (not including the battle scenes) are based on medieval illustrated texts such as the "Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry". The producers attempted to re-create the flawed perspectives and stylized architecture, leading to a distinctly unrealistic look to the sets. See more »
O! for a Muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention; a kingdom for a stage, princes to act and monarchs to behold the swelling scene. Then should the war-like Harry, like himself, assume the port of Mars; and at his heels, leashed in like hounds, would famine, word, and fire crouch for employment. But pardon, gentles all, the flat unraised spirits that hath dared on this unworthy scaffold to bring forth so great an object: can this cockpit hold the vasty ...
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The advertising poster for the film's first U.S. run (in 1946) billed it as "A Two City Film" when it should have read "A Two Cities Film", as it does in the film's actual opening credits. See more »
A pseudo-widescreen version in Superscope played theatres in the late 1950s. See more »
Magnificent adaptation with exceptional direction and acting
It'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'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).
This is the first of three principal movies directed by Laurence Olivier along with ¨Hamlet¨ and ¨Richard III¨ based on Shakespeare plays . It'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'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'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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