Henry V (1944)

Not Rated   |    |  Biography, Drama, History


Henry V (1944) Poster

In the midst of the Hundred Years' War, the young King Henry V of England embarks on the conquest of France in 1415.


7.1/10
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  • Filippo Del Giudice in Henry V (1944)
  • Laurence Olivier and George Robey in Henry V (1944)
  • Laurence Olivier and Renée Asherson in Henry V (1944)
  • Laurence Olivier and Renée Asherson in Henry V (1944)
  • Laurence Olivier and Griffith Jones in Henry V (1944)
  • Henry V (1944)

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Cast & Crew

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Director:

Laurence Olivier

Writer:

William Shakespeare (by)

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User Reviews


2 April 2002 | Snow Leopard
Creative Adaptation of the Play
Laurence Olivier's production of Shakespeare's Henry V adds some creative and colorful touches to Olivier's usual fine performance in the lead role. Like the play itself, it's not as deep as the best of Olivier's Shakespeare films, but it works quite well and is an entertaining movie.

In the early scenes, the movie combines the play itself with a very detailed look at how the play would have been staged in Shakespeare's own day. It's very interesting, and is nicely done. It takes advantage of the slower parts in the early scenes to draw attention to the stage, the players, and the crowd, giving you a very good feel for what the theater was like then. Olivier also uses this device to liven up considerably the long historical discourse of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the play's second scene.

After the early scenes, when the real action begins, the movie wisely pulls away from the theater setting and concentrates on the story itself. Olivier is always good in this kind of role, and the photography and settings do a good job of setting off the action. It is noticeable, though, that Olivier chose to omit several scenes or portions of scenes that have some of the commands showing Henry's harsher characteristics, so that the movie concentrates much more on the king's heroic side. What's left still works fine, but it does lose a little depth without this balance. The rest of the cast is certainly adequate, though most of them are overshadowed by Henry. A couple of the exceptions are Robert Newton, very well cast as Pistol, and Esmond Knight, who works well as Fluellen.

Some minor aspects may keep it from being one of the best Shakespeare adaptations, but it's creative, distinctive, and good entertainment. You can rarely go wrong with anything that combines Olivier and Shakespeare.

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Genres

Biography | Drama | History | War

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