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Siskoid's avatar


I should preface by saying that I am not particularly a fan of Olivier's acting, but I do find the films he's directed creative and interesting. His Henry V is, in fact, a revelation. Filmed in 1944 in gorgeous Technicolor, it surprises by spending the first half hour as an Elizabethan play, complete with flubs, a rowdy audience and actors winking at it, then takes us into highly stylized scenes that look torn out of Medieval paintings, and then into realistic battle scenes before pulling us out again. Not only does this make the boring parts of the play (i.e. discussions of Salic law etc.) incredibly exciting (that giant model of 1600 London is just amazing) and outright FUNNY (love the bishops), but it also makes the film do what the Chorus asks his audience to do, i.e. imagine the world on stage. Film historian Bruce Eder's commentary track is scripted right down to the exclamations, but it never gets tedious because he's got so much to talk about, from the real history, to Shakespeare to the film itself.
8 years 10 months ago
TheInfanta's avatar


I much prefer Branagh's Henry V but this film still has its good points and it's an interesting piece of wartime propaganda. I especially liked the set designs, there are moments when the scenes look exactly like medieval paintings.
11 years 3 months ago
dkaymc777's avatar


Having seen Brannagh's Henry V MANY times, I was only watching this for personal literary reasons. And I did not expect to enjoy it. A previous commentor mentioned the humor and I agree. The bishops were quite funny, and WS has written a brilliant dialogue between Harry and Katherine. I love that scene and it was no less entertaining than Brannagh's.
4 years 8 months ago
badblokebob's avatar


Surely this could at least have "Henry V" as an aka? I've never seen a video or DVD or TV listing or anything sensible that uses its ridiculously long 'real' title.
13 years 4 months ago
TalkingElvish's avatar


Totally agree with you bob. I can't imagine anyone searching for this title nor have I ever heard it used. Great film but.
13 years 3 months ago
Gershwin's avatar


Ne'er was I so bored
whilst sitting through a film.
10 years 9 months ago
george4mon's avatar


acting aside, this was incredibly tedious. I cant understand why anyone would pay to see this in any form.
11 years 7 months ago
msdenardin's avatar


Olivier is flawless, but this film is unbearable.
12 years 7 months ago
Dieguito's avatar


The castle is in a studio!!! WTF??
11 years 8 months ago
nicolaskrizan's avatar



10 years 11 months ago
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