November 23, 2014

Films

Henry V – 1944 | 135 mins | Drama | Colour

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Plot Synopsis

Henry V

This film adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic is a triumph in every department. Laurence Olivier the director revels in the freedom of the camera, while the actor, supported by a tremendous cast, is awe-inspiring as the young King Harry. Filmed in Ireland on a budget of $2 million, it was the most expensive British feature to date and designed as a morale booster for the British public during their darkest hour.

The film opens observing a Globe Theatre stage performance and gradually melds into the play, culminating in a furious, full-blown Battle of Agincourt: Olivier’s St Swithin’s Day speech is a heroic rabble-rouser. The film itself begins with Henry (Laurence Olivier), the once hedonistic Prince of Wales needing to strengthen his domestic authority, and unify a country that is in a state of disorder. Henry is advised to invade France and reclaim the promised lands. After a lengthy campaign across Northern France, Henry’s army has been reduced, and on the eve of the Battle of Agincourt is hopelessly outnumbered by the French army. Henry’s superior longbow archers wreak havoc as hundreds of arrows rain down on a French cavalry weighed down by their armour, they cannot move with the speed and agility of the lightly clad British. The French forces capitulate and a peace treaty is signed at Rouen. Henry goes on to court the French Princess Katherine (Renee Asherson), and the royal families of two great countries are united.

Production Team

Laurence Olivier: Director
Reginald Beck: Director
Paul Sheriff : Art Direction
Robert Krasker: Cinematography
Jack Hildyard: Cinematography
Roger K Furse: Costume Design
Laurence Olivier: Editing
Reginald Beck: Editing
Muir Mathieson: Music Direction
William Walton: Original Music
Laurence Olivier: Producer
Filippo Del Giudice: Producer
Carmen Dillon: Production Design
Dallas Bower: Script
Laurence Olivier: Script
Alan Dent: Script

Cast

Laurence Olivier: King Henry V
Robert Newton: Ancient Pistol
Esmond Knight: Fluellen
Leo Genn: The Constable of France
Felix Aylmer: Archbishop of Canterbury
George Cole: Boy
Frederick Cooper: Cpl Nym
Valentine Dyall: Duke of Burgundy
Roy Emerton: Lt Bardolph
Janet Burnell: Queen Isabel of France
Morland Graham: Sir Thomas Erpingham
Arthur Hambling: Bates
Jimmy Hanley: Williams
Nicholas Hannen: Duke of Exeter
Robert Helpmann: Bishop of Ely
Leslie Banks: Chorus
John Laurie: Capt Jamie
Francis Lister: Duke of Orleans
George Robey: Sir John Falstaff
Ernest Thesiger: Duke of Berri
Renee Ashershon: Princess Katharine



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