Henry V DVD

| DVD

Very few first-time film directors would have been capable of making such a triumphant adaptation of Henry V; but a still-youthful Kenneth Branagh's years of stage experience paid off handsomely and his 1989 version qualifies as a genuine masterpiece, the kind of film that comes along once in a decade. He eschews the theatricality of Laurence Olivier's stirring, fondly remembered 1945 adaptation to establish his own rules: Branagh plays it down and dirty, seeing the Bard's play through revisionist eyes, framing it as an anti-war story in contrast to Olivier's patriotic... spectacle. Branagh gives us harsh close-ups of muddied, bloody men, and of himself as Henry, his hardened mouth and wilful eyes revealing much about the personal cost of war. Not that the director-star doesn't provide lighter moments: his scenes introducing the French Princess Katherine (Emma Thompson) trying to learn English quickly from her maid are delightful. What may be the crowning glory of Branagh's adaptation comes when the dazed leader wanders across the battlefield, not even sure who has won. As King Hal carries a dead boy (a young Christian Bale) over the hacked bodies of both the English and French, a panorama of blood and mud and death greet the viewer as Branagh opens up the scene and Patrick Doyle's rousing hymn "Non nobis, Domine" provides marvellous counterpoint (like the director, the composer was another filmic first-timer). A more potent expression of the price of victory could scarcely be imagined. --Rochelle O'Gorman, Amazon.com [show more]

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Released
10 August 2015
Directors
Actors
Format
DVD 
Publisher
Icon Home Entertainment 
Classification
Runtime
133 minutes 
Features
PAL 
Barcode
5051429102658 
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play.  Kenneth Branagh writes, directs and stars as the eponymous king in this adaptation of Shakespeare's play. The young King Henry V of England (Branagh), his days of carousing behind him, is advised of his legal claim to the French throne by leaders of the English Church. He decides to invade the country with his small and somewhat ragtag army, taking on the massed might of King Charles VI (Paul Scofield)'s French forces who outnumber their English counterparts five to one. The cast also includes Derek Jacobi, Brian Blessed, Judi Dench, Ian Holm and Emma Thompson.

Kenneth Branagh writes, directs and stars as the eponymous king in this adaptation of Shakespeare's play. The young King Henry V of England (Branagh), his days of carousing behind him, is advised of his legal claim to the French throne by leaders of the English Church. He decides to invade the country with his small and somewhat ragtag army, taking on the massed might of King Charles VI (Paul Scofield)'s French forces who outnumber their English counterparts five to one. The cast also includes Derek Jacobi, Brian Blessed, Judi Dench, Ian Holm and Emma Thompson.