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Henry V

Henry V

4.5 17
Director: Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi, Brian Blessed, Ian Holm

Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi, Brian Blessed, Ian Holm


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Kenneth Branagh makes his feature-film directorial debut with this adaptation of William Shakespeare's Henry V. After the Chorus (Derek Jacobi) introduces the play, young king of England Henry V (Kenneth Branagh) begins an angry dialogue with King Charles of France (Paul


Kenneth Branagh makes his feature-film directorial debut with this adaptation of William Shakespeare's Henry V. After the Chorus (Derek Jacobi) introduces the play, young king of England Henry V (Kenneth Branagh) begins an angry dialogue with King Charles of France (Paul Scofield). The king's son, Dauphin (Michael Maloney), insults Henry and the argument escalates into war. In flashback, Henry is seen as a young man drinking in a tavern with Falstaff (Robbie Coltrane), Bardolph (Richard Briers), Nym (Geoffrey Hutchings), Pistol (Robert Stephens), and Mistress Quickly (Judi Dench). Meanwhile, Henry and his captain, Fluellen (Ian Holm), assemble an army and invade France. The French greatly outnumber the British troops, yet Henry leads them to victory in the Battle of Agincourt after delivering his famous St. Crispin's Day Speech. Throughout this struggle, Henry also courts Katherine (Emma Thompson) and eventually wins her over.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
A triumphant, audacious film, Henry V marked an auspicious beginning for the career of director and star Kenneth Branagh. Somber, gray, and bearing none of the jingoistic glory of Laurence Olivier's 1944 version, Branagh's Henry is a muddy, bloody affair more interested in the complexities of the king himself than in his historic defeat of the French. As such, the film is largely composed of close-ups of its characters, rather than wide angle shots emphasizing the grandly political scale of the events at hand. The only shot of the latter nature is the remarkable eight-minute tracking sequence that follows a blood- and mud-spattered Henry across the field of Agincourt, carrying a dead boy over his shoulder and picking his way through the countless corpses. Virtuoso tracking shots aside, Henry V's strength rests on Branagh and company's ability to make a much-told Shakespeare story seem fresh and innovative. What impresses above all else are the film's emotional inlets, from Henry's rousing, poignant St. Crispin's Day speech to Mistress Quickly's (the formidable Judi Dench) eulogy for the dead Falstaff. A film endowed with both tremendous soul and Branagh's own assurance, Henry V is an exhilarating, sobering experience from beginning to end.

Product Details

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Special Features

Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kenneth Branagh Henry V
Derek Jacobi Chorus
Brian Blessed Duke of Exeter
Ian Holm Fluellen
Paul Scofield French King
Emma Thompson Princess Katherine
Robbie Coltrane Falstaff
Michael Maloney Dauphin
Alec McCowen Bishop of Ely
Geraldine McEwan Alice
Simon Shepherd Duke of Gloucester
James Larkin Bedford
John Sessions Capt. MacMorris
Christian Bale Falstaff's Boy
Michael Williams Williams
Richard Briers Lt. Bardolph
Geoffrey Hutchings Cpl. Nym
Robert Stephens Ancient Pistol
Judi Dench Mistress Quickly
Paul Gregory Earl of Westmoreland
Richard Innocent Duke of Burgundy
Calum Yuill Child
James Simmons York
Charles Kay Archbishop of Canterbury
Fabian Cartwright Cambridge
Stephen Simms Scroop
Jay Villiers Grey
Edward Jewesbury Sir Thomas Erpingham
Daniel Webb Capt. Glower
Jimmy Yuill Jamy
Shaun Prendergast Bates
Patrick Doyle Court
Richard Clifford Duke of Orleans
Colin Hurley Grandpre
Richard Easton Constable of France
Christopher Ravenscroft Mountjoy
David Lloyd Meredith Governor of Harfleur
David Parfitt Messenger
Nicholas Ferguson Warwick
Tom Whitehouse Talbot
Nigel Greaves Duke of Berri
Julian Gartside Bretagne
Mark Inman Soldier
Chris Armstrong Soldier
Simon Rattle Conductor

Technical Credits
Kenneth Branagh Director,Screenwriter
Vic Armstrong Stunts
Michael Bradsell Editor
Phyllis Dalton Costumes/Costume Designer
Norman Dorme Art Director
Patrick Doyle Score Composer
Stephen Evans Executive Producer
Peter Frampton Makeup
Tim Harvey Production Designer
Kenneth MacMillan Cinematographer
David Parfitt Associate Producer
Simon Rattle Musical Direction/Supervision
Bruce Sharman Producer
Ian Wingrove Special Effects

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Cliffs Notes Ultimate Study Guide: Henry V
1. Title/Credits
2. Prologue I
3. Spinning History
4. King Henry V
5. Attack?
6. Loveless Tennis
7. 8 Shillings
8. A Good Man
9. Prologue 2
10. High Treason
11. Memorial
12. France's Fear
13. England's Threat
14. "The Blast of War"
15. Battle's Disciplines
16. Indefensible
17. English Lesson
18. For Honor
19. Not for Rejoicing
20. To Hang a Thief
21. Tell Your Master!
22. Prologue 3
23. Horse and Armor
24. Talk With the Heart
25. The Commom Word
26. King's Repose
27. The French Line
28. For England!
29. War!!!
30. "The Day Is Yours"
31. The Sad Toll of War
32. Death March
33. Terms and Conditions
34. Fair Katherine
35. Peaceful Union
36. End Credits


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Henry V 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can watch this movie over and over. The St. Crispin's Day speech and Henry roaming the camp in disguise the night before the battle are both incredible scenes. The cast speaks Elizabethan English smoothly and naturally, making it easy to understand, unlike the forced recitations of other Shakespearean productions.
stdon More than 1 year ago
The English know how to make a production well. And their actors can actually act. A great adaptation of this work. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have seen at least parts of almost, if not all, the Shakespeare video adaptations available and this is by far my favorite. I have watched it again and again and never tire of doing so. It is pretty self-explanatory, even for those who are not familiar with _Henry V_ or Shakespeare (there are some flashback scenes to _Henry IV_, which may be slightly confusing if you have trouble following the language (and, therefore do not pick up that Harry ran with a wild group before he became king). There is a little extreme violence (that may not be appropriate for young children, based on parents' standards). There's one brief scene where they show a hanging and a rather gruesome part in a battle scene. My very favorite part is the _St. Crispin's Day_ speech which I will watch over and over. Also, a wonderful soundtrack by Pat Doyle!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kenneth Brannagh in 'Henry V' presents a powerful adaptation of the original not seen since Polanski's 'MacBeth.' Reinforced by a powerful cast including Derek Jakobi and Brian Blessed (who both performed together in the BBC series 'I Claudius'), the audience is captured into the political intrigues of Medieval Europe and the Hundred Years War. This adaptation probably has one of the most accurate reenactments of Medieval warfare I've ever seen in its depiction of the battle of Agincourt. The low point would be Emma Thompson's performance of the French princess: pretentious and unimpressive. Her mastery of the language was frankly too poor to be acted upon: sounding more like she was struggling through an introductory French lesson. The role should have been given to a French actress or to an actress who could at least speak the language. Despite this one blemish, there are few other renditions that compare to this suspensful and fast-paced masterpiece.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a student in high school and I actually find this movie to be pretty interesting and understandable, which was not what I expected at first, no offense to Shakespeare and his fans! Though the language was a little difficult to make out the first time around, the second time I viewed it made it quite clear. It was not boring either. Many scenes are quite touching, funny, and all very detailed. The battle at Agincourt is really gory, though. This is a pretty enjoyable movie overall to me, and I think should be even for students who may not be wholy fond of Shakespeare.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Branaugh's Henry V is not entirely true to Shakespeare's original, especially since it runs only 2 hours. But his portrayal of Henry, along with the usual cast he calls for his Shakespeare adaptations, is impressive. By far, this is my favorite of Branuagh's films and his best performance on film.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Branagh's Henry V casts a sharp contrast to the 1946 Olivier film. It portrays Henry V's great victory at Agincourt in 1415 as it really was, a grim struggle in which upwards of 10,000 French soldiers lost their lives, 2,000 of them helpless prisoners. The film's scenes of Henry V;s march to Agincourt, too, are sadly accurate, showing the horrors that the English faced along the 200-mile road to friendly territory under nine days of driving rain without food or shelter. Overall, the finest movie ever screened about medieval warfare.
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