Henry V (1944)
"The Chronicle History of King Henry the Fift with His Battell Fought at Agincourt in France" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  17 June 1946 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,324 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 34 critic

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



(play) (as Will Shakespeare)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Felix Aylmer ...
Vernon Greeves ...
Gerald Case ...
Griffith Jones ...
Morland Graham ...
Nicholas Hannen ...
Michael Warre ...
Ralph Truman ...
Duke of Berri - French Ambassador
Frederick Cooper ...
Roy Emerton ...


In the inspired Olivier concept, Shakespeare's play begins as a performance in the Globe Theatre, shifting in broad cinematic terms to an epic narrative of Henry V, who had developed from a dissolute youth to a purposeful monarch. Proving his ability as a soldier and skillful leader, he unites the dissident factions in the English army and goes on to crush the French, against enormous odds, at Agincourt. Arranging a treaty with the French court, he woos Princess Katharine to whom he is formally betrothed as part of the peace agreement. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Laurence Olivier's Presentation in Technicolor of Henry V


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

17 June 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Henry V  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


£475,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The decision to start the film as a stage production was made to help audiences attune to the Shakespearean dialog. See more »


[first lines]
Chorus: O! for a Muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention; a kingdom for a stage, princes to act and monarchs to behold the swelling scene. Then should the war-like Harry, like himself, assume the port of Mars; and at his heels, leashed in like hounds, would famine, word, and fire crouch for employment. But pardon, gentles all, the flat unraised spirits that hath dared on this unworthy scaffold to bring forth so great an object: can this cockpit hold the vasty ...
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Crazy Credits

The advertising poster for the film's first U.S. run (in 1946) billed it as "A Two City Film" when it should have read "A Two Cities Film", as it does in the film's actual opening credits. See more »


Featured in Kundun (1997) See more »


(instrumental fragment)
Originally adapted in 1930 by Joseph Canteloube for "Songs of the Auvergne"
Played as background music during the French-English lesson scene
Conducted by Muir Mathieson
See more »

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User Reviews

Valuable cinematic Shakespeare
12 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Now that we have a fairly long history of quality Shakespeare in the movies, I believe it's fair to compare this film to others, as many have already done. But I'll skip comparisons to the young Kenneth Branagh. What I would like to emphasize is the social importance here, both originally and with this 1944 production.

This play was written to celebrate a great English hero, and to stir up patriotism for a profit. (Shakespeare was a successful businessman.) The movie was made for the same reasons, and its value is in how well it accomplishes them.

It's very valuable.

The film was conceived and made in some dark times for England, and the production occasionally had to stop because of enemy bombers overhead. It could have been thrown off a lot more cheaply and had the same commercial return, but instead Lord Olivier presented a stylish, inspiring, entertaining epic of heroism. I really, really enjoyed the play-within-a-play motif: it was wonderfully fun to see the Globe and the playgoers of the day. I found the acting to be fully satisfying, all the way from a hilarious Robert Newton (he was never this funny anywhere else) as Pistol to Leslie Banks nearly stealing the show as (only) the Chorus. Bravura performances all around--at least from the males, since I have to fast-forward the love scene with Kate.

I also appreciated the action scenes, the color and spectacle--and let's face it, the way Lord Olivier could rip off the St Crispian's speech! So, what we have is a wonderful slice of history, expertly presented. Really good Shakespeare.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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