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Henry IV Part I (1979)

The First Part of King Henry the Fourth, with the Life and Death of Henry Surnamed Hotspur (original title)
Henry Bolingbroke has now been crowned King of England, but faces a rebellion headed by the embittered Earl of Northumberland and his son (nicknamed 'Hotspur'). Henry's son Hal, the Prince ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Henry, Prince of Wales
Rob Edwards ...
...
David Buck ...
...
...
Bruce Purchase ...
Robert Morris ...
Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March
John Cairney ...
Archibald, Earl of Douglas
...
Norman Rutherford ...
Sir Michael
Richard Owens ...
Terence Wilton ...
Sir Richard Vernon
...
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Storyline

Henry Bolingbroke has now been crowned King of England, but faces a rebellion headed by the embittered Earl of Northumberland and his son (nicknamed 'Hotspur'). Henry's son Hal, the Prince of Wales, has thrown over life at court in favour of heavy drinking and petty theft in the company of a debauched elderly knight, Sir John Falstaff. Hal must extricate himself from some legal problems, regain his father's good opinions and help suppress the uprising. Written by Peter Brynmor Roberts

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9 December 1979 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Henry IV Part I  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Part of the long running BBC Television Shakespeare project which ran between 1978 and 1985. See more »

Goofs

Henry butters his hands while talking to Hal. In the next cut he is wearing gloves. We then see him continuing to butter his hands and only the does he put on the gloves. See more »

Connections

Version of The Merry Wives of Windsor (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

 
So that's what Falstaff is like
15 April 2007 | by See all my reviews

I am a huge fan of all Shakespeare, but the Henry IV and Henry VI plays are some I've put off reading and watching until now. I have read a lot about them and heard many references to them, but I only just watched this BBC production. And I liked it. But I was particularly struck by something about Falstaff, who is one of the absolutely most popular characters in all of Shakespeare: he's not that likable a guy! The banter between him and Hal are not that good-natured but rather sharp and even occasionally condescending! In this production, at least, one gets a clear sense that Hal's entire habit of socializing with the likes of Falstaff is almost purely a part of his plan to prove an unexpectedly capable leader after he is crowned. He doesn't like Falstaff very much at all! He does not truly condone his indulgences in wine-drinking and thievery. He only keeps Falstaff's company in order to learn what life is like in that social class, and to disguise his true and noble nature to the courtiers. This is actually a much more pointed and poignant portrayal of Hal than what we saw in those flashback scenes in Branagh's (otherwise excellent) Henry V. David Gwillim is masterful as Hal, and clearly the best of the cast of the BBC production. I am greatly looking forward to Part 2, which I will watch at my earliest convenience.


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