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Henry V (1979)
"The Life of Henry the Fift" (original title)

TV Movie  -   -  Biography | Drama | War  -  23 December 1979 (UK)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 83 users  
Reviews: 11 user

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Title: Henry V (TV Movie 1979)

Henry V (TV Movie 1979) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
John Abineri ...
Robert Ashby ...
Earl of Salisbury
Trevor Baxter ...
Rod Beacham ...
Earl of Warwick
Jocelyne Boisseau ...
Simon Broad ...
Herald
Alan Brown ...
Governor of Harfleur
Brenda Bruce ...
Hostess
John Bryans ...
Duke of Bourbon
David Buck ...
Ronald Chenery ...
Messenger
Roger Davenport ...
Keith Drinkel ...
Lewis, the Dauphin
Rob Edwards ...
Ronald Forfar ...
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Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

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23 December 1979 (UK)  »

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Henry V  »

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Follows Henry IV Part I (1979) See more »

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Shame, and eternal shame, nothing but shame...
18 October 2002 | by (England) – See all my reviews

Another BBC take on Shakespeare's histories, this production is of somewhat dubious quality. Completely unabridged, the play can be difficult to follow for those who have not read it, also, the poor camera angles and lacklustre performances from the cast fail to emphasise on certain points. David Gwillim, whom certainly looks more like Henry V than Olivier or Branagh, has a mixed performance in the lead role. His Henry, while amusing and likeable at times, tends to whimper his speeches, most notably when he meekly whispers his way through the St. Crispins day speech before leading his men against three or four pitiful French whom, we are to believe, are actually Sixty-thousand strong. In fact I lie, Henry does not even lead his men, we only see him trudging towards us after the "battle" has taken place. The characters than have the audacity to boast that ten-thousand French have been slain, when we have yet to see one dead body (discounting the solitary dead "boy")

The scenery is poor as well, instead of filming on location, the play is filmed on a horribly unrealistic set, the walls of Harfleur are evidently made from cardboard or some such substance, and the scenic field of Agincourt is in fact a wall. Cinematography does not change, almost all of the play is filmed in bright cutesy colours and Agincourt seems a remarkably pleasant "telly-tubby" place (all we need is the. We just cannot believe for a moment that what we are watching is real. The lack of music as well must be stated, since it strips the play of drama and tension.

This play could have been so good, the cast is capable, but the direction is so poor. If music, on-location sets, and better cinematography (i.e mud, fire, blood at Harfleur and Agincourt) had been used, then for very little extra money, the play could have been brilliant.


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