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The Second Part of King Henry VI (1983)
"The Second Part of Henry the Sixth" (original title)

TV Movie  |   |  9 January 1983 (UK)
7.7
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Cast

Credited cast:
Peter Aldwyn ...
Sean Bartley ...
...
First Murderer / Ship's Master
Peter Benson ...
Paul Benzing ...
Second Compnay
Brian Binns ...
Gerald Blackmore ...
Stephen Brigden ...
Gerald Broadley ...
Drummer
Antony Brown ...
Walter Whitmore / Alexander Iden
...
Duke of Gloucester / Dick the Butcher
...
John Hume / Lieutenant
Anne Carroll ...
...
Paul Chapman ...
Duke of Suffolk
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9 January 1983 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: Henry VI, Part Two  »

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Not entirely dreadful
21 January 2008 | by (Palo Alto, United States) – See all my reviews

This is one of Shakespeare's earliest and weakest plays, but that doesn't excuse this production. The two leads (Peter Benson as King Henry and Julia Foster as Queen Margaret) are intolerable. Benson has some excuse, since playing a weak and useless king (who was in fact insane) makes it difficult to avoid acting weak and useless. Julia Foster, however, seemed to avoid acting altogether, in favor of simply glowering throughout the entire play. (In Part I, this made male characters' infatuation with her simply ridiculous). As usual with the BBC Shakespeare, however, most of the minor characters are well-portrayed; with, however, the exception of Ron Cook as the future Richard III, which bodes ill for the sequels.

As was regrettably fashionable at the time, the production is minimalist while the directing is over-done, especially some of the later battle scenes. But when the leads and the director get out of the way, some of the Shakespeare shines through.


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