The Hollow Crown: Season 1, Episode 4

Henry V (21 Jul. 2012)

TV Episode  -  Drama | History
8.5
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 497 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

Hal is now a responsible monarch as Henry V,his rejection of Falstaff hastening the latter's death. Told by courtiers that,through Edward III,he has a claim to the French throne he makes ... See full summary »

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Title: Henry V (21 Jul 2012)

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
Louis, the Dauphin
...
...
Corporal Nym
...
Alice (as Géraldine Chaplin)
Richard Clothier ...
Earl of Salisbury
Nigel Cooke ...
Bishop of Ely
Jérémie Covillault ...
Montjoy
...
John Bates
Philippe De Brugada ...
Governor of Harfleur
Thomas Dennis ...
Young Messenger
...
Thomas Erphingham
Tom Georgeson ...
...
Duke of Burgundy
...
The Chorus
...
York
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Hal is now a responsible monarch as Henry V,his rejection of Falstaff hastening the latter's death. Told by courtiers that,through Edward III,he has a claim to the French throne he makes overtures to the Dauphin but is sent a humiliating present of tennis balls. He prepares an expeditionary force to cross the Channel and take the throne,capturing the town of Harfleur during a surprise nocturnal raid following an inspirational speech. Though merciful to its inhabitants Henry allows soldier Bardolph to be hung for looting. After another truce is turned down by the Fench Henry prepares for the pitched battle of Agincourt,wandering the camp in disguise on its eve to gauge opinion of him. The battle is won with minimal English losses and the French king,whose daughter Henry marries,declares him to be his successor. However an end title shows that Henry dies of dysentary at the age of thirty-five and we are told that his son Henry VI loses possession of France. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Drama | History

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21 July 2012 (UK)  »

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16:9 HD
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Follows The Hollow Crown: Henry IV, Part 2 (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

The muted tone actually helps balance the content and Hiddleston is strong throughout
17 September 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Of the four films in this BBC mini-series, Henry V was the first of them that I had seen – several times in fact; I'd seen the two film versions and once on stage in Stratford (in a version where the French court lowered on swings from the rafters, to visually set them apart from the English). I was curious to see this version though because I had never seen the film in the context of the connected plays (with characters running across). Additionally, given how sombre and low-key the previous three films had been, I was interested to see what the makers would do with this play – one that is traditionally flag-waving in its delivery and one that is usually quoted anytime England play France in any major sporting tournament!

Although the sombre tone continues I actually found it to work pretty well because it does carry on themes from the previous films but also it helps it avoid competing directly with the much more famous film versions with Branagh and Olivier. The connection to the previous films is good because we get to contrast this fresh King Harry with those that had gone before him – those vein and doomed, those racked with guilt and illness – and see him as something much more heroic and worthy of the title. This is flipped nicely though by the context of the characters from Hal's youth who are sacrificed in his sudden rise to honour, and it did move me to understand for the first time who the hung soldier was and also the references to Falstaff early on. Henry V here is very much playing for the greater good, not personal feelings and, while he may seem harsh, there is a reason for it that we didn't see with the other kings.

I did feel the absence of the flag-waving grandeur to a certain degree though, in particular the main speech of the film is rather muted as it is given to a small group of men. It took a few lines to accept this but actually it also worked pretty well, mainly because Hiddleston benefits from how closely it is played. He is generally very good here, not dominating the character but easing out the side of the shadow to make it his own, he is good looking, commanding and delivers well. The supporting cast support him well and I enjoyed Ritter as Pistol and Thierry as Kate in particular. The supporting cast has plenty of faces in Hurt, Griffiths, Joseph and a few others, but the film belongs to Hiddleston and whether making tough stands or wooing Kate, he is really good.

The Hollow Crown series didn't always win me over but the final two films I enjoyed a great deal. Certainly seeing this film in context for the first time was helpful but I also thought the muted tone (compared to other versions of Henry V) worked pretty well. Not perfect and I understand why for some it didn't work, but for me it was a strong finish to this mini-series.


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