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
Due to its high production cost and Entertainment Tax, it did not go into profit for The J. Arthur Rank Organisation until 1949. See more »
The real Henry V had a large scar on the left side of his face, the result of being struck and nearly killed by an arrow at the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403. The scar is not shown in this film. See more »
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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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 »
A pseudo-widescreen version in Superscope played theatres in the late 1950s. See more »
Historical epic of young English king who waged war against the French
Olivier was asked by his government to make this film during the second world war to raise the morale of civilians and troops alike. He abstained from showing excessive blood and gore, used the language of Shakespeare brilliantly and achieved his mission. I have seen this film many times and it never fails to thrill me. The story line is commonly known, we know how happily it came out in the end. It was the first Shakespearian play made on film in color and enthralled all who saw it.
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