Following his father's early death and the loss of possessions in France young Henry VI comes to the throne, under the protection of the duke of Gloucester. He is unaware that there are ...
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Following his father's early death and the loss of possessions in France young Henry VI comes to the throne, under the protection of the duke of Gloucester. He is unaware that there are ... See full summary »
Following his father's early death and the loss of possessions in France, young Henry VI comes to the throne, under the protection of the Duke of Gloucester. He is unaware that there are ... See full summary »
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Viola and Sebastian are lookalike twins, separated by a shipwreck. Viola lands in Illyria, where she disguises herself like her brother and goes into the service of the Duke Orsino. Orsino ... See full summary »
When Pericles discovers the dread answer to Antioch's riddle, he flees for his life straight into famine, shipwreck, love, fatherhood, and another shipwreck; he loses his wife and daughter,... See full summary »
David Hugh Jones
When the Duke of Vienna takes a mysterious leave of absence and leaves the strict Angelo in charge, things couldn't be worse for Claudio, who is sentenced to death for premarital sex. His ... See full summary »
Following his father's early death and the loss of possessions in France young Henry VI comes to the throne, under the protection of the duke of Gloucester. He is unaware that there are other claimants to the throne, Plantagent of York and Somerset of Lancaster, whose factions will ultimately cause the Wars of the Roses. Ignorant of the schisms Henry tries to unite them in the Hundred Years War, capturing Joan of Arc, before he marries Margaret of Anjou to unite England and France, but there is no dowry, angering the court. Margaret finds the pious Henry a dull husband and embarks upon an affair with Somerset as well as crossing Gloucester's wife Eleanor. When Gloucester is arrested for alleged treason because of Eleanor, Henry is too feeble to prevent his death or the country slipping into civil war.
As one may gather, 'The Third Part of Henry the Sixth' is the third part of the three parter 'Henry VI', one of only two (as said before) BBC Television Shakespeare productions to be in more than one part. 'Henry IV' (both productions very good) is the other. Of the three parts, while the previous two productions of the previous two parts are well worth watching, this is definitely the best with more consistent casting, more sense of drama and the production values appeals more here.
Would put it somewhere in the top middle perhaps when ranking the productions comprising the BBC Television Shakespeare series, whereas the previous two parts would be somewhere in the middle. Cannot stress enough that the series is on the whole a must watch. Okay, it is not a consistent series and not every production is my cup of tea ('A Midsummer Night's Dream' was one of the most disappointing ones from personal opinion) and low budget is evident in some of the productions, but it is truly fascinating. In seeing casts of talented actors either very experienced in Shakespeare, with some such as Michael Hordern and Helen Mirren for examples being in more than one production, or ones in very early roles pre-stardom (i.e. Alan Rickman in 'Romeo and Juliet', another disappointment but he was one of the better things about it). For some Shakepeare plays, tending to be the lesser or least popular ones, the available DVD competition is very limited or it is the only production available.
'The Third Part of Henry the Sixth', as cliched as this sounds, is very good with many great elements. Have very little to fault actually. Did think that the staging of Warwick's final speech could have had more subtlety.
It takes a little time to get into as well, but to anybody who is initially put off by that stick with it as it is well worth it, and the problems that were in the previous two parts are not there as much here.
Found 'The Third Part of Henry the Sixth' to be the most visually appealing of the three productions, more detailed (thought the snow actually to be a nice touch and it didn't distract) and interesting and less drab in the sets, if occasionally a little too gloomy in the lighting. The camera work is very good with enough intimacy, with no gimmicks, chaos or restriction. Felt that the costumes were at least tasteful and were more appealing on the eye. Of the three parts of BBC's 'Henry VI', this is the most compellingly staged, the occasional staginess seen before solved and it feels more opened up. The action scenes have tension and the staging is spirited and thoughtful, a vast majority of it didn't go over the top and never feels cluttered and it doesn't get static or dull.
Again, the cast are the main draw and the performances are excellent across the board. Some people had problems with Peter Benson in the title role previously, am going to continue being one of those in defense of him. He brings a lot of authority and sincerity to it. It was an intriguing and brave move having most of the cast doubling roles, and they do very, very well bringing contrasting personalities to them. Julia Foster is a big surprise here as Margaret, didn't care for her much in the previous two parts (my opinion) but here she is at her most engaged and doesn't overdo Margaret's ruthlessness, no mugging here.
Ron Cook is malevolent as the future Richard III yet not in an overt way, quite subtle actually. Paul Jessop is a very strong presence as Clarence, while Bernard Hill is as chilling as he was previously. Brian Protheroe's tyrannical Edward is another standout.
Concluding, very good. 8/10
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