7.5/10
27,825
120 user 46 critic

Henry V (1989)

Trailer
2:15 | Trailer
In the midst of the Hundred Years War, the young King Henry V of England embarks on the conquest of France in 1415.

Director:

Kenneth Branagh

Writers:

William Shakespeare (by), Kenneth Branagh (adapted for the screen by)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Derek Jacobi ... Chorus
Kenneth Branagh ... King Henry V
Simon Shepherd ... Duke Humphrey of Gloucester
James Larkin ... Duke John of Bedford
Brian Blessed ... Duke Thomas Beaufort of Exeter
James Simmons ... Duke Edward of York
Paul Gregory ... Westmoreland
Charles Kay ... Archbishop of Canterbury
Alec McCowen ... Bishop of Ely
Fabian Cartwright Fabian Cartwright ... Earl Richard of Cambridge
Stephen Simms Stephen Simms ... Lord Henry Scroop
Jay Villiers ... Sir Thomas Grey
Edward Jewesbury ... Sir Thomas Erpingham
Ian Holm ... Captain Fluellen
Danny Webb ... Gower (as Daniel Webb)
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Storyline

King Henry V of England (Sir Kenneth Branagh) is insulted by King Charles VI of France (Paul Scofield). As a result, he leads his army into battle against France. Along the way, the young King must struggle with the sinking morale of his troops and his own inner doubts. The war culminates at the bloody Battle of Agincourt. Written by Liza Esser <essereli@student.msu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The great adventure of a king who defied the odds to prove himself a man.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a bloody battle | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Ian McKellen turned down the role of King Charles VI of France. See more »

Goofs

After 4 minutes a violin string is plucked. This string is clearly one of the middle strings, either the "D" or the "A" string. However, we actually hear the sound of the "E" string being plucked. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Chorus: 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, leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword, and fire crouch for employment.
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Connections

Featured in Fry's Planet Word: The Power and the Glory (2011) See more »

User Reviews

 
Once seen never forgotten
20 February 2001 | by scotty12See all my reviews

This film surely must be in the frame for a number of best ever categories - best Shakespeare film adaptation, one of the best ever war films AND one of the best ever performances by a male actor. It's truly stunning to see how Shakespeare's words, which seemed dull and difficult to understand at school, can be spoken as passages of such depth, beauty and power. Not one in a thousand actors could do this convincingly - but Kenneth Branagh can.

I think this far outshines the Olivier version from 1944 (very good though that was). Branagh convinces (where Olivier does not always) as he gives a wider range of emotional responses to Henry - self questioning, compassionate, sad at the harsh realities of life. You can really believe that here is a young man who used to be a playboy now faced with having to grow up and behave as a king of England. As others have said, he gives such fire and charisma to the battle speeches that you want to march straight into battle yourself! And importantly, Branagh also convinces utterly in the romantic wooing of the French princess.

Naturally enough, the film focuses on the main actor playing Henry, but the supporting actors are also excellent. Derek Jacobi, particularly, does wonderfully in a difficult role. If I had to give one very slight caveat however, it would be that Emma Thompson (who I love as an actress), does not quite convince as a native French speaker, though she makes a good try at speaking the language rapidly. Perhaps Juliette Binoche would have been better here? But overall the obvious rapport between Branagh and Thompson (who were married at the time) is more important than any slight problems with the accent.

The only Shakespeare performance that tops this movie is seeing Branagh give a live performance on stage - I was privileged to see him (with Emma Thompson) perform Much Ado About Nothing in the late 1980s, and that's still the best I've ever seen.

Don't just see this - buy or record a copy. If you see it once, you will most likely want to see it over and over! 10/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

8 November 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Henry V See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$64,933, 12 November 1989

Gross USA:

$10,161,099

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,161,099
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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