Though this $9 million, British production from 1989 did feature its fair share of dramatically entertaining moments - I, personally, had a real difficult time actually warming up to actor, Kenneth Branagh, who played the part of the title character, King Henry V.
Anyway - This particular screen-adaptation of William Shakespeare's historical play did contain some very impressive battle scenes where opposing troops of armed warriors repeatedly clashed and slashed each other to literal ribbons with the aid of swords and arrows.
IMO - Kenneth Branagh (who both directed this film, as well as starred as the title character) was not at all suited for his part as King Henry V. No way.
Between his irksome scenery-chewing and his annoying temperamental fits of inner reflection - Branagh never convinced me, even once, that he was a king who was worthy (and of sound mind) to be leading his men into serious battle against the French.
For the most part - I found this 2-hour-20-minute screen-adaptation of Shakespeare's play to be way too dry and brittle in its storytelling, especially when left in the hands of an amateur like Kenneth Branagh.
Not bad for a movie version, this presentation cuts at least a fourth perhaps a third of the play. I give the screenwriter credit for keeping the continuity of thought through the missing lines. Acting by Dame Judi Dench and Emma Thompson is worth noting.
"Once more into the breach! ... We happy few, we band of brothers..."
Easily the best screen adaptation you will find. Branagh nails it!
Nominated for Best Actor (Branagh) and Best Director (Branagh)
This is a great movie. The challenge is, if you give "Henry V" a full 4 or even 5 stars, what do you give even better Kenneth Branagh adaptions like "Hamlet"? The acting is strong (notice a very young Christian Bale), the editing of the obviously excellent source text well done, and the visual elements are all strong - especially when you consider the film's budget and the director's own inexperience. Well worth watching, and the film has aged well.
Very well done movie I would recommend this movie for all to see. No fast forwarding on this one. A++ DVD
A great adaptation of Shakespeare's play. Branagh and a mighty cast give great performances. It's worth watching for the St. Crispin's day speech alone.
An early take by Branagh in the world of Shakespeare in film; it's an amazing story of leadership, intrigue, and courage. One of my personal favourites from Shakespeare, Branagh does amazing work both in front of and behind the camera, backed by one of the greatest casts and crews that I can remember. This is the sort of film you should be watching.
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