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As Macbeth rides home from battle, three witches stop him. They tell him that he will soon rise in power, first becoming Thane of Cawdor and then King of Scotland. King Duncan has just ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sir Kenneth Branagh (King Henry V) is the last actor to receive an Academy Award nomination for his role in a Shakespearean movie. He was nominated for Best Actor but lost to Daniel Day-Lewis for his performance in My Left Foot (1989). See more »
During the battle scene, a horseman's sword is seen bending severely when striking another sword, clearly revealing that it is rubber or plastic. 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, leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword, and fire crouch for employment.
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I admit that bringing Shakespeare to the big screen is tough. There are subtleties and nuances - and limitations - about stage productions that cinema simply can't capture.
That being said, this is by far the best adaptation of Shakespeare to the big screen of the past fifteen years. The director does an admirable job of making every scene seem plausible - with slight suspension of disbelief - on stage.
Kenneth Branagh, while he strikes me as a bit full of himself, is fantastic as the young, vain, ambitious title character, while Paul Scofield, Henry's French counterpart, delivers an equally impressive performance as the king who understands the gravity of Henry's invasion of France.
Aside from Shakespeare's obvious bias toward British interests - which have little to do with the big-screen production - this is an amazing film.
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