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Henry V (1979)

The Life of Henry the Fifth (original title)
Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, War | TV Movie 23 December 1979
In the midst of the Hundred Years' War, the young King Henry V of England embarks on the conquest of France in 1415.

Director:

David Giles

Writer:

William Shakespeare (play)
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Cast

Credited cast:
John Abineri ... Bishop of Ely
Robert Ashby Robert Ashby ... Earl of Salisbury
Trevor Baxter ... Archbishop of canterbury
Rod Beacham Rod Beacham ... Earl of Warwick
Jocelyne Boisseau Jocelyne Boisseau ... Katherine
Simon Broad Simon Broad ... Herald
Alan Brown Alan Brown ... Governor of Harfleur
Brenda Bruce ... Hostess
John Bryans John Bryans ... Duke of Bourbon
David Buck David Buck ... Earl of Westmoreland
Ronald Chenery Ronald Chenery ... Messenger
Roger Davenport Roger Davenport ... Duke of Clarence
Keith Drinkel Keith Drinkel ... Lewis, the Dauphin
Rob Edwards Rob Edwards ... Duke of Bedford
Ronald Forfar Ronald Forfar ... Bates
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Storyline

In the midst of the Hundred Years' War, the young King Henry V of England embarks on the conquest of France in 1415.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 December 1979 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: Henry V See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alec McCowen (The Chorus) would later play the Bishop of Ely in Henry V (1989). See more »

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User Reviews

 
Oh, for a Muse of Fire! Pleeeease!
20 August 2006 | by tonstant viewerSee all my reviews

Alec McCowen's Chorus triumphantly opens the play with a summons for a Muse of Fire, but unfortunately someone handed this Muse a fire extinguisher, and flashes of insight, or even energy, are few and far between.

The usual small budget and brief shooting schedule forced videotaping in the studio, but the absence of grand vistas and real battles is not really a problem. Shakespeare's text has the Chorus apologizing for the inadequate scale of combat simulation in the confines of the Globe, and we are instructed to use our imaginations.

This video is a distinct notch below the preceding two Henry IV plays, even though it shares the same director, David Giles. Playing off Anthony Quayle and Jon Finch, David Gwillim's Prince Hal was forced into some level of theatrical vitality. Here Gwillim's weepy, whispery Henry is the whole show, and he doesn't carry it comfortably on his shoulders.

The supporting cast is notably weak, with such accomplished scene stealers as Thorley Walters, Julian Glover and Anna Quayle uncharacteristically ineffective. And both the Fluellen and Pistol are actively annoying.

Individual scenes may work well, like the exposure and condemnation of the regicide plotters or the final scene with Henry and Katherine, but all too often the pulse stops completely, and we sit there with mild hostility, waiting until someone finds a way to switch it on again. Not recommended for classroom use, as it may provoke small arms fire and lifelong hostility to the Bard.


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