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Henry IV Part 1: Shakespeare's Globe Theatre 2-DVD Set

4.1 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Prince Hal, son of King Henry IV, seems to be squandering his life away with the fat knight Sir John Falstaff and the whores, boozers and petty rogues of Eastcheap. But beside these scenes of glorious misrule gathers a nationwide rebellion led by the Duke of Northumberland and his charismatic son, Hotspur. The first installment of Shakespeare's gripping account of the rise of Hal from idle barfly to monarch-in-waiting combines compelling power politics with the hilarious antics of Falstaff, Shakespeare's greatest comic creation. Roger Allam ('a Falstaff to treasure' The Times) won the 2011 Best Actor Olivier Award for his performance in Henry IV Parts 1 and 2. Jamie Parker stars as Prince Hal ('superb The Guardian, 'marvelous' Time Out); he appeared in As You Like It at the Globe in 2009, and was also in The History Boys at the National Theatre, on Broadway and on film.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Roger Allam, Jamie Parker
  • Directors: Claire van Kampen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 29, 2012
  • Run Time: 167 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007RP4CAA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,200 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. Elliston on April 27, 2012
I saw this in the movie theater when it played in the States. Absolutely brilliant performances and wonderfully staged! Roger Allam is the perfect Falstaff, much more entertaining than the BBC version of the play. Jamie Parker is an excellent Prince Hal. My one thought as I watched this was how great it would be to see Parker continue the role and play him as King Henry V. Much to my disappointment, they are doing a production of Henry V at the Globe with Jamie Parker in the lead role, and I am stuck in the States with no way to see it.

If you are a Shakespeare fan, you owe it to yourself to check this DVD out!
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The Globe's "Henry IV, Part 1" with Roger Allam and Jamie Parker, is simply the most entertaining version of this play I've seen on stage or film. Sir John Falstaff is, of course, one of the great comic characters of all time, which results in a curious paradox: the role is nearly impossible to get right, though even a moderately good performance is fun to watch. Allam is superb, capturing all of the dangerous charisma of the rogue knight. The two traits that make Falstaff such a seductive companion (both for young Hal and the audience) are his sheer joie de vivre and his startling intelligence. Allam brings both of these to life in his performance, showing us a Falstaff thinking hard and swiftly on stage and reveling in his startling powers of invention. A mere fat drunkard wouldn't be all that appealing. A fat drunkard with a warp-speed intellect and spectacular gifts for comic improv could corrupt -- well, the Prince of Wales.

Jamie Parker, a dashing version of the Boy Next Door and impossible not to like, plays Hal with the same combination of wit and exuberance. Not surprisingly, the best scenes in the play lie between these two actors -- especially the great tavern scene in which Falstaff's account of his failed robbery grows more gloriously preposterous by the second until Hal abruptly deflates it, and Falstaff, caught like a rat in a trap, miraculously escapes with his inspired nonsense about being a coward "on instinct." Allam and Parker play this game with so much engagement, wit, and glee that you feel like you're seeing it for the first time. This may be the most perfectly wrought comic scene in any of Shakespeare's works, and Allam and Parker understand exactly what makes it such a delight.
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This is an excellently filmed representation of a very good stage production of Henry IV Part 1 (as is part 2). One gets from it both a sense of watching a staged play while at the same time one has the advantage of the the close-ups that the well-placed cameras provide. The close-up obviously allows the viewer greater appreciation of facial expressions, but also and very importantly, makes it easier to follow the dialogue. After all, what is more important in Shakespeare than the very language itself.
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This is a great production! The tavern scenes are especially wonderful. Like the previous reviewer, I saw this in a movie theatre last summer and look forward to more of these productions from the Globe.
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This is one of the very few products I have returned to Amazon. As a student and lover of Shakespeare's plays, I had expected a professional production from the Globe Theatre. This is the shallowest production I have ever seen of his works. It is painfully obvious that the actors are
products of this time and have little feel for, or interest in, Shakespeare's era. Even the costumes look like the product of an amateur performance. I don't like to write a negative review, but I feel I need to warn you. Amazon has many really wonderful DVDs of Shakespeare's plays.This is not one of them. Try the Globe's production of THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR for an example of what the Globe can do when they are at their best.
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"Henry IV Part 1" by William Shakespeare (1564 to 1616) continues the story of the play the precedes it, "Richard II." Three of the Percy family are stung by the ill-treatment of them by King Henry IV, who used their services to depose Richard II and gain the throne for himself, and then he has coolly cast them off. They, thus, plan a rebellion against the King.

This Globe Theatre production of "Henry IV Part 1" (written circa 1598) brings the first part of this history play to life. It does so with some unforgettable acting (aided by good scenery, costumes, and music).

The title "Henry IV" is somewhat misleading. (You'll realize this when you watch this production.) King Henry is rarely on stage, and at times seems to exist solely as a peg upon which to hang the more interesting tale of Prince Hal and Sir John Falstaff.

Yes, the play generally is about Henry's struggle to maintain the throne. But the play itself centers on Prince Hal and his development from jokester into king. Two plots, one comic and one serious, are represented, respectively, by Falstaff & the Boar's Head Tavern gang and by King Henry & his court. Hal can be thought of as a hinge upon which the two swing back and fourth.

Thus, there are two "musts" when bringing this play to the stage:

(1) You must have a good Falstaff. I was "hugely" impressed with actor Roger Allam's performance as "that villainous abominable misleader of youth" called Falstaff. He gives an admirable performance to what can be a difficult character to portray at times.

(2) You must have a good Prince Hal. I have to give kudos to actor Jamie Parker's performance as the "madcap" son of King Henry.
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