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He ruled a massive empire...and fought a mighty war! Kenneth Branagh, Paul Scofield, Derek Jacobi, Ian Holm, Emma Thompson and Judi Dench star in this heroic, action-packed epic based on the timeless play by William Shakespeare. "Magnificent, passionate and steeped in powerful emotion" (The Washington Post), Henry V is a "stunning," (Leonard Maltin) OscarÂ(r)-nominated* adventure that takes its place amongst the greatest war films of all time.Having recently been crowned King of England, Henry (Branagh) commands a massive invasion to assert what he believes is his legal right to the throne of France. But a mighty army stands in his wayÂ...and the young monarch must rely on untested reserves of courage and cunning as he personally leads his outnumbered forces into a desperate battle for the honor and glory of the British Empire. *1989: Director, Actor (Branagh), Costume Design (winner)
Very few films come close to the brilliance Kenneth Branagh achieved with his first foray into screenwriting and direction. Henry V qualifies as a masterpiece, the kind of film that comes along once in a decade. He eschews the theatricality of Laurence Olivier's stirring, fondly remembered 1945 adaptation to establish his own rules. Branagh plays it down and dirty, seeing the bard's play through revisionist eyes, framing it as an antiwar story. Branagh gives us harsh close-ups of muddied, bloody men, and close-ups of himself as Henry, his hardened mouth and willful eyes revealing much about this land war. Not that the director-star doesn't provide lighter moments. His scenes introducing the French Princess Katherine (Emma Thompson) are toothsome. Bubbly, funny, enhanced by lovely lighting and Thompson's pale beauty, these glimpses of a princess trying to learn English quickly from her maid are delightful.
What may be the crowning glory of Branagh's adaptation comes when the dazed, shaky leader wanders through battlefields, not even sure who has won. As King Hal carries a dead boy (Empire of the Sun's Christian Bale) over the hacked-up bodies of both the English and French, you realize it is the first time Branagh has opened up the scenes: a panorama of blood and mud and death. It is as strong a statement against warmongering as could ever be made. --Rochelle O'Gorman
No need to be a William Shakespeare fan required to add this gem to your collection!!! If you are a fan of historical movies this is a great movie about the battle of Agincourt!!! Read morePublished 10 days ago by Leo Hott
The video doesnt play well. There is a grating humming throughout the movie. It is awful One star because I cannot do zero starsPublished 11 days ago by AB
Wonderful depiction of a great play. And Branagh did it when he was 28!Published 23 days ago by N. K. Whitlow
It was ok....I have seen several better versions of this play..but worth seeing. Package arrived in excellent conditionPublished 24 days ago by Connie Phillips
Just about my favorite Shakespeare movie production. So different than the Olivier version.Published 28 days ago by BobbyNY
Henry V got me started with WS. I think that this is a definitive version.Published 28 days ago by Lindsey Noble
I've waited years for this - it doesn't disappoint. The blu ray is perfect and the subtitling - yay!
Better than Olivier's I think.
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|Out of print?||
I was wondering that, too. It's annoying, to say the least, to see that there are so few DVDs of this movie available.
Jun 11, 2014 by Alex Diaz-Granados | See all 3 posts
Probably not for a while. The DVD is out of print, too.
Jun 11, 2014 by Alex Diaz-Granados | See all 2 posts
Yes, sorta. They're the kind encoded in the video stream for the TV to decode. Problem: I can't figure out how to get Power DVD to show these subtitles. Windows Media Player will, but the video and sound are out of sync by ~2s (I'm only slightly deaf).
Sep 11, 2008 by Stephen Prather | See all 3 posts