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Henry V

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Henry V

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
PG-13
runtime:
138 minutes
performer:
Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi, Brian Blessed, Judi Dench, Emma Thompson
director:
Kenneth Branagh
distributor:
MGM
genre:
War, Drama, Historical

We gave it an A-

Henry V Laurence Olivier, Robert Newton (1944, Voyager, unrated, $69.95) With Hollywood about to enter another Shakespeare boom, it’s worth revisiting the first movie that ever did the Bard justice—a rousing, sunny, grandly staged adaptation by first-time director Olivier. Don’t expect the war-is-hell grit or emotionalism of Kenneth Branagh’s 1989 version, or a purist-pleasing act of fidelity; Olivier dispensed with the play’s darker implications (and much of its original text) to create a Henry V that would stoke the fires of World War II-era British patriotism. Fifty years later, it’s hokey and very much of its time, but often breathtakingly inventive—and on this excellent (if occasionally speckly) laserdisc, the children’s-storybook reds and blues of the movie’s early Technicolor look freshly painted. A-

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