Henry V

Henry V

Laurence Olivier (1944)

131min
U Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Having failed to secure the services of William Wyler or Carol Reed, Laurence Olivier embarked on his directorial debut with some misgivings. David O Selznick had already refused to allow Olivier's wife Vivien Leigh to play Katharine as he didn't want his star in a bit part, and the war had necessitated the shooting of the Agincourt scenes in Ireland to find enough extras. Nevertheless, Olivier's triumphant interpretation of Shakespeare's warrior king succeeded in making the Bard's work a truly cinematic experience and paved the way for the director's Oscar-winning Hamlet four years later. Released to great acclaim with victory over Hitler in sight, the film chimed in with the nation's ebullience and it remains a colourful and rousing spectacle.

Summary

The young king of England renounces his wild past and rallies the nation behind him as he reasserts his claim on French lands by divine right of kings - driving the two nations toward a climactic confrontation on the battlefield at Agincourt. Shakespeare's historical drama, directed by and starring Laurence Olivier. With Robert Newton, Leslie Banks and Esmond Knight.

Cast & Crew

King Henry V Laurence Olivier
Ancient Pistol Robert Newton
Chorus Leslie Banks
Princess Katharine Renée Asherson
Fluellen Esmond Knight
Constable of France Leo Genn
Montjoy, a French herald Ralph Truman
King Charles VI of France Harcourt Williams
Alice, lady-in-waiting Ivy St Helier
Duke of Berri, French ambassador Ernest Thesiger
The Dauphin Max Adrian
Duke of Orleans Francis Lister
Duke of Burgundy Valentine Dyall
Duke of Bourbon Russell Thorndike
Gower, captain in English army Michael Shepley
Jamy, captain in English camp John Laurie
MacMorris, captain in English army Niall MacGinnis
Archbishop of Canterbury Felix Aylmer
Duke of Exeter Nicholas Hannen
Bishop of Ely Robert Helpmann
Mistress Quickly Freda Jackson
Williams, soldier in English camp Jimmy Hanley
Sir John Falstaff George Robey
Director Laurence Olivier
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Park CircusAvailable on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 27 May 2016
Drama