movie film review | chris tookey

Henry V

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  Henry V   Review
Tookey's Rating
9 /10
Average Rating
9.53 /10
Laurence Olivier , Robert Newton , Leslie Banks
Full Cast >

Directed by: Laurence Olivier (AAW - special award)
Written by: Laurence Olivier, Alan Dent from William Shakespeare's play

Released: 1944
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: GB
Length: 137

PRO Reviews

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"Stunningly brilliant."
(New York Times)
"England has sent a superlative motion picture to these shores."
(New York Herald Tribune)
"One of the really great achievements in the history of the screen."
(Journal American)
"I am not a Tory, a monarchist, a Catholic, a medievalist, an Englishman, or, despite all the good that it engenders, a lover of war: but the beauty and power of this traditional exercise was such that, watching it, I wished I was, thought I was, and was proud of it. I was persuaded, and in part still am, that every time and place has since been in decline, save one, in which one Englishman used language better than anyone has before or since, or ever shall; and that nearly the best that our time can say for itself is that some of us are still capable of paying homage to the fact."
(James Agee, Nation)
"What I like about [it] is that it gives Shakespeare back to the groundlings."
(Helen Fletcher, Sunday Graphic)
"Britain was under attack, and his film caught the mood of the moment. It was - and remains - a heart-lifting triumph; it has bright colors, trick perspectives, and the enormous charm of childhood tales of chivalry. Olivier (he was thirty-six) brings a playful, bashful glamour to the role. His voice rings out thrillingly; you carry the sound with you forever."
(Pauline Kael)
"When Henry V astonished the critics, it succeeded because, almost for the first time, colour had become an essential part of the narrative: the story was told, the characters were presented, in terms, not only of movement and dialogue, but of colour; colour gave edge to excitement, pointed contrast, accentuated rhythm. The dark Rembrandtesque tones of Olivier's face, turning his eyes as he thinks, deepened the mood of his great soliloquy in the camp at night. The brilliant blues and yellows and scarlets of the morning French army heightened the sense of relief from vigil, the sense af released action and fulfilled expectation. And all through this brilliant film the colour of the dresses against the soft neutral shades of the architectural background was so handled as to direct the spectator's attention; to guide his eye; in fact to narrate as the cinema should narrate."
(Dilys Powell, 1946)

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