|Directed by||Laurence Olivier|
|Produced by|| Filippo Del Giudice |
|Written by|| Dallas Bower |
|Based on|| Henry V |
by William Shakespeare
|Music by||William Walton|
|Cinematography|| Jack Hildyard |
|Edited by||Reginald Beck|
|Distributed by||Eagle-Lion Distributors Limited|
|Budget||£475,708 (or $2 million)|
|Box office||over $2 million|
Henry V is a 1944 British Technicolor film adaptation of William Shakespeare's play of the same title. The on-screen title is The Chronicle History of King Henry the Fifth with His Battell Fought at Agincourt in France (derived from the title of the 1600 quarto edition of the play, though changing the spelling from "Agin Court"). It stars Laurence Olivier, who also directed. The play was adapted for the screen by Olivier, Dallas Bower, and Alan Dent. The score is by William Walton.
The film was made near the end of World War II and was intended as a morale booster for Britain. Consequently, it was partly funded by the British government. The film was originally "dedicated to the 'Commandos and Airborne Troops of Great Britain the spirit of whose ancestors it has been humbly attempted to recapture.'" The film won Olivier an Academy Honorary Award for "his Outstanding achievement as actor, producer and director in bringing Henry V to the screen."
(The action moves from a performance of the play, Henry V , in 1600, transitioning to the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, then back to the play.)
A panorama of London in 1600 is shown and then the viewpoint travels to the Globe Theatre where the audience is being seated. The Chorus enters and implores the audience to use their imagination to visualise the setting of the play. Then is seen, up on a balcony, two clergymen, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely, discussing the current affairs of state. Henry then enters, and discusses with his nobles the state of France. A gift is delivered to Henry from the French Dauphin. The gift turns out to be tennis balls, a jibe at Henry's youth and inexperience. Offended, Henry sends the French ambassador away, and prepares to claim the French throne, a throne that he believes is rightfully his.
Then characters from Shakespeare's Henry IV plays, Corporal Nym, Bardolph, and Pistol, are shown. These characters resolve to join Henry's army; however, before they do, Falstaff, another returning character, and one of the King's former mentors, dies. At this point, the action moves to Southampton and out of the Globe.
At Southampton, the fleet embarks, and lands in France, beginning a campaign that tears through France to Harfleur, to which Henry's forces lay siege. At the siege, Henry delivers his first rousing speech to his troops: "Once more... unto the breach! Dear friends, once more!" The troops charge on Harfleur, and take it as their own.
The troops then march to Agincourt, meeting the French forces. The night before the impending battle, Henry wanders around the camp in disguise, to find out what the men think of him. The next day, before the battle, Henry delivers his famous Saint Crispin's Day speech.
The action transitions from the Globe to the fields of the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. The English archers let forth a volley of arrows that cuts deeply into the French numbers. The French, weighed down by their heavy armour, are caught in the fresh mud of the field, and are bogged down, which gives the English troops ample opportunity to ride out and fight them on equal terms. The French Dauphin, seeing this disadvantage, watches as several bodyguards and noblemen including the Constable of France ride toward the English camp and kill all the boys and squires, prompting a tearful Fluellen to cry that "this is expressly against the law of arms". Henry is angered by this and rides out to meet the French Constable, whom he defeats in personal combat.
The battle is won. Henry comes to discuss peace and then woos the Princess Katherine. His success means that France is now under the control of England, as the French King, Charles VI, adopts Henry as his successor. In the final moments, the viewpoint returns to the Globe Theatre and the play, where the actors take their bows.
Winston Churchill instructed Olivier to fashion the film as morale-boosting propaganda for British troops fighting World War II. [ citation needed ] The film was meant to cost £350,000 but ended up costing nearly £500,000.The making and release of the film coincided with the Allied invasion of Normandy and push into France. An early preview trailer of the film showed contemporary London just before cutting to the film's aerial footage of London in 1600.
Much of the film's impact comes from the vivid Technicolor cinematography (using the only Technicolor camera in England at the time),spectacular period costumes and a unique blend of stylized settings, miniatures and location shooting. The film begins with a handbill floating out of the sky setting the date—the first of May, 1600–and the occasion. This dissolves into a tremendously detailed miniature model of London, with boats moving on the Thames. The camera pulls away from the Tower, gleaming white in the sun, and moves past London Bridge (crowded with buildings) to aim across the river at the densely packed city studded with churches, stretching into the distance, until St. Paul's (as it was then) can be seen. The camera pauses for a beat and then moves back to zoom in on one of the two round theatres, where a man is raising a flag inscribed The Globe Playhouse, showing that a performance is imminent. Then we go into the theatre for a vivid recreation of a production of the play as performed at that time, complete with hecklers and an annoying rain shower. The Chorus (a single actor) invokes the audience's imaginations, and when the action in the play moves to Southampton, we enter the world of the Trés Riches Heures of the Duc de Berry, a late medieval Book of Hours. (The Duke actually appears among the nobles with the King of France.) The setting becomes more natural in the dark night before Agincourt, when Henry goes into the sleeping camp to see how it goes with his men. The Battle of Agincourt takes place in a realistic setting (filmed in Ireland), in natural fields and forests, and dialogue is delivered from the backs of restive chargers. The troops singing Non Nobis and Te Deum at Henry's bidding march toward a painted rendition of the château, which fades out and fades in to the same image, blanketed in deep snow. The next set is a near-perfect rendition of the often-reproduced February page from the Trés Riches Heures, with Pistol taking the place of the man warming himself in the cottage (but with greater modesty). We next see the negotiations for the Treaty of Troyes, and the setting is used to great effect to clarify and increase the impact of the Duke of Burgundy's speech about the sorry state of France. The camera moves out through a window to pan over a painting of the neglected countryside, specifically illustrating each line of the speech and pausing on the neglected children before panning back up to the château. Henry's courtship of Princess Katherine weaves through a lacework of Gothic arches and is followed by their marriage, which cuts abruptly to the Globe and the two actors (a boy playing Katherine) similarly standing in front of their thrones, with the audience applauding. After Chorus speaks his epilogue, the camera pulls back so we can see the flag being taken down and returns again to the model. Then the credits roll by, but before the picture ends we return to the model one last time—shot of the Tower of London gleaming white on the banks of the Thames.
Olivier intentionally left out some of Henry's harsher actions as Shakespeare portrayed them – such as his remorseless beheading of the three Southampton Plot traitors: Richard of Conisburgh, 3rd Earl of Cambridge; Henry Scrope, 3rd Baron Scrope of Masham; and Sir Thomas Grey; his threat to unleash his troops to rape and pillage Harfleur if the city refused to surrender; the cutting of the throats of French prisoners during the battle at Agincourt; as well as his refusal to stop the hanging of his old friend Bardolph for looting. The Chorus’ last speech contains a melancholy reference to what came after and is not in the film:
Hundreds of locals were hired as extras for the Agincourt battle scenes filmed in neutral Ireland in 1943. The production company paid an additional pound to anyone who brought his own horse.
Olivier agreed not to appear in another film for 18 months to reduce any detraction from the promotion of Henry V. In return, he was paid £15,000, tax-free (about £460,000 in today's money).
Esmond Knight, who plays the patriotic Welsh soldier Fluellen was a wounded veteran of the war. He had been badly injured in 1941 while on active service on board HMS Prince of Wales when she was attacked by the Bismarck, and remained totally blind for two years. He had only just regained some sight in his right eye.[ citation needed ]
The film was shot on location at the Powerscourt Estate in Enniskerry, County Wicklow, Ireland. The interior sets were constructed at the Denham Studios in Buckinghamshire, England. They were based on illustrations from the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry the illustrator of which is also a character in the play.[ citation needed ]
The film, which was photographed in three-strip Technicolor, was hailed by critics for its ebulliently colourful sets and costumes, as well as for Olivier's masterful direction and acting. Pauline Kael called the movie "a triumph of color, music, spectacle and soaring heroic poetry". [ citation needed ]James Agee reported, in Time magazine's 8 April 1946 issue, that a remarkable 75 percent of the color footage shot was used in the final release.
In 2007, the film was digitally restored to High Definition format and re-released. [ citation needed ]As part of the BBC Summer of British Film series in 2007, it was shown at selected cinemas across the UK.
The score by William Walton is considered a classic film score,[ who? ] and excerpts from it, such as the orchestral Suite from Henry V , have been performed in concert.[ citation needed ]
According to Turner Classic Movies's Frank Miller, Olivier's Henry V was the first Shakespeare film to receive "both critical and popular acclaim."The British critics gave it a lukewarm welcome but word of mouth took care of that, and the film broke all records by running for 11 months in London. In 1946, a cagey release strategy in the United States was undoubtedly helped by the "ecstatic" reviews from U.S. critics, "hailing it as one of the screen's first great works of art and the most impressive directing debut since Orson Welles' Citizen Kane (1941)."
Miller adds that "Olivier won Best Actor awards from the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Review, also capturing the latter's Best Picture award and coming within a few votes of beating The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) for the New York Film Critics Award in that category."
The film was highly acclaimed around the world. James Agee, who reviewed it separately for three publications, called it "one of the cinema's great works of art".
According to Kinematograph Weekly the 'biggest winner' at the box office in 1945 Britain was The Seventh Veil, with "runners up" being (in release order), Madonna of the Seven Moons, Old Acquaintance, Frenchman's Creek, Mrs Parkington, Arsenic and Old Lace, Meet Me in St Louis, A Song to Remember, Since You Went Away, Here Come the Waves, Tonight and Every Night, Hollywood Canteen, They Were Sisters, The Princess and the Pirate, The Adventures of Susan, National Velvet, Mrs Skefflington, I Live in Grosvenor Square, Nob Hill, Perfect Strangers, Valley of Decision, Conflict and Duffy's Tavern. British "runners up" were They Were Sisters, I Live in Grosvenor Square, Perfect Strangers, Madonna of the Seven Moons, Waterloo Road, Blithe Spirit, The Way to the Stars, I'll Be Your Sweetheart, Dead of Night, Waltz Time and Henry V.
The film earned over $1 million in rentals in the US.However, due to its high production cost and Entertainment Tax it did not go into profit for Rank until 1949. It earned United Artists a profit of $1.62 million.
Previous efforts to put Shakespeare on the screen included Mary Pickford's 1929 The Taming of the Shrew; Max Reinhardt's 1935 A Midsummer Night's Dream for Warner Bros; a British film adaptation of As You Like It starring Olivier and Elisabeth Bergner and scored by William Walton; and MGM's 1936 Romeo and Juliet , directed by George Cukor and starring Norma Shearer and Leslie Howard. They had all misfired. According to TCM.com "After screening Romeo and Juliet (1936), Olivier realized that the standard Hollywood camera style, which included moving in for a close-up at climactic moments, didn't work for Shakespeare. In one scene, the close up had forced Norma Shearer to whisper one of her most passionate lines. Instead, he decided to film long speeches starting in close up and then moving the camera back as the actor's intensity grew. He also decided to treat the soliloquies not as direct addresses to the audience, but as interior monologues".The film earned over $1 million in rentals in the US. However, due to its high production cost and Entertainment Tax it did not go into profit for Rank until 1949. It earned United Artists a profit of $1.62 million. In 2007, Military History magazine listed this production 75th among "The 100 Greatest War Movies".
|Special Award for his Outstanding achievement as actor, producer and director in bringing Henry V to the screen.||Laurence Olivier|
|Best Actor||Laurence Olivier|
|Best Score||William Walton|
|Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration, Color|| Paul Sheriff |
|Best Picture||Laurence Olivier|
The Battle of Agincourt was an English victory in the Hundred Years' War. It took place on 25 October 1415 near Azincourt, in northern France. The unexpected English victory against the numerically superior French army boosted English morale and prestige, crippled France and started a new period of English dominance in the war.
Henry V is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written near 1599. It tells the story of King Henry V of England, focusing on events immediately before and after the Battle of Agincourt (1415) during the Hundred Years' War. In the First Quarto text, it was titled The Cronicle History of Henry the fift, and The Life of Henry the Fifth in the First Folio text.
Henry V, also called Henry of Monmouth, was King of England from 1413 until his death in 1422. Despite his relatively short reign, Henry's outstanding military successes in the Hundred Years' War against France made England one of the strongest military powers in Europe. Immortalised in Shakespeare's "Henriad" plays, Henry is known and celebrated as one of the greatest warrior kings of medieval England.
Henry V is a 1989 British historical drama film adapted for the screen and directed by Kenneth Branagh, based on William Shakespeare's play of the same name about King Henry V of England. The film stars Branagh in the title role with Paul Scofield, Derek Jacobi, Ian Holm, Emma Thompson, Alec McCowen, Judi Dench, Robbie Coltrane, Brian Blessed, and Christian Bale in supporting roles.
The siege of Harfleur was conducted by the English army of King Henry V in Normandy, France, during the Hundred Years' War. The defenders of Harfleur surrendered to the English on terms and were treated as prisoners of war. The English army was considerably reduced by casualties and an outbreak of dysentery during the siege but marched towards Calais, less a garrison left behind at the port. The English were intercepted en route and fought the Battle of Agincourt, inflicting a huge defeat on the French.
Sir Thomas Erpingham was an English soldier and administrator who loyally served three generations of the House of Lancaster including English kings Henry IV and Henry V, and whose military career spanned four decades. After the Lancastrian usurpation of the English throne in 1399, his career in their service was transformed as he rose to national prominence, and through his access to royal patronage he acquired great wealth and influence.
Harfleur is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in the Normandy region of northern France.
Dafydd ap Llewelyn ap Hywel, better known as Dafydd Gam, anglicized to David or Davy Gam, was a Welsh warrior, a prominent opponent of Owain Glyndŵr. He died at the Battle of Agincourt fighting for Henry V, King of England in that victory against the French.
Michael Williams is a character in William Shakespeare's Henry V. He is one of three soldiers visited by King Henry before the Battle of Agincourt.
The Lancastrian War was the third and final phase of the Anglo-French Hundred Years' War. It lasted from 1415, when King Henry V of England invaded Normandy, to 1453, when the English lost Bordeaux. It followed a long period of peace from the end of the Caroline War in 1389. The phase was named after the House of Lancaster, the ruling house of the Kingdom of England, to which Henry V belonged.
Events from the 1410s in England.
Fluellen is a fictional character in the play Henry V by William Shakespeare. Fluellen is a Welsh Captain, a leader of a contingent of troops in the small army of King Henry V of England while on campaign in France during the Hundred Years' War. He is a comic figure, whose characterisation draws on stereotypes of the Welsh at that time, but he is also portrayed as a loyal, brave and dedicated soldier.
The Famous Victories of Henry the fifth: Containing the Honourable Battel of Agin-court: As it was plaide by the Queenes Maiesties Players, is an anonymous Elizabethan play, which is generally thought to be a source for Shakespeare's Henriad. It was entered by printer Thomas Creede in the Stationers' Register in 1594, but the earliest known edition is from 1598. A second quarto was published in 1617.
William Walton's music for the 1944 film Henry V has been arranged by several musicians for non-cinematic performances. The first suite was arranged in 1945 by the conductor Malcolm Sargent. In 1963 Muir Mathieson, who had conducted the music for the original film soundtrack, arranged a longer suite, and in 1988 the musicologist Christopher Palmer constructed an hour-long "Shakespeare Scenario" using most of the music Walton composed for the film.
Henry V is a 2012 British television film based on the play of the same name by William Shakespeare. It is the fourth film in the tetralogy of television films called The Hollow Crown produced by Sam Mendes for BBC Two covering the whole of Shakespeare's Henriad. It was directed by Thea Sharrock and stars Tom Hiddleston as Henry V of England.
Bardolph is a fictional character who appears in four plays by William Shakespeare, more plays than any other male character in Shakespeare. He is a thief who forms part of the entourage of Sir John Falstaff. His grossly inflamed nose and constantly flushed, carbuncle-covered face is a repeated subject for Falstaff's and Prince Hal's comic insults and word-play. Though his role in each play is minor, he often adds comic relief, and helps illustrate the personality change in Henry from Prince to King.
The King is a 2019 epic war film directed by David Michôd, based on several plays from William Shakespeare's "Henriad". The screenplay was written by Michôd and Joel Edgerton, who both produced the film with Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, and Liz Watts.
Raoul de Gaucourt, also known as the Sieur de Gaucort or Sire de Gaucourt was a French soldier and statesman. He fought at the Battle of Nicopolis in 1396 and the Siege of Harfleur in 1415, and spent 10 years as a prisoner in England. He was described by Juliet Barker in 2005 as "a medieval chivalric hero whom the modern world has forgotten".