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HENRY V – Patrick Doyle

October 3, 2019 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In 1989 Kenneth Branagh was a brash, handsome, dazzlingly talented young actor and director, who emerged from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in the early 1980s and set the British theatrical world alight with his electrifying Shakespearean productions. He was part of a group of talented contemporaries which included people like Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Jonathan Pryce, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, and Rowan Atkinson, all of whom began to have a profound effect on British stage society through their respective careers in drama and comedy. Branagh then went on to create the Renaissance Theatre Company, which brought his troupe of players into the circle of beloved stage veterans like Judi Dench, Richard Briers, Derek Jacobi, and Sir John Gielgud. Together they made enormously successful stage productions of Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, As You Like It, and Twelfth Night, the latter of which directly led to Branagh receiving funding to make a big-screen adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most beloved works, Henry V. Read more…

HENRY V – William Walton

August 22, 2016 1 comment

henryv-walton100 GREATEST SCORES OF ALL TIME

Original Review by Craig Lysy

It was WWII and Great Britain was in the midst of her greatest struggle as the Allies prepared for the 1944 Normandy invasion. Prime Minister Winston Churchill exhorted Laurence Olivier to fashion a film to rally and boost British morale for what he envisioned to be her finest moment – taking the offence to the Nazi’s and liberating France. For Olivier this became a passion project, which consumed him. After William Wyler turned down his offer to direct, Olivier took an unprecedented and audacious move – he would assume the roles of producer, director and actor! He cast himself in the titular role and surrounded himself with a fine cast, which included Renee Asherson as Princess Katherine, Robert Newton as Ancient Pistol, Leslie Banks as the Chorus, Felix Aylmer as the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Robert Helpmann as the Bishop of Ely. Olivier’s vision was clear from the very beginning; he would maintain fidelity to the original Shakespeare play although he would stylize it for the cinematic presentation. Read more…