Laurence Olivier, Leslie Banks, Robert Newton, George Cole, Renee Ashershon / Fiction / English
Or - to be precise - The Chronicle History of King Henry the Fift with His Battell Fought at Agincourt in France.
Released in 1943, Olivier's very first feature film as director combines a scholarly interest in the language and performance of Shakespeare with timely attention to the propaganda requirements of the war effort. We begin by observing a performance of the play at the Globe theatre; as the story develops, stylised performance gradually dissolves into more conventional cinematic realism, making way for a spectacular Battle of Agincourt. This newly-restored print displays the lush colour photography and elaborate, painterly tableaux to their best advantage.
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