Olivier v Branagh – on St. Crispin’s Day

1944 Henry V – Directed and starring Lawrence Olivier

1989 Henry V – Directed and starring Kenneth Branagh

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2 Responses to Olivier v Branagh – on St. Crispin’s Day

  1. alfy says:

    Excellent post, Jim, following on my rather detailed comments on Agincourt, concerning the problems of men in heavy armour. The background music in Olivier’s version is much too loud, and the whole thing is too prettily colourful, very theatrical. Branagh’s version follows accurately the fact that the English army was retreating back to the Channel ports, they were tired, dirty, short of provisions and in no mood for battle. Had the French not tried to bar their way there would have been no battle at Agincourt.

  2. Deskarati says:

    I think you nailed it Alfy. I have always been interested in comparing the appeal of art from different times. And especially in movies and TV programs. Although I’m sure university art under grads are just as excited discussing a Rembrandt plump lovely compared to a Pre Raphaelite nymphet. But back to Agincourt on the big screen, Branagh’s less theatrical performance definitely appeals to my modern ear, but I’m sure that might not have been my opinion back in 1944.

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