Laurence Olivier's "Henry V"
Poster from the First Cinema Release
United Artists, 1944
30 inches x 40 inches
Produced, Directed and Starring Laurence Olivier, Henry V was a big screen adaptation of William Shakespeare's epic history play. It is listed within the 'Top 20' of the British Film Institute's 'Top 100 British Films of All Time' and often described as a "masterpiece".
Made to be an inspiration to those fighting in WWII, there were obvious paralells at the time with a British fleet setting sale to fight in France to try and win a great victory against the odds (Olivier delivers the famous "St Crispin's Day" speach in a particularly rousing fashion). Accordingly the film was "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 score by William Walton is considered a classic of cinema music.
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