Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

Henry V (1989, Kenneth MacMillan)

TitleHenry V
Release LocationsGB
DirectorKenneth MacMillan
Length2 hrs, 18 mins
Play ConnectionsHenry V (adaptation)


Premiered in New York City on November 8, 1989, Kenneth Branagh's Henry V is one of the best Shakespeare movies ever made because it strikes a nearly perfect balance between the demands of Shakespeare's language and the aesthetics of filmmaking. Director and star, Kenneth Branagh, who has been active with London's Renaissance Theatre group, saw his movie not so much as a challenge to Laurence Olivier's famous 1944 production as an attempt to reinterpret Henry V for our own time. At mid-century when Britain was under siege from Nazi Germany, Olivier stressed nationalism and the values of the heroic warrior. In Branagh's contemporary production, the emphasis falls on the personal struggle and maturation of the young prince as he comes to power. In preparation, Branagh interviewed Prince Charles of England, to get a feeling for how a real life prince might feel when walking in mufti among the populace. A distinguished cast supports Branagh, to include Dame Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi, Ian Holm, Paul Scofield, and Alec McCowen

Description from Shakespeare on Screen : an International Filmography and Videography by Kenneth S. Rothwell and Annabelle Henkin Melzer. ©1990 Kenneth S. Rothwell. Cited by permission. — Added 2008-11-14

Cast Overview

BoyChristian Bale
ExeterBrian Blessed
Henry VKenneth Branagh
BardolphRichard Briers
CambridgeFabian Cartwright
FalstaffRobbie Coltrane
Mistress QuicklyJudi Dench
CourtPat Doyle
ConstableRichard Easton
WarwickNicholas Ferguson
WestmorelandPaul Gregory
FluellenIan Holm
SoldierMark Inman
ChorusDerek Jacobi
ErpinghamEdward Jewesbury
CanterburyCharles Kay
BedfordJames Larkin
DauphinMichael Maloney
ElyAlec McCowen
AliceGeraldine McEwan
MessengerDavid Parfitt
BatesShaun Prendergast
French KingPaul Scofield
MacMorrisJohn Sessions
GloucesterSimon Shepherd
YorkJames Simmons
ScroopStephen Simms
PistolRobert Stephens
KatherineEmma Thompson
GreyJay Villiers
GowerDaniel Webb
TalbotTom Whitehouse
WilliamsMichael Williams
JamyJimmy Yuill
ChildCalum Yuill

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorKenneth MacMillan
ProducerStephen Evans
ProducerDavid Parfitt
ProducerBruce Sharman
EditorMike Bradsell
ComposerPat Doyle
ComposerSimon Rattle
CostumesPhyllis Dalton
MakeupPeter Frampton
ProductionHugh Cruttwell
ProductionNorman Dorme
ProductionTim Harvey
Text AdviserRussell Jackson

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell