The immediate impression of Olivier's 1946 adaptation of Henry V is that it is very brash and quite cheerful in its "warlike" pageantry. The Technicolor production is so grand and bright, the characterizations so epic and sweeping; there is little doubt that this film was conceived to lift the English spirits, to show greatness and heroism to a war-weary people. Aside from the camp scenes at night, there are hardly any shadows in the film, whereas in Branagh's adaptation there scarcely exists a shot without them. There is great levity and irreverence in the presentation of the globe theater and its inhabitants in the early scenes. On the other hand, nearly every scene of the 1989 movie is simply drenched in dignity and self-importance, with somber hues all about. In the performances, the Branagh version is definitely more in tune with modern perceptions of realism: the emotions just seem more sincere and less "actor-ish." ...
There's more good stuff there. The reason I wrote this (no, 'twasn't just for fun) was that I thought there was a writing assignment to go along with our viewings of the two adaptations. There wasn't so I thought I'd get some use out of it at least.
It's normally my policy not to put my school papers on here for two reasons: (1) They're usually quite boring [not that this one isn't]. And (2), I'd rather not make 'private' school matters a part of my 'public' life on here. It's just a bit weird, I think, not to mention the fact that people in my own classes could possibly rip me off somehow should they find this site and steal my work. But I guess I've just gone and allowed that very thing to occur if there are any lazy high-schoolers who are diggin' around for a HV-themed paper. Well now you've got one.
Be sure to attribute me in your bibliography, or I'll sue your sorry @$$! ;-)
Wiley, Steven. "Two Retellings of Henry V." 28 Oct. 2002. http://userpages.umbc.edu/~swiley1/blog/HVmovies.htm
Oh yes, by the way, since I wrote the composition as a Word document, you might still find those annoying < tags > MSWord loves to infect the net with. You got a problem with that??? Then buy me a copy of Dreamweaver or something, and then I promise it won't happen again. posted by Steve
11/02/2002 11:14:00 PM
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