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 Comparisons and differences between, Lawrence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh in their films of Shakespeare’s Henry V.

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Introduction

Comparisons and differences between, Lawrence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh in their films of Shakespeare's Henry V. 1945 1989 Henry V was written as a play during a time of patriotism within England and England's plans of territorial and economic expansion were coming to light. The play was a great morale booster to the people as they prepared for the up and coming years, many of the scenes show the St Georges flag flying high and hopeful. It showed war's glory and hopes but at the same time put across the dedication and commitment that went into winning great battles such as the one at Agincourt. Lawrence Olivier directed his film in 1940's, the war years as they are often referred to. The labour party were in power at the time they were elected in the election July elections. These troubled times in England caused wide spread depression and films such as this were mainly produced as moral boosters and with war in its ending days they retold the miraculous story involving one of Britain's most hard fought and triumphant victories. ...read more.

Middle

Henry marries the Princess and has France as English territory. Lawrence's battle scene lasts 16 minutes. This is a long period in screen time, the way Olivier has decided to set his scene put is to be as patriotic as possible the target audience being war veterans or young army cadets it is almost like an advertisement or a piece of propaganda showing the people how they can help Britain in its battles. It also shows it also shows how hard people fought for their country but I believe that this isn't the main purpose of the film. In 1945 films were becoming more popular people often spent their rations on the theatre and a film like this must have bought great happiness to a time of dismay. Films like these are often called period pieces they retell a story from a particular period. The story had started out as a stage play but the with the ever more improvements in technology film had become the next phase in entertainment as DVDs have become now. ...read more.

Conclusion

is playing the part of King Henry V. Olivier makes it completely obvious about which character is which. Even the horses are wearing shiny armour and in battle you can tell which side each horse belongs to, the French horses are black and the English horses are white, white representing purity and holiness. Branagh is not wearing such dazzling costumes but more subtle and easier to fight in Branagh does fight a lot in his version. Both pieces were carefully constructed suitable to there period in time Olivier's was a piece of propaganda for the second world war and boosted moral in the 1940's. Branagh's piece was also propaganda but Branagh had more technology available to him and so he was able to use special effects such as slow motion. Branagh's piece also had more music in it also had the Non Nobis song in at the end much more patriotism. Overall both pieces did what they were suppose to do but my favourite is Branagh's piece because he show a true hard fought battle with more gore so it is much more realistic. ...read more.

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