Henry V

Director: Laurence Olivier
Year Released: 1945
Rating: 2.5

Olivier's customized film of Shakespeare's Henry V - it excises a whole ton of lines and changes the tone so things are more light-hearted - made as propaganda during World War II. It isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be (or at least when I read about the liberties taken with the text) and viewing it in proper context is mandatory, as I'm certain Olivier wouldn't have made the film the same way fifteen years later. But his charisma as the mad leader (oh, make that heroic leader) and stark depiction of the perils and violence of battle (oh, no, I meant to say fighting on a bright, shining, bloodless day) carried me through it. Branagh's version - not without its flaws and more than a little overblown with regards to its performances - is arguably better.