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Agincourt, the films...

 

For those who don't know much about existing films, there are two versions and here are presented these two major productions : 

                    

 

First Version 

The 1945 film from Lawrence Olivier :


Back in the 1940's, the film was made to motivate troops during the 2nd world war. It's a classic from Lawrence Olivier and the Shakespearian old school.  The decors give a feeling of a "fairy tale" story being unvailed in the 16th century "Globe theater" of London, while transporting the scenes, to the battlefields of the medieval period. The excellent costumes, conform (for alot of them) to what people would have worn back in the 16th century and in 1415. Considering the difficulties of the time, it's quiet amazing to think they made such big efforts on costumes.
 
We will go as far as saying that today's re-enactors (for some of the troops !), they really ought to take good exemple on the costumes and armours being presented in this film....

Even if we prefer the Kenneth Branagh version, this film remains a good old "classic" and for most of the costumes, décors and armours, it is a very interesting and pleasant film, well worth watching still.

 

Second Version

The 1989 film from Kenneth Branagh :

Here is an all together, very different interpretation and is by far, our unequalled preferred version :

We will start by saying that the budget was small for this production and explains why soldiers costumes are not as authentic as the first film. Never the less, we can see that good efforts were made when looking at the excellent court costumes (as seen below) and other details that were also used (collar of "SSSS" of Lancaster's chivalrous order). 


Scene were Princess Catherine of France is being persuaded by the King of England to think that her forced union with him, isn't something to be thought of as being something counter productive against the kingdom of France and its piers.
(Left : Emma Thomson,  Centre rear : Geraldine Mc Ewan, Right : Kenneth Branagh )

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The performance, the quality and the force of the acting, remove all existing imperfections present in the film. You're simply taken by the greatly played scenario and the music that is perfectly reworked everytime, to support and match every aspects and moods of the unfolding scenes !... 

The soul, the spirit and the essence of this play is so brilliant that we will go as far as to say that it created in us, an unsuspected interest for this period, through this particular film. It is for us, the master piece reference of Shakespeare's play and must be seen ! 


Here is a scene were the King of France, Charles VI of Valois, is passing on to Charles d'Albret, Constable of France, a claim lettre from the King of England, Henry V.
(Left : Paul Scofield, Right : Richard Eaton)

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The film is becoming rare and is available in English version only. 
We haven't been able to find a french version or with french subtittles (pitty really)
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The film is realised and played by the kingly Kenneth Branagh playing Henry V, Richard Easton, as our excellently played Constable of France, Charles d'Albret, Christopher Ravenscroft, as Montjoy the French herald, playing also the herald for the English (???), the touching and regretted Paul Scofield as our King of France Charles VI, Brian Blessed, as the raging Exeter, Emma Thomson perfectly chosen to play the most beautifull Princess Catherine and not forgetting gentle Alice, her entrusted maid servant Geraldine McEwan, Derek Jacobi, Simon Shepherd, James Larkin, James Simmons, Charles Kay, Alec McCowen, Fabian Cartwright, Stephen Simms, Jay Villiers, Edward Jewesbury, Ian Holm, Daniel Webb, Jimmy Yuill, John Sessions, Shaun Prendergast, Patrick Doyle, Michael Williams, Richard Briers, Geoffrey Hutchings, Robert Stephens, Robbie Coltrane, Christian Bale, Judi Dench, Michael Maloney, Harold Innocent, Richard Clifford, Colin Hurley, David Lloyd Meredith, David Parfitt, Nicholas Ferguson, Tom Whitehouse, Nigel Greaves, Julian Gartside, Mark Inman, Chris Armstrong, Paul Gregory, Callum Yuill, and all other participants that played in this brilliant and most excellent, film. 

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Due to Kenneth Branagh's film, the battle of Azincourt (or Agincourt !) became our focussed point of interest in our hobby. 

Nothing was much happening in the re-enactment world for this particular period, in England or France. Same thing in or close by the village of Azincourt, well...  it's more complex than what can meet the eye but we won't go into that muddy path, as we all know; the mud in Agincourt is quite heavy ! 

Some years l 

Lastly, we cherish the idea ( if it's ever at all possible...) to be able to meet and invite actors that played in the Kenneth Branagh film "Henry V", before 2016 !... 
We would like them to become "godfather or godmother, honorary members" of the Azincourt Alliance and we dearly hope that our plea will be enventualy heard... 
We invite them (or their agent)to contact us directly here, to try and see how best we can help make this happen, in providing them the most reassuring and secure environment to welcome them...

Thank-you,
Jean-Louis Amador
President of l'Ost d'Albret and French coordinator for the Azincourt Alliance.

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