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 Shakespeare al cinema: drammi e tragedie


Henry IV, part I

1979, regia di David Giles

   

Scheda: Nazione: GB - Produzione: BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), Time-Life Television Productions  - Distribuzione: BBC Television - Soggetto: dall'Enrico IV di William Shakespeare - Sceneggiatura: Alan Shallcross - Montaggio: Stan Pow - Costumi: Odette Barrow - Musiche: David Lloyd-Jones, William Walton - Formato: Color, film tv - Durata: 147' (155').

Cast: Anthony Quayle, Jon Finch, David Gwillim, Tim Piggot-Smith, Michele Dotrice, Brenda Bruce, Rob Edwards, David Buck, Robert Brown, Clive Swift, Bruce Purchase, Robert Morris, John Cairney, David Neal, Norman Rutherford, Richard Owens, Terence Wilton, Jack Galloway, Gordon Gostelow, Steven Beard, Sharon Morgan, Mike Lewin, David Bailie, Douglas Milvain, Neville Barber, George Winter, Michael Heath, Malcolm Hughes, Julian Battersby.


 


Plot Summary, Synopsis, Review: IMDb - allmovie.com - leninimports.com - ftvdb.bfi.org.uk - screenonline.org.uk-1 - screenonline.org.uk-2: While King Henry IV attempts to unite the warring factions making up his kingdom, his son Prince Hal prefers the rumbustious company of Sir John Falstaff. Broadcast on 9 December 1979 as the second part of a four-play cycle that began with a repeat of Richard II (BBC, originally tx. 10/12/1978), Henry IV Part I opens with a brief flashback to King Richard's murder, providing a graphic reminder that Henry Bolingbroke's ascent to the throne was by no means either smooth or necessarily legitimate. Some continuity is provided by the repeated casting of Jon Finch as Henry (whose increasingly disease-ridden skin symbolises the rottenness at the heart of his court), though most of the other roles common to both plays have changed, with Tim Pigott-Smith taking over from Jeremy Bulloch as a fiery, red-headed Hotspur. The biggest name in the new cast was Anthony Quayle, who had played Sir John Falstaff on stage for decades, with two earlier incarnations broadcast live by the BBC... His rendition is far from the jolly buffoon of legend, emphasising not only the character's age and alcohol-induced infirmity but also his scheming, conspiratorial nature and frequent willingness to stab his colleagues in the back for personal gain (aspects that would be accentuated in Part II). All of which is entirely true to Shakespeare's original text, but these darker aspects of Falstaff's character are often neglected by actors and directors who prefer to stress the comedy. David Gwillim makes an appropriately ingenuous Hal, taking full advantage of the opportunity to develop the character over three lengthy plays from young prince to fully-fledged King Henry V: by the end of Part I, having defeated Hotspur at Shrewsbury, he has won his spurs in more than just the literal sense. David Giles' competent if conservative production takes a broadly similar approach to his Richard II, confined to the studio but with no attempt at symbolic stylisation: the tavern scenes in particular have an authentic-looking grubbiness. Although clearly restricted by budget, the battle scenes are staged with a convincing physicality, though Hotspur's final lines are somewhat muffled by having to deliver them through a mouth full of blood, a gratuitous touch that came in for much criticism at the time... (Michael Brooke).

    

Conosciuto anche con il titolo: The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: Henry IV, Part I.


Henry IV, Part II

1979, regia di David Giles

   

Scheda: Nazione: GB - Produzione: BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), Time-Life Television Productions  - Distribuzione: BBC Television - Soggetto: dall'Enrico IV di William Shakespeare - Sceneggiatura: Alan Shallcross - Montaggio: Stan Pow - Costumi: Odette Barrow - Musiche: David Lloyd-Jones, William Walton - Formato: Color, film tv - Durata: 155'.

Cast: David Gwillim, Michele Dotrice, Jon Finch, Bruce Purchase, Brenda Bruce, Rob Edwards, Martin Neil, Roger Davenport, David Neal, Michael Miller, Richard Bebb, John Humphry, Salvin Stewart, David Strong, Carl Oatley, Rod Beacham, David Buck, Brian Poyser, Ralph Michael, Anthony Quayle, Jack Galloway, Gordon Gostelow, Bryan Pringle, Steven Beard, John Fowler, Robert Eddison, Leslie French, Raymond Platt, Frederick Proud, Julian Battersby, Roy Herrick, Alan Collins, John Tordoff, Roger Elliott, Jenny Laird, Frances Cuka, Tim Brown, Colin Dunn.


 


Plot Summary, Synopsis, Review: IMDb - allmovie.com - leninimports.com - moviemail-online.co.uk - ftvdb.bfi.org.uk - screenonline.org.uk-1 - screenonline.org.uk-2: In the final years of Henry IV's reign, the monarch worries about his regal responsibilities and whether his son Hal will ever measure up to them. Broadcast on 16 December 1979, the BBC Television Shakespeare's Henry IV Part II retained the same cast and production team as Part I (shown a week earlier), though it showed a few small differences in approach. About a quarter of the original text was excised (more than the other BBC history plays), resulting in a tighter, more focused production, which also benefited from the play being arguably better suited to television. While Part I was sweeping and expansive, Part II is low-key and intimate, most key scenes being played out between just two or three people in medium shot. The illness that was already beginning to exert its grip on Jon Finch's Henry IV has now visibly erupted on his skin, impossible to miss in the close-ups accompanying the already pessimistic "uneasy lies the head" soliloquy, his face mirroring the crumbling of his kingdom, a world apart from the confident young buck who seized the throne from Richard II. David Gwillim's Prince Hal has also darkened and deepened, notably in the scenes with Poins (increasingly assuming Falstaff's role as his main confidant), the long scene where Hal and Henry debate the nature of kingship beside the latter's deathbed, but also in the final devastating scene where he renounces Falstaff (Anthony Quayle). Here, a sharp shift in costume and lighting serves to emphasise his newly-established regal 'otherness', he seems almost to be giving off a faint glow, and is clearly unapproachable by the likes of Falstaff and his comrades even before he utters the fateful "I know thee not, old man". As Hal and Falstaff grow further apart, so the latter becomes increasingly detached from the play's central intrigues, but Shakespeare compensates with rich pen-portraits Falstaff's surroundings. The Eastcheap bawdy-houses are staffed by put-upon Mistress Quickly (Brenda Bruce) and cynical, world-weary Doll Tearsheet (Frances Cuka), more than capable of defending herself against the likes of swaggering Pistol (Bryan Pringle) - at knifepoint if necessary. These are contrasted by the bucolic Gloucestershire countryside, where Justices Shallow (Robert Eddison) and Silence (Leslie French) sit and reminisce, largely oblivious of the power struggles going on around them. But David Giles' production is constantly alive to them, its focus on the machinations of power underscored by a Shakespeare in Perspective programme broadcast immediately beforehand, in which Panorama presenter Fred Emery made a convincing case for the Bard as an outstanding political commentator (Michael Brooke).

 

Conosciuto anche con il titolo: The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: Henry IV, Part II.

 

   


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