The Hollow Crown

The Hollow Crown

The Complete Series : Richard II, Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2, Henry V

DVD - 2013
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After halting a duel between warring nobles Bolingbroke and Mowbray, Richard II banishes both men from his kingdom. Following the death of Bolingbroke's father, John of Gaunt, Richard seizes his money and land to pay for wars against rebels in Ireland. Bolingbroke returns to claim his birthright and more.
"The newly crowned King of England, Henry V, (Tom Hiddleston) is persuaded by his courtiers including Exeter (Anton Lesser) and York (Paterson Joseph), that he also has a rightful claim to lands in France. The chorus (John Hurt) tells of England's preparations for war and Henry's army sails for France. After Exeter's diplomacy is rebuffed by the French King (Lambert Wilson) Henry lays siege to and captures the town of Harfleur. The French now take Henry's claims seriously and challenge the English army to battle at Agincourt"-- Container.
Pt 2. Northumberland (Alun Armstrong) is told of the death of his son Hotspur in service of the King (Jeremy Irons). The Lord Chief Justice (Geoffrey Palmer) attempts to separate Falstaff (Simon Russell Beale) from the Prince Hal (Tom Hoddleston). The rebels continue to plot against the crown but their forces are outwitted. This brings comfort to the dying King, who is finally reconciled with his son. Falstaff rushes to Hal's coronation with the expectation of high office.
Pt 1. Prince Hal (Tom Hiddleston) defies his father, King Henry IV (Jeremy Irons) by spending his time at Mistress Quickly's (Julie Walters) tavern in the company of the dissolute Falstaff (Simon Russell Beale) and his companions. The King is threatened by a rebellion led by Hal's rival, Hotspur (Joe Armstrong), his father Northumberland (Alun Armstrong), and his uncle Worcester (David Hayman). During the Battle of Shrewsbury Hal faces Hotspur in mortal combat.
The Hollow crown: New adaptations of Shakespeare's tetralogy of history plays comprising the 'Henriad' for the BBC's 2012 Cultural Olympiad: King Richard; II King Henry IV, Part 1; King Henry IV, Part 2 and King Henry V. The plays chronicle a continuous period in British history from the end of the 14th century to the aftermath of the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. Together, the plays comprise a story with recurring themes of power struggles, redemption, family conflict and betrayal -- IMDB.
Publisher: Universal City, CA : Universal Studios, [2013]
Branch Call Number: DVD TV SHOW HOLLOW C
Characteristics: 4 videodiscs (8 hr. 48 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.
Alternative Title: Hollow crown


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Aug 21, 2018

This is the fourth time I've watched this set, and each time it seems to get better.

Outstanding series -- can made for television Shakespeare get any better than this?

Aug 19, 2018

A mixed bag. Two brilliant performances --- Richard II and Henry V. Richard II was almost unbearable to watch, particularly at the end, because of how unsuited he was for the crown he inherited, and because of how horribly he was forced to abdicate, and then severely abused and basely murdered. Henry V is one of the best renditions I've ever seen --- better than Brannaugh's I'd say. He has a humility and humanity lacking from other versions of the play, and it is not so much a British propaganda vehicle as one showing the horrible waste and tragedy of war. The French are treated with dignity and kindness, even after their massive defeat. I didn't like Henry IV Parts I and II. They spend far too much time with Hal and Falstaff, and not enough time with the underlying plot elements leading inexorably to both The Wars of the Roses and also Henry V. Admittedly, I've never been a fan of Falstaff. I've read both plays and he's a drunk, a boor, a rogue, a thief, and a liar and I see nothing humorous or noble about him. Also, Part I didn't deal with the rapidly deteriorating opinion that Hal had of Falstaff as the play proceeded and Falstaff heaped shame upon shame for his own personal gain, culminating in the exchange:

Act 3, Scene 1, lines 479 to 486:
Sir John (Falstaff): banish Harvey, banish Russell, banish Poins, but for sweet Jack Oldcastle, kind Jack Oldcastle, true Jack Old Castle, and therefore more valiant being, as he is, old Jack Oldcastle, Banish not him thy Harry's company, Banish him not thy Harry's company, Banish plump Jack and banish all the world.
Prince Harry: I do; I will.

and at this point you see Prince Harry finally maturing and becoming future King Henry V. It's my favorite part of Part I, and it is Shakespearean dramatic genius.

Jul 26, 2018

For the most part well presented and interesting, however for real entertainment I would suggest Kenneth Branagh's Henry V. It is outstanding, lavish, authentic and loaded with drama and humour; also outstanding Shakespearean acting.

Aug 21, 2017

Disclaimer: I did not watch Richard II in its entirety. For me, the attraction is Falstaff, who figures prominently in the two parts of Henry IV. The production is such that you seem to be transported back 700 years. The grandeur and squalor of London assaulted your senses. The battle scene depiction may not be on par with Brenagh's Agincourt but it is enough IMHO.

Now about the characters, I saw familiar faces from GOT(not a surprise). Mr.Iron's Henry IV makes you weep when he lamented about his playboy Prince of Wales (my nearest and dearest enemy...) and in his last breath, making peace with Henry V -- the gradual decline from a powerful king to the withered and illness-stricken old man... Mr. Hiddleston is a good match to portrait playboy-turned-warrior-king Henry V. Falstaff is the star of the two episodes -- we know he is a liar and a cheat but he has certain qualities that make people not able to dislike him -- perhaps that shows how capable the actor that portrayed him is -- reading Shakespeare's play text simply would not give you the impression.

Mar 07, 2017

My God, Ben Whishaw is such a fine actor! Visually this series was tops... I never seem to be able to 'forget' I am in the presence of Jeremy Irons when he is onscreen. I know. I know- he's a more than capable actor, I just never quite forgot he was PORTRAYING HenryIV... full disclosure: I didn't watch Tom Hiddleston's performance. (for me it's Kenneth Branaugh who embodies Henry V)... Highly recommend "The Hour" for anyone who wants more of Ben Whishaw

Jan 24, 2016

Richard II -- Ben Whishaw was brilliant. Sympathetic yet majestic and weak at the same time.
Henry IV,part I and Part II. I'm sorry , this was boring. Jeremy Irons and Joe and Alum Armstrong are riveting. But I think the actors who played Falstaff and Hal have been miscast.
Henry V -- I don't even remember this because I lost interest.

Jun 11, 2015

It was well done & would take me a dozen more times to even get the gist of WS. Just don't have the mind for his brilliance.

Dec 09, 2014

I'm someone who doesn't understand the language of Shakespeare. After 10 minutes of listening to something that sounds half Greek, that's it for me.

Aug 21, 2014

This is a series of British television films featuring William Shakespeare's History Plays.
This DVD includes an adaptation of Shakespeare's second historical tetralogy: Richard II, Henry IV, Part I and Henry IV, Part II (treated as one film in two parts in the series) and Henry V.
This TV series aired in the United Kingdom in 2012.
The first episode, "Richard II", is the best of all in the sense that it really grips you in the most dramatic way with bloody yet fascinating scenes.
In the film, after interpreting King Henry's "living fear" as a reference to the still-living Richard, an ambitious nobleman goes to the prison and murders the former king.
In history, however, he is thought to have starved to death in captivity on or around 14 February 1400.

EuSei Aug 03, 2014

Boring! Before the highly offended start attacking my lack of "taste," I could never stand Shakespeare, but I thought I’d give it a try; wish I hadn’t. And since I was not raised in the US, I didn’t have to suffer studying his literature, AND you won’t be able to impute me with the usual "stupid American" label! Besides, where I come from, we say that taste is something that can’t be debated! But what really surprised me was the feminine mannerisms affected by actor Ben Whishaw, in a clear attempt to portray Edward II as a homosexual! Yet, it shouldn’t be a surprise since nowadays every other historical figure is been imputed with that sexual taste. I highly recommend partisans of that line of thought to peruse Michael Prestwich and Seymour Phillips’ works. (Attempts to censor my comments will be fiercely fought under the aegis of the ALA's beloved principles: Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Read, Intellectual Freedom.)

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