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Kenneth Branagh made his mark as an outstanding Shakespearean actor and director upon the release of Henry V, his first film. Branagh wrote the screen adaptation, starred in, and directed the film to astounding critical and popular acclaim, establishing him as a most gifted and versatile film artist. With a marvelous cast, including Richard Briers, Robbie Coltrane, Judi Dench, Ian Holm, Derek Jacobi, Alec McCowen, Geraldine McEwan, Paul Scofield, John Sessions, Robert Stephens, and Emma Thompson, Branagh brings the play into contemporary times, adding a darker and harsher sensibility. Included here are Branagh's screenplay and introduction, and dramatic stills from the film.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was a poet, playwright, and actor who is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers in the history of the English language. Often referred to as the Bard of Avon, Shakespeare's vast body of work includes comedic, tragic, and historical plays; poems; and 154 sonnets. His dramatic works have been translated into every major language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.