My Own Private Idaho (1991)

A very fascinating take on Shakespeare’s “Henry IV” plays, along with a somewhat disconnected character story about family (and narcolepsy). The Keanu Reeves material is a fun, fairly straight adaptation of Prince Hal’s arc from the “Henry IV” plays, transposed into a modern hustler world. The River Phoenix material is a more ethereal, stream-of-consciousness type…

Henry V (1989)

Certainly a more interesting adaptation than 1944 Olivier “Henry V”, but far from the masterful heights of Welles’ “Chimes at Midnight”, Branagh’s “Henry V” is an entertaining film full of prestige trappings (very talented cast, fantastic score, an impressive production) but one that feels oddly hollow at times, like there was no greater vision behind…

Chimes at Midnight (1965)

A masterful work of singular vision, where five Shakespeare plays are adapted and reworked to construct a breathtakingly powerful work of cinema shining light on a nuanced take of a character Welles felt a powerful, deep, resonant connection with. The writing alone is magnificent, with the skill behind the arrangement of various scenes and lines…

Henry V (1944)

This adaptation of Shakespeare’s historical epic “Henry V” waters down and simplifies a lot of the text (indeed, it was effectively funded as British propaganda to function as a morale booster during the war, so most of the material that couldn’t be framed jingoistically was cut), but adds a whole new, complicated metatextual layer to…