The Hollow Crown

The Hollow Crown

The Wars of the Roses

DVD - 2016
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The concluding cycle of The Hollow Crown, subtitled The Wars of the Roses. Henry VI, Parts I and II and Richard III tell the story of an exceptionally turbulent period in British history. These exhilarating and emotionally charged films feature some of Shakespeare's most eloquent and powerful language.

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b
Biblitz
Oct 04, 2018

A completely satisfying War.

Sorry for everyone who doesn't appreciate Shakespeare especially the poor, starved souls like University of San Francisco students back in the day who studied not the bard but a 'modern translation' of the poor, outdated poet. A Jesuit university. Still recovering from the horror.

Always exciting when Britain's finest actors go another round with the good old stuff. Everyone here with diction most wondrous fair. Elocution as it should be, allowing one to roll about in the muck and nearly drown in that richest of dialogue.

An excellent cast - each actor as good as the next, IMO - each character falling-down drunk with power. Also a visually satisfying production with each frame like an old masterwork.

A splendid performance by the eloquent Cumberbatch. His persuasion of poor, hapless Anne -always a stretch - was most convincing - a first for me - as was his serial killer's disgust with his victims, Richard being the only true victim in Richard's psychopathic view.

Seeing the plays together is almost a guilty pleasure - one that amplifies understanding of evil Dick and the episodes that shaped his dark motivation.

Highly recommended especially for those contemplating a political career.

I think Hollow Crown may hold special appeal to some if one considers how swiftly, for example, Evil Dick was able to dispose of so many loathsome relations. Perfect holiday fare for some but not all.

s
scribby
Jul 05, 2018

I agree with the reviewer below that this is the original "Game of Thrones". Shakespeare chronicles the War of Roses, with all of its court intrigue, shifting alliances, battles, adultery, witchcraft, and an appalling body count. Shakespeare's language, as always, is "archaic" enough to be difficult to understand until about ten minutes in, when the viewer's ear becomes more accustomed (and then the sheer poetry of the words becomes apparent!). The settings (filmed "on location") and costuming are historically informed; the latter with added color schemes representing the personalities of the principal characters. The performances, by a Who's Who of British actors, are outstandingly nuanced, but Benedict Cumberbatch steals the show as the villainous Richard III. He portrays a pure distillation of evil with a single glance at the audience. For those new to Shakespeare, this would be a good introduction, and aficionados will find a lot here to discuss as well.

b
Beltane
Jun 25, 2018

Thoroughly enjoyed the stories and to someone not familiar with Shakespeare, they too would understand and have a clear appreciation.

Everything about this series is top-notch but the performance of Benedict Cumberbatch as Richard III, stunning. He was Richard III.

SPPL_Anna Mar 26, 2018

I was surprised by how much more I liked that Henry VI parts over the Richard III parts, but I am slowly coming to realize that I just do not care for Richard III as a play.

m
Mmegood
Nov 10, 2017

This was difficult for me to get through due to the time commitment to watch each disc. Make sure you have the time available when you check this set out! Or plan on rechecking out.

t
Twiggzette
Oct 01, 2017

Too often in the past, I have read and watched stage and screen plays of Richard III and been totally bemused. It's clear that Richard III is a monster, but the reasons for his behavior and the War of the Roses were totally unclear. In order to understand this critical period of English history, which encompassed both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, you must read, or better yet see performances of, Shakespeare's Henry VI, Henry VI Parts 1 & 2, and Richard III. "The Hollow Crown" encompasses these four plays and this period of time and is brilliantly adapted, acted, and directed for television.

These Shakespeare plays compete in greatness with his "Henriad", consisting of Richard II, Henry IV Parts I & II, and culminating in Henry V, possibly Shakespeare's most powerful and accessible historical plays. They chronicle the ascension to maturity and power of King Henry V.

c
Charlie68
Aug 14, 2017

The original Game of Thrones? Good series well acted and set really brings alive the era.

s
SteelMagnolia
Nov 22, 2016

So disappointing ... lacked a sense of story, characters not well-cast

LPL_IlkaI Oct 03, 2016

The trick to enjoying Shakespeare is make it accessible through language and visuals. This latest installment of The Hollow Crown will ne'er a hollow frown find! These three plays featured were directed by Dominic Cooke, an acclaimed British stage director, and a cast filled with acting royalty. Tom Sturridge and Phoebe Fox deliver stunning portrayals of Henry VI and Lady Anne respectively. And Sophie Okonedo...my Kingdom for more roles for Sophie Okonedo! She holds her own with the likes of Dame Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch so effortlessly. Cumberbatch's Richard III...where to start? Some people were made to play Shakespeare; Cumberbatch was BORN to play Shakespeare. It takes a rare talent to make a character as vile as Richard III charismatic and, at times, piteous. Check this series out and find yourself a fan of the Bard posthaste!

n
Nora_31
Sep 11, 2016

Thoroughly enjoyed this series. Brilliant.

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