HAMLET (1996)
1996, Warner Bros., 242 min, UK, USA, Dir: Kenneth Branagh

Director Kenneth Branagh updates Shakespeare's classic to the second half of the 19th century and presents it in all its unedited glory in this epic treatment, one of the last films to be shot in 70mm. Actor Branagh shines in the title role, but director Branagh wisely surrounds himself with an astonishing supporting cast that includes Julie Christie, Sir Derek Jacobi, Kate Winslet, Rufus Sewell, Charlton Heston, John Gielgud ... and even Robin Williams and Billy Crystal! Not to be missed on the big screen.


HENRY V (1989)
1989, MGM Repertory, 137 min, UK, Dir: Kenneth Branagh

Kenneth Branagh became an international star with his debut directorial effort, in which he also stars as the warrior king of the title. Emma Thompson is Henry's love interest, and Ian Holm, Christian Bale and Judi Dench are just a few of the supporting players. A film filled with both lyrical dialogue and smashing action sequences, HENRY V is as exciting as cinema gets.


THE COMMITMENTS
1991, 20th Century Fox, 117 min, Ireland, UK, USA, Dir: Alan Parker

Director Alan Parker (MIDNIGHT EXPRESS and THE WALL) teamed with veteran writing/producing duo Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais to turn Roddy Doyle’s brisk novella into a rollicking saga of mishap and achingly funny defeats snatched from the jaws of victory. A young hustling Dubliner shapes a ragtag bunch of miscreant Irish kids into a full-blown rock ’n’ soul revue despite their best efforts to self-destruct. The raw talent of the Irish performers - including Andrea Corr of The Corrs and Glen Hansard of The Swell Season - imbue Motown soul classics with Celtic heart. Their would-be manager explains the improbable collusion simply: "The Irish are the blacks of Europe. And Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland."


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