Focus on "Henry V":

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Page Three Audio File

Olivier effortlessly weaves the Chorus’s speeches into his film. Because the audience trusts the Chorus’s information and bias, it also understands that the story cannot be told without the Chorus. Films such as Branagh’s do not achieve this audience trust with their own Choruses. Branagh’s Chorus is played by Derek Jacobi, who seems just slightly out of place and like he does not belong to the events of his own story. By the end of Olivier’s film, Banks’s Chorus is less of an intrusive narrator as he is a storyteller who has reached the end of his tale before we were ready. When a narrator does his job well, the audience never thinks twice about the role and its potential disruption of the story. Olivier uses his Chorus and the textual cuts to dispel plot confusion and warmly welcome his viewers into a heroic escape. If Henry could vanquish his enemies and reinstate peace, so could the populace of England in World War II.

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