HENRYI am a huge fan of the British actor/director Kenneth Branagh. I became a fan in 1989 when I first saw his masterful film version of Shakespeare’s Henry V.

At the time I was a young lad who had just finished my Orson Welles phase. I read several biographies of Mr. Welles and was most fascinated with his early career where he produced and directed epic adaptations of Shakespeare for the stage and created his masterpiece, the film Citizen Kane, while he was in his mid-20s.

When Henry V hit the world, Kenneth Branagh, himself still in his 20s, was the subject of many Welles comparisons. I was in the perfect position to fall under the spell of this new wunderkind of cinema and I fell quickly. To this day I love Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V and his St. Crispin’s Day speech is one of my most favorite movie scenes ever. And the cast, which includes a young Christian Bale, a pre-fame Emma Thompson and established British actors including Judy Dench, Derek Jacobi, Paul Scofield, Ian Holme and Brian Blessed, is amazing.

SKBHaving bonded with Mr. Branagh early, I have followed his career with great interest. A career, much like Mr. Welles’, which had been filled with ups and downs and some may say never lived up to the early promise. However, I am happy to say that 25 years on his collective work is amazing and worthy of all the accolades that were predicted early on.

So it was with great pleasure that I learned that Kenneth Branagh has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. I mention this now because he was knighted back in 2012 and it really was under the radar. However, I plan to watch his version of Henry V today and relive my own youth and revel in the fact that he is now, forever more, to be known as Sir Kenneth Branagh.

Sir Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V is available on DVD from Amazon and other fine retailers.

See Sir Kenneth’s Henry V Saint Crispin’s Day speech on YouTube here.