Monday, June 13, 2005

Once More Under the Bridge

The Squirrelings have been watching the 1940's version of Henry V, and it is so good that Mama Squirrel would like to recommend it to any home squirrelers doing the early 1400's in history, or learning about Shakespeare or his time period. For those who have never seen it, it was made in Britain during WWII, which meant not only that the patriotic theme was especially appropriate but also that props were in short supply, especially anything made out of metal--so they had to use painted wooden swords and so on. (Mama Squirrel asked the Apprentice what the film company might be most short of during the war, and she said, "Male actors?" After Mama Squirrel stopped laughing, she acknowledged that that likely would have been a problem as well in a movie needing lots of extras, but she doesn't know how they got around that one.) They stepped neatly around the tacky-prop problem by setting most of the film right on the Globe Theatre stage in Shakespeare's time, complete with a booing, cheering audience, people walking around selling fruit, hats that get left backstage, and a rain shower partway through! As the film goes on, the "Chorus" character encourages you to imagine you're right there on the battlefield or whatever, and the settings become more realistic.

Oh, and the title of this post? As King Henry shouted "Once more unto the breach, dear friends!", Crayons (just turned 4) looked puzzled and asked, "Why are they going under the bridge?"

(She was also a little upset that the Falstaff character died during the film, and when we told her it was just pretend, for the movie, she looked relieved and said, "It was just a deadly faint, then." (A favourite phrase from Diana and her Rhinoceros, see post here.))


Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Your family stories bring such light and laughter into our lives! Thank-you so much for sharing.

Mother Hen said...

OooH! looks like I'll be checking out the local Blockbuster to see if they have this movie. I love old movies and the chicks have developed a sudden interest in Shakespeare! Sounds like this is win-win movie for us!!