Between the release of Henry V in 1989 and Love's Labour's Lost in 2000, Kenneth Branagh directed eight major films in a wide variety of genres, ranging from film noir to horror to comedy, and continually startled audiences around the world with his audacious and energetic film style. Initially following in the footsteps of Orson Welles and Laurence Olivier, Branagh has placed himself among the small collection of actors who have transformed themselves into award-winning directors as well. In this, the first comprehensive English-language treatment of Branagh's feature films, Crowl delves deeply into the work of this bold artist, demonstrating the means by which Branagh manages to produce films that appeal to the general public even while treating texts and themes that are traditionally relegated to the realms of academic institutions and high art. As with Branagh's own work, readers cannot help but be entertained.
After an introduction discussing Branagh's transition from actor to filmmaker, Crowl proceeds to examine all eight of Branagh's major English language films, including: Henry V, Dead Again, Peter's Friends, Much Ado About Nothing, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, A Midwinter's Tale, Hamlet, and Love's Labour's Lost. A chronology and filmography are also provided here, as is a new and exclusive interview with the filmmaker himself. Featuring photos on the sets and behind the scenes of many of Branagh's most popular films, this work is ideal for film lovers, film students, and students and readers of Shakespeare.