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The Hollow Crown - TV Mini Series [DVD]

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Frequently Bought Together

The Hollow Crown - TV Mini Series [DVD] + Hamlet [DVD] [2009] + Shakespeare: Richard II [David Tennant] [RSC] [DVD] [2014] [NTSC]
Price For All Three: £28.80

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Product details

  • Actors: Ben Whishaw, Jeremy Irons, Tom Hiddleston, Patrick Stewart, David Morrissey
  • Directors: Rupert Goold, Richard Eyre, Thea Sharrock
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: None
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Oct. 2012
  • Run Time: 520 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (357 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007P3Q95K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 920 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

The series re-imagines the classic tetralogy of William Shakespeare’s most celebrated history plays - Richard II, Henry IV Parts One and Two, and Henry V - with unprecedented ambition, exploring themes of succession, power, corruption, and greed in a singular sweeping production.

Four Parts Include:
Richard II (140mins)
Henry IV Part 1 (120mins)
Henry IV Part 2 (120mins)
Henry V (140mins)


The latest show to close the gap between the production values of the big screen and television, The Hollow Crown is a sumptuous piece of work, filling the screen with simply glorious visuals, and real period detail. It pulls together and reimagines four of William Shakespeare's plays, from Richard II and Henry V to both parts of Henry IV. Then, it brings in a cast boasting the likes of Jeremy Irons, Patrick Stewart and Tom Hiddleston, acting heavyweights who make much of the already strong material. The end result is something very special indeed.

The idea of bringing four plays together in one mutli-part production is a strong one anyway, but The Hollow Crown really is an accessible yet deep look at three different kings and their differences. Of course, that leaves ample room for politics, power struggles, family and conflict, and the sheer ambition of what's on the screen is refreshing and engrossing.

The disc release also digs into how it all came together, spending some time looking at the making of the series and includes a collection of interviews from some of the substantive cast.

It's terrific to see something as bold, interesting and risky as The Hollow Crown working as triumphantly as it does. Clearly made by people with a love for the material, it's exquisitely done Shakespeare, very much for all. --Jon Foster

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

154 of 163 people found the following review helpful By Sarah on 26 July 2012
Format: DVD
The Hollow Crown is the best drama shown on the BBC for many years. Every aspect of the production was first rate, particularly the top notch cast and wonderful cinematography with beautiful landscapes. In Richard II Ben Whishaw gave a fine performance as a king tormented by his own insecurities and finally deposed. Each subsequent drama seemed to reach a higher plane than the last, culminating in a superb final rendition of Henry V. I agree that cutting the conspiracy scene (crucial) and enlarging the role of the Duke of York in Henry V were mistakes. However, Simon Russell Beale and Jeremy Irons were both excellent as Falstaff - showing the character's more reflective side as well as his roistering - and the ageing King whose dreams of the crown turn to bitter reality. But I have to single out Tom Hiddleston's performance as Henry V as quite exceptional, I totally disagree with those reviewers who disliked it. Some of the speeches such as the Crispian's day one were low key and pensive, but all the more moving for that I would argue, and his courtship of the Princess showed a wonderful light touch. This Henry V starts off as a dissolute young man who matures into a courageous leader of men but also a profound thinker who is fully aware of the horrors of the war that he unleashes. If Hiddleston does not win many awards, I will be surprised - he is one to watch. I can't wait to get the DVD now.
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164 of 176 people found the following review helpful By C. Dale on 11 July 2012
Format: DVD
If you buy any DVD of a TV production this year, it has to be 'The Hollow Crown'. I have watched countless film and television versions of Shakespeare's plays in the past and I can honestly say there have been none like these versions. Forget David Tennant's edgy, modern-day 'Hamlet' (hard, I know, as it was pretty unforgettable): these new history plays are simply stunning.

I think what is rarely touched upon in reviews is how accessible these new films make Shakespeare. I watched 'Richard II' with my mum hoping she would not get bored by the long, philosophical speeches, but she thoroughly enjoyed it. Even for a literature student Shakespeare isn't exactly a walk in the park and having not approached 'Richard II' before, I was thinking, as I sat down to watch it, that I should have made an effort to skim-read the play in my Collected Works, just to get a gist of the plot. I'm glad I didn't. Watching the film was like looking into Shakespeare's world through a new pair of Specsaver glasses: everything came startlingly into focus. I promise you, if you are attentive and ready to engage, 'Richard II' is as accessible, exciting and fun to watch as any other epic action film you are likely to see.

I can't praise the settings, cinematography and costume of the first instalment enough. And I would certainly run the risk of sounding gushy ('you already are, dear') if I started on Ben Whishaw's performance as Richard. But this guy is incredibly good. This film is incredibly good. The handing over of the crown scene literally took my breath away. Whishaw excels so much here that it is by far the most sublime part of the film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By amazon customer on 23 Nov. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The perfect gift for history enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
The Hollow Crown brings the plays Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V to viewers in a very comprehensive manner. While each director offers their own take on their respective serial, it really does feel like a unified body of work here, a dramatic telling of the history of the British monarchy.

Ben Whishaw, Jeremy Irons and Tom Hiddleston each portray the titular kings, but they are not the only big names here. Patrick Stewart, Julie Walters, Geraldine Chaplin, John Hurt, Richard Griffiths, David Morrisey, and others show up. This is a project that certainly attracted a high calibre of talent and for good reason.

These are solid adaptations of Shakespeare historical dramas Or tragedies, depending on your point of view and school of thought. If you' re not sure if you're a fan of "the bard? this probably isn't the best place to start. Henry V might be pretty accessible, but in the context of watching it after Richard II and Henry IV, it is much more interesting.

"The Hollow Crown" is couched in production values that lend an air of authenticity to all proceedings, from the use of appropriate locations around the UK to the gritty realism of Danny Cohen, Ben Smithard and Michael McDonough's cinematography as well as Odile Dicks-Mireaux and Annie Symons' striking period costumes and the I-can-feel-the-castle-drafts production designs of Andrew McAlpine, Donal Woods and Alan MacDonald.

Although it's a shame Henry V doesn't quite match the earlier parts of this four-play Shakespearean extravaganza, The Hollow Crown is still a wonderful achievement, bringing the Bard to vivid life and really showing what a great writer he was (and not just because your English teacher told you so). Highly recommended.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Deniza Futuro on 5 Aug. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am Brasilian so I grew up watching only the most popular Shakesperean plays. Only Henry V ( the movie with Kenneth Branagh) I knew a little. It was very good for me to watch these historical plays that comprises the group of Shakesperian plays that covers the history of the War of the Roses. I liked it very much and Jeremy Irons was superb as Henry IV. Tom Middleton as Henry V in the play of Henry IV was little more than a playboy and he played the part very well. As Henry the V his part grew and so his gravitas as a King. I loved his scene with Catherine of Valois, very playful and spoken in French (the original play asks it of the actors). RIchard II I did not knew at all but loved how the actor played the misguided King. The figurines were superb and the castles and rooms looked as I think they should have looked in the 15th century. And as a plus: Subtitles. For a non-english, subtitles for Shakespeare are a necessity. I think that even persons that are born in England these days do not understand the 16th century language of Shakespeare so subtitles are very good to study the language and to not lose itself in the melée of the dialogues. Very aptly titled: THE HOLLOW CROWN, after the monologue in the first play (Richard II), it describes the fight of men that are cousins and desire above anything to be king (to put the crown of England in his head). But this crown is HOLLOW, so I understand, the Power that it confers is transitory and very bitter. Very wise and very sad because as the war of roses continued, we see these powerful cousins destroying each other to end with a wasted land and many years of civil wars. Beautiful played Shakespeare. ( I ask forgiveness if I mispelled the name of some actor in this review, because my english is not very good, please check the review of Amazon for the names of the actors)
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