Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Not Exactly The St. Crispin's Day Speech

Before I get to things today, I thought I would point out an interview I did over at Penelope Crowe's blog Hot Books Daily. With the primary writing for Heaven & Hell finished (check out the blog marked Reaching The End of the Line over there to the right if you haven't read it yet), I answered some questions on the process of writing it. Check it out, and comment!

Now, onto the mischief at hand today....

Some of you might be puzzled by the blog title I've gone with today. You might be asking yourselves... St. Crispin's Day speech? What is he talking about now? In response to that, I must shake my head in dismay and roll my eyes. I must, of course, dismiss you as an uncultured barbarian if you have no idea what that means.

I have a great appreciation for the works of the Bard, of course. William Shakespeare, for you uncultured barbarians who don't get the St. Crispin's reference. I've seen a good number of the plays on stage and screen. My personal favourites among his works have to be Twelfth Night, Hamlet, and Henry V. That last one is, of course, where the St. Crispin's Day reference comes from. To introduce you uncultured barbarians to it, and to refresh your memories to those who know it, I give you Kenneth Branagh's take on the speech. After that particular rallying cry, I'd be following him straight into the gates of hell.

Incidentally, watch closely for a very young Christian Bale in that clip.

This brings me to the other half of this particular blog. The series Due South was a personal favourite when it was on the air in the 90s. It was a fish out of water police comedy-drama, taking a Mountie (Paul Gross) and placing him in Chicago. The final episode, Call Of The Wild, featured a skewed take on the St. Crispin's Day speech, delivered by the late great comic actor Leslie Nielsen, who occasionally turned up on the series as a veteran Mountie. Given that today is, in fact, the Eleventh of March, it's entirely appropriate to present to you this twisted rallying call to arms. Enjoy it!

With that, I give you the Eleventh of March speech.


  1. I loved Due South! Not that I don't appreciate Shakespeare, but give me a guy in a Mountie uniform and that wonderful furry sidekick of his any day!

    Excellent blog, partner!

  2. Erm... ok I am a barbarian and proud of it! But I loved Due South so much I flew all the way to Toronto for a Due South Convention! Yes I did!

    Happy St Crispin's Day!

    Take care

  3. I had a look about at St. Crispin's Day... which actually has a lot of history to itself. It's the 25th of October, though it's no longer marked by the Catholics. I'll have to write something about it in October...

  4. I miss all the Saints Day celebrations. I grew up Polish Catholic and let me tell you we love our saints.

    I was puzzled by the heading as I knew St. Crispin's Day was in October.
    I loved Henry V bought the movie and OST. I also enjoyed Much Ado About Nothing, I always tear up at the end.

    As for Due South I loved that series. So much fun all wrapped up in a Red Mountie Uniform !

    Thanks for great post today and a much needed smile... my heart is with my family in Japan today.

    cheers, parsnip

  5. Happy March 11th to one of our band of writing brothers! Cute post, William.

  6. William, you always teach us something new! Thanks for the information. I love Shakespeare of course. Due South, it's been awhile! Enjoy the day, and in October, remind us again. Take care!

  7. I've got the movie and soundtrack too, Parsnip; one of my favourite Patrick Doyle scores. His take on the Non Nobis Domine scene, mixed with the film footage, is one of the most powerful film sequences I've ever seen.

    I posted that over at facebook earlier... and something I didn't know came up in the credits for the link. Christian Bale, who I've seen in the movie periodically, is actually the body Branagh carries through that sequence.

  8. That was one show I never watched that much of, but I do remember it. And, there's nothing like a man in uniform...any uniform...heck, I might have to blog about that!! Thanks for the idea!

  9. Hilarious! Gotta love Leslie Neilson, eh? I'd never seen that one before. I am familiar with the St. Crispin's Day speech since I've taught English 12 and it's often used in our departmental practice exams here in BC. I also enjoyed the Kenneth Branagh clip - he was so young!

  10. Tracy, my appreciation for Shakespeare actually survived a high school teacher who had a particular knack for draining the life out of any book she had in the curriculum. She should have never been a teacher. If the other English teachers I'd had through high school had been the same, I wonder if I'd have enjoyed the Bard.

    She is, however, the reason I still don't like Romeo & Juliet... honestly, the woman drained the life out of the play entirely!

  11. Thank you as always for stopping by my blog. Yes, it is personal.

  12. Due South! Oh, I loved that show. You've brought back memories...

  13. I'm a big fan of satire, and few do it as well as Leslie Nielsen. Thanks for sharing.

  14. I get a laugh every time I watch that clip. Buck Frobisher was my favourite of his roles. Yes, even more then the Airplane role....

  15. I'm only a semi uncultured barbarian. I lean toward Shakespeare when he's got women dressed as men or people emoting in the moonlight rather than the whole war and honor whatnot.

    And dang it, I missed the Southern thing. As one of the guys in the picture appears to be Leslie Neilson, it was probably a hoot.

  16. What is in a name? That which we call a blog by any other name would still be informative.

  17. Oh shit, I'm an uncultured barbarian!

  18. I may be uncultured but I have studied a bit of the Bard. I LOVE Henry the V. It may be my favorite. The scene where they play Non Nobis, Domine in the Kenneth Branagh movie is the best, ever.


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