Richard III

London Films Productions

Drama History
155 min     7.145     1955     United Kingdom


Having helped his brother King Edward IV take the throne of England, the jealous hunchback Richard, Duke of York, plots to seize power for himself. Masterfully deceiving and plotting against nearly everyone in the royal court, including his eventual wife, Lady Anne, and his brother George, Duke of Clarence, Richard orchestrates a bloody rise to power before finding all his gains jeopardized by those he betrayed.


CinemaSerf wrote:
Whilst Laurence Olivier has been acclaimed by many as the greatest exponent of Shakespeare ever, it is pretty clear in this strongly cast adaptation of probably my favourite of his histories, that Ralph Richardson and John Gielgud were every bit as good as he ever was. Add to this excellent cast Sir Cedric Hardwicke (and his instantly recognisable voice) as Edward IV; Mary Kerridge's excellent performance as Queen Elizabeth (Woodville) and a host of accomplished British stage actors and the scene is set for a rousing and luscious depiction of betrayal, lust and power. It is a bit over-theatrical at times, and the stage-bound nature of the vast majority of the production can be a little limiting, but Olivier directs himself and the others pretty much as I imagine the bard himself might have done. The dialogue is delivered in a focused and effective fashion and the "method" acting is largely left at the stage door as this epic tale of treachery and duplicity gathers pace and the internecine nature of the characterisations and their intrigues are readily brought to the fore. It does require a bit of concentration, but I found it positively flew by on a big screen that had me glued from the start. I reckon this is as good an interpretation of William Shakespeare as you will ever see, and is well worth a watch.