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About this product
- DescriptionAmid the Wars of the Roses in England, ruling monarch Edward IV's lame, misshapen brother Richard schemes to ascend the throne. Richard turns the king against their other brother, the Duke of Clarence, who is imprisoned for treason, then arranges for Clarence's murder. He then woos the Lady Anne, determined to wed her to increase his influence. When Edward finally dies, Richard plots the murders of the young heir apparent and his brother--his own nephews. His machinations accelerate and murder piles atop murder as Richard succeeds in taking the throne--and desperately tries to hold it. Laurence Olivier's classic protrayal of the ambitious, calculating man reveals both his wickedness and his unshakable strength. The lush photography and widescreen format do the elaborate battle scenes justice.
- Leading Role 1Laurence Olivier
- Director 1Laurence Olivier
- Leading Role 2John Gielgud
- Leading Role 3Ralph Richardson
- Additional Roles byClaire Bloom,Cedric Hardwicke
- AuthorWilliam Shakespeare
- Release FormatDVD
- Release Year2004
- Additional GenreGeneral
- Running Time150 minutes
Most relevant reviews
- campoutchris14 Sep, 2016by
How bad can it be?
I have taught drama for over 25 years, but had never got around to watching Olivier's 'Richard III' until I bought this item. I can only describe myself as drop-jawed and flabbergasted at just how exquisitely embarrassingly awful Olivier's performance is in this. It is like a masterclass in how to act so badly that you are watching through the gaps between your fingers while covering your eyes, or, in the case of Richard's death, with tears of laughter rolling down your face. Shakespeare's work of Tudor propaganda is bad enough, but Olivier completely embraces all of his worst urges to play a one dimensional pantomime villain, who lurches and shambles around the cardboard backdrops cackling manically or being worryingly creepy. Imagine Richard 'O' Brien's 'Riff Raff' from Rocky Horror Show on a day he set out to pick up a stranger for a sexual encounter in a toilet for Olivier's inspiration. The body contorting, twitching, writhing, sitting up, sword-dropping, stiffening, and theatrical posing stages of portraying Richard's death really is an example of an actor in desperate need of a director to pull him to one side and gently remind him 'less is more'. Olivier also cut the script to bits, dropping any bits which added a semblance of nuance to a character, and reassembling it to butcher history even more than Shakespeare already had. In addition to casting himself in the title role, he also produced and directed, so there was 'none to say him nay'. Stanley Baker as Henry Tudor is portrayed as a veritable saint, lacking only a halo and wings on his back when he appears in the finale. There is absolutely no doubt that this film was a labour of love by Olivier - for himself!! Read full review
Verified purchase: Yes | Condition: Pre-owned
- nonsonneykey19 Oct, 2015by
Brilliant film at a ridiculously cheap price!
Excellent product, one of the all-time great Shakespeare films, with Laurence Olivier in magnificent, moody form
- primrose-nurser...08 Feb, 2013by
Not to late educate yourself
I first saw this film when it came out originally;the story line is so strong it had a lasting effect on me. However as it was written in the Elizabethan era it was written to please Elizabeth the first. Any way is resulted in my becoming a fan of Richard III, and I read up on his history, the true one. Now they have found his remains, that just ads to the story. I have now bought most of the Shakespeare plays, as I have recently retire, and thought I may have time to watch them, wrong. But I will have a go, seen Othello, another great adaptation. We do not appreciate these great plays enough. Any one got Md Summers Nights Dream, cannot find is any where
- caerphillyboy20 May, 2009by
An Epic, a classic and a must see
There is not an exhaustive list of film versions of Shakespeares Richard III and I often think that this is the overlooked younger brother of Olivier's Shakespeare trilogy (also including Hamlet and Henry V). I really enjoy this version, there are times when you are reminded that it is a classic (in that you are happy to go away and make a cup of tea without pausing the film). I would say that if you like Olivier's Hamlet and Henry V then you should see this one as well as in my humble opinion it is just as good as either. Not to mention that you can say you own Olivier's Shakesoeare trilogy and many people will not know what the third film is!
- ru142007 Aug, 2008by
This is a Classic movie dating from 1963. I remember seeing it screened then and it is well worth revisiting again. This DVD transcript is well done. The great British actors of the period come across with their lines clearly. Shakespeare's play will continue to be read, and viewed for generations to come. Recommended, if only for nostalgia reasons, but valuable to the new viewer as well. R.W.
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