Richard III (1955)

Not Rated  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  11 March 1956 (USA)
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Reviews: 39 user | 32 critic

Shakespeare's powerful tale of the wicked deformed king and his conquests, both on the battlefield and in the boudoir.



(plays), (textual alterations for his production of the play), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicholas Hannen ...
George, Duke of Clarence
Mary Kerridge ...
Pamela Brown ...
Paul Huson ...
Edward, Prince of Wales
Stewart Allen ...
Page to Richard
Russell Thorndike ...
First Priest
Wallace Bosco ...
Monk (as Wally Bosco)
Norman Fisher ...
Andrew Cruickshank ...
Clive Morton ...


Richard's military skills have helped to put his older brother Edward on the throne of England. But jealousy and resentment cause Richard to seek the crown for himself, and he conceives a lengthy and carefully calculated plan using deception, manipulation, and outright murder to achieve his goal. His plotting soon has tumultuous consequences, both for himself and for England. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

11 March 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ricardo III  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


This was Russell Thorndike's final film before his death on November 7, 1972 at the age of 87. See more »


For one shot at the end during the battle scene, right around the famous "My kingdom for a horse!" line, Richard's left hand has all five fingers. During the rest of the movie, Richard only has three fingers on his left hand as part of the character's deformities. See more »


George, Duke of Clarence: Methoughts that I had broken from the Tower, /And was embark'd to cross to Burgundy; /And, in my company, my brother Gloucester; /Who from my cabin tempted me to walk /Upon the hatches: thence we looked toward England, /And cited up a thousand fearful times, /During the wars of York and Lancaster /That had befall'n us. As we paced along Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,/ Methought that Gloucester stumbled; and, in falling, /Struck me, that thought to stay him, overboard, /Into the tumbling...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Most of the film's credits are shown at the end. The opening credits show only the title of the film, Shakespeare's name, and the names of the main actors. See more »


Featured in Shakespeare's Women & Claire Bloom (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A bravura vehicle for Olivier
23 June 1999 | by (Sierra Vista, Arizona) – See all my reviews

Many great actors made their names with this Richard, and it turns out to be Olivier's greatest Shakepearean role as well. He captures the whole production coiling his way around the Crown of England: his asides to us through the camera are lovely. They say all actors love to play a villain. Well, it works for me.

The movie is beautiful, rich; the costumes are awesome; and the dialogue, of course, is wonderful. He patches in that great speech from Henry VI, part 3: "Why, I can smile, and murder whiles I smile . . .": and the movie wouldn't be right without it.

The other actors, Britain's elite of the time, seem to be tyrannized by the boss; and the text should have been edited better, because if you don't know the play and practically the whole history you'll get lost. Not to worry, though; the subplots here aren't really important (but they should be), and the thundering battle at the end will leave you satisfied. Special mention of Sir William Walton's music, the vibrant colors, and of course, England itself.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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