"Now is the winter of our discontent..." With these timeless words, Duke Richard - lounging on his sun deck - sets his murderous plans in motion. His goal: to eliminate the hated rival ... See full summary »
Maria Conchita Alonso
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
The first film to have its U.S. premiere in theaters and on TV simultaneously. This occurred on the afternoon of 11 March 1956, when NBC-TV broadcast the film on the same day it had its U.S. premiere in New York. (It had already had its world premiere and first run in London in 1955.) The telecast was the longest single presentation of a film or play (three hours counting the commercials) ever shown on TV up to that time. Classic British films presented by J. Arthur Rank, such as Caesar and Cleopatra (1945), had already made their network TV debuts on an ABC-TV program titled "Famous Film Festival", but many of these were either drastically cut to fit a ninety-minute time slot or shown in two parts. Walt Disney had already begun, on his Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (1954) TV program, to telecast some of his theatrical films, but these were shown in two or more one-hour segments, one segment per week, or edited down to one hour, as in the case of Alice in Wonderland (1951) . It was not until CBS showed The Wizard of Oz (1939) in 1956, that an uncut, full-length theatrical film was shown on network TV during prime time in one evening. See more »
When Richard and Buckingham are standing over Edward IV's deathbed, and Buckingham says 'To part the Queen's proud kindred from the princes', Ralph Richardson's lips are out of sync. See more »
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.
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