"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
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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
Laurence Olivier wanted to cast Orson Welles in the role of Buckingham, but life-long friend Sir Ralph Richardson wanted the role, and Olivier gave it to him. In his autobiography, Olivier says he wishes he had disappointed Richardson and cast Welles instead as he would have brought an extra element to the screen, an intelligence that would have gone well with the plot element of conspiracy. 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 »
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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