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 film actually begins with nearly all of the final scene of Shakespeare's "Henry VI: Part III", and from then proceeds to the opening lines of "Richard III". See more »
During the opening credits, the movie is introduced as "Laurence Olivier Present's Richard III by William Shakespeare". The word "Present's" should read "Presents" - the apostrophe is in error. See more »
I just can't find words to describe how I like this film. It is the most magnificent film I've ever seen. And it is certainly the best work of Laurence Olivier. I came to learn about this film quite accidentally. I was watching on TV some program about Shakespeare's plays and their adaptations. There were a number of fragments from different films and from this one too It was the moment where Richard is offered a crown, he refuses at first and then accepts. I was stunned when Buckingham approached Richard to congratulate and Richard suddenly made him kneel down and kiss his hand. The gesture was so majestic, imperative and full of evil triumph. I understood at once that it was a great film. I've bought VHS tape as soon as I've found it and I've already seen it about dozen times. It's superb. Everything is splendid screenplay, costumes, scenery and acting. I like John Gielgud as noble Clarence and Ralf Richardson as cunning Buckingham, and especially Claire Bloom as gentle and unhappy Lady Anne. However I still admire Laurence Olivier more than anybody else. I just can't forget his terrific voice and acting at the scene of first Richard's monologue that reveals malicious ambitious, mercilessness and devilish ingenuity of the Duke of Gloucester. Another scene I adore is his wooing Lady Anne. Both actors are great. Olivier is so convincing and moving that I believe any woman could surrender. Olivier maintains high standards of these impressive scenes through the whole film until the final battle. Richard is desperate and courageous at the end, he is killed but his spirit is not broken (he can be afraid of ghosts, not real enemies). Shakespearean play is brilliant and the film is worthy of the original. It's the most glorious historical movie of all times. I recommend everyone to see it.
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