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

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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 ...
Monk
Andrew Cruickshank ...
Clive Morton ...
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Storyline

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


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

11 March 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ricardo III  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The recently-restored version includes shots of opposing forces reconciling after Lord Stanley changes sides. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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...
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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 »

Connections

Version of The Life and Death of King Richard III (1912) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

the masterpiece of the master.... phenomenal
25 June 2004 | by (surrey, england) – See all my reviews

Henry V was said to be Laurence Olivier's greatest screen role for British Propaganda reasons... he inspired England etc. during World War 2; there is no denying it, his Henry is brilliant. But he surpasses his own genius as Richard.

"Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this son of York" just seeing Richard's stooped, deformed figure hobble to the camera like some monstrous spider; to hear those bitter words delivered with such articulate power, and to be penetrated by that stony, constant glare is enough to know that this is no ordinary actor... this is a thespian whose legend will leave generations and generations of actors to come hopeless (teeth gritted) Whatever people say, Kenneth Brannagh will NOT be the next Laurence Olivier!!!

This movie has a fantastic cast: get this! Ralph Richardson AND John Geilgud AND Claire Bloom! Claire Bloom is especially exquisite and I think she plays the soulfully lamenting Lady Anne to perfection. Her scenes with Olivier are great; there is such agitation and irony between the two. I especially like it when he woos her by her husband's tomb... just goes to show how even in a tyrannical role Olivier can still steal a woman's heart with his irresistible seductiveness. She is beautiful and a most accomplished actress; I wonder why she is not better known... is Richard the only Shakespeare film she did????

Geilgud is wonderful as the doomed Clarence, done to death by the scheming Richard; my only disappointment was in Buckingham, played by Ralph Richardson. Richardson left me with a completely wrong impression of Buckingham, who (or so I learn from the play) is not all that different in character from Richard; but is scheming and devious also. Sad to say, (and I have read Olivier admits it so himself) Richardson was cast wrongly as the Duke of Buckingham... he acts too innocent and unsuspecting.

I must also give a technical comment on the camera angle; I would have preferred to be nearer Olivier at some parts of his scenes... that said, I must say I liked the scenes theatrical as such... why are other reviewers always moaning about the costumes and the settings? The costumes I liked, the settings I liked, the music by william walton was great (olivier had good taste in music though he was definitely not a musician himself) and really suited the swiftly changing reflective to agitated moods of the characters.

That said, I believe Laurence Olivier's Richard III to be (with perhaps the exception of his Henry V) the most worthily majestic film ever made in England. The greatest of course, would have been to see such a master of his incandescent talent on stage as Richard since Olivier was finest on stage live, but to be realistic, there is not much of his stage performances recorded, if any, and to be left this masterpiece that Shakespeare himself would have been proud to see performed, is a tribute to the most incredible actor of this century, and most probably, of all time.


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