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Richard III (1955)

Not Rated  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  11 March 1956 (USA)
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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 10 wins & 1 nomination. 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
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


In the scene when Richard tells King Edward of Clarence's supposed treason, two monks are singing hymns from a large book: their lips are not only out of sync with their singing, but with each other. See more »


Richard: Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious summer by this sun of York, And all the clouds that glower'd upon our house in the deep bosom of the ocean buried. Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths, our bruised arms hung up for monuments, our stern alarums changed to merry meetings, our dreadful marches to delightful measures. Grim vised war has smoothed his wrinkled front And now instead of mounting barbed steeds to fright the souls of fearful adversaries he capers nimbly in a ...
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 Great Performances: John Gielgud: An Actor's Life (1988) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The best Shakespearean film ever! Unparalleled!
26 October 2001 | by (Moscow, Russia) – See all my reviews

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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