"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 strongly considered casting Orson Welles as the Duke of Buckingham but felt obligated to cast his close friend Ralph Richardson in the role. Olivier came to regret this decision as he believed that Welles would have added an element of conspiracy to the film. 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 »
Duke of Buckingham:
And is it thus? Repays he my deep services/ With such contempt? Made I him King for this?/ O let me think on Hastings
[who has been beheaded]
Duke of Buckingham:
and let me be gone/ To Richmond, while my fearful head is on.
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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 »
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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