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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
During the Battle of Bosworth an archer shoots at Richard, on his horse, from a gully below. One of the UK's top archers was employed for this stunt. The horse was padded, but the arrow missed its mark and wounded Laurence Olivier in the lower leg. However, this worked to Olivier's advantage, as the Battle of Bosworth scenes were the first to be shot for the film. For the rest of the shoot, Olivier did not have to fake Richard III's famous limp. 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 »
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 ...
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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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