Richard III (1955)

Not Rated  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  11 March 1956 (USA)
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Reviews: 39 user | 32 critic

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 9 wins & 2 nominations. 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?


In the opening of the film, Richard accidentally drops the Duke's coronet after the royal party leaves. It was an accidental mistake that Olivier made but left in the film. However, it became a running joke throughout the film and later, you can see the same gag again. See more »


When Richard tells Lady Anne to kill him, she grabs the sword and it bends. It is even more noticeable when Richard puts the sword to his own neck. See more »


George, Duke of Clarence: [speaking about Edward IV, who has sent Clarence to the Tower] He hearkens after dreams and prophecies / And from the crossrow plucks the letter 'G', / And says a wizard told him that by 'G' / His issue disinherited would be. / And for my name of George begins with G / It follows in his thoughts that I am he. /These and such like toys /Have moved his Highness to commit me now.
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 »


Referenced in The Fact of Fiction (2005) 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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