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On the death of his brother King Edward IV, Richard of Gloucester conspires to get the throne for himself. The late King had two young sons, his heir, Edward V and the younger Prince Richard, but they are not of age and so names his other brother, Clarence as Lord Protector of the Realm. Gloucester soon kills his younger brother but is haunted by his ghost and what he has done. As he continues to kill those around him, Gloucester is haunted by those he has betrayed hearing voices and slowly descending into madness. He spreads rumors that the late King's two sons are illegitimate and therefore not eligible to ascend to the throne. He assassinates the young princes and is crowned King Richard III. The ghosts from his past have the final say however. Written by
This film was originally planned to be shot in color. On the Thursday before the Monday start of principal photography, uncredited executive producer Edward Small informed producer Gene Corman that it was going to be shot in black and white. According to Gene Corman box office take was initially good, but when word-of-mouth got out that it was in black-and-white, business dropped off. See more »
As Richard bends down to kiss the forehead of King Edward, who was dead his bed, you can see King Edward squinting both of his eyes slightly. See more »
You have executed a most trusted woman of this court without trial. You say that your motives are honorable? Those that suspect treason in others, should first look into their own hearts for loyalty.
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Great if you remind yourself this is NOT good history and you don't mind the hamminess of Price's performance.
King Richard III of England is a very tough guy to understand today because the truth about him is hopelessly muddled. Most of what we THINK is true about him comes from Shakespeare's Richard III--which is very entertaining but Skakespeare was probably no better a historian than Paris Hilton! His histories are based on both traditional tales AND an effort to make the Tudor dynasty look good (after all, Elizabeth was queen while many of his plays were produced and if they were critical of her family, he would have likely been beheaded). So, considering that Richard III was murdered by her grandfather (Henry VII), it's not surprising that in the play he's a scheming and deformed jerk. This film also is based somewhat on Shakespeare's tradition, though he's far crazier. Whether Richard actually killed his nephews, walked like a hunchback or was so untrustworthy and stupid is up for debate--and many historians do question the traditional view of the king.
Now, if you aren't a history teacher or a member of the Richard III Society (www.richardiii.net), most of this probably won't matter very much to you. My advice is to just watch the film for it's entertainment value--not historical.
As entertainment, it's not bad. Fans of Vincent Price will especially enjoy his way over the top and highly emotional re telling of the reign of Richard. Seeing his face contort and ghosts popping in and out certainly is fun to watch, as is the nasty scene involving dropping a rat in a cage on a man's face! Obviously, this is NOT a Merchant-Ivory production!! No, in many ways it's highly reminiscent of director Roger Corman's other forays with Price (such as his Poe "inspired" films). And so, if you like them, you'll love this homage to insanity and evil. If you are looking for something more...well, you won't find it.
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