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
The original tag line "Do you have the courage to spend 83 minutes in the Tower of London?" was slightly off, since the film's running time was only 79 minutes. See more »
When Richard pushes the freshly murdered Clarence into the vat, you can see Clarence take a deep breath and hold it, just prior to being submerged. See more »
Richard of Gloucester:
Mistress Shore is dead... As Protector of the Realm, I can not tolerate treachery to the Crown... Mistress Shore has been executed for such treachery.
There was no more faithful woman in the castle.
Richard of Gloucester:
I had always thought that myself your Majesty, but when she admitted her crime, I had no choice.
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Roger Corman's "Tower of London" of 1962 is a great piece of Historical Horror and a fantastic depiction of madness, that has enriched the world of cinema with yet another magnificent performance by the incomparable Vincent Price. Vincent Price was in two films named "Tower of London" that dealt with the reign and villainy of Richard III, the other being Rowland V. Lee's great Historical Drama of 1939 in which, as a young actor, he played the supporting role of the Duke of Clarence alongside fellow icons Basil Rathbone and Boris Karloff. Personally, I first saw this 1962 film by Corman several years before first watching the 1939 film. Though both films are great, I must say that I still prefer this one. Unlike the 1939 film, this film is an actual Horror film, which focuses strongly on the King's madness and Horror elements. The reasons why I prefer this film (which is officially a remake, but very different to the 1939 version), are the Horror elements and the unspeakably intense and creepy atmosphere, but mainly the incredible on-screen persona of Vincent Price, whom I would call my favorite actor of all-time. Basil Rathbone was great in the role of the villainous king, but Price is sublime. The character is way more insane in this film. The cold-blooded, calculating villain King Richard of the 1939 film has become an equally villainous and murderous, but incalculable madman, haunted by the victims of his bloody path to kingship.
Director Corman and star Price are always a great combination, as proved by their other collaborations, the brilliant Edgar Allan Poe adaptations which mark the peak of both men's careers. Films such as "Pit and the Pendulum" (1961, also starring the wonderful Barbara Steele, my favorite actress of all-time), "The Haunted Palace" (1963, which is actually the adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft Story) of "The Masque of the Red Death" (1964) range among the greatest Horror films ever made. This is yet another magnificent collaboration of Price and Corman. Price gives a magnificent portrayal of madness and villainy in what is one of his most diabolical roles. The only film in which he plays an even more despicable character is Michael Reeves' 1968 masterpiece "Witchfinder General", and I would rate the role of Prince Prospero in Corman's own "Masque of the Red Death" on quite the same level of evilness as his role here. "Tower of London" has many macabre moments including several downright nasty torture scenes. As in all his Vincent Price films, Corman creates a genuinely creepy atmosphere, this being the only black-and-white film the two did together. Michael Pate plays the role of Richard's loyal and unscrupulous helper on his way to power, basically the role that the great Boris Karloff (another favorite actor of mine) played in the 1939 film. While Karloff played a cruel, but relatively simple-minded executioner loyal to his master Richard, the character 'Sir Ratcliffe' played by Pate is a devilishly cunning snake who isn't far behind Richard in devilish ingenuity. The settings are magnificent, and very similar to those in the 1939 film (though the photography is gloomier) it sometimes looks as if the same settings were used. Parts of the battle sequences from the 1939 film were edited into this one. Overall, this is an amazing film with another brilliant leading performance from the immortal Vincent Price. A must-see for all Horror fans!
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