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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
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 »
I brought this curse upon this house when my womb concieved you... Better I should have died in my labor... and never unleashed your evil... upon this Earth.
Richard of Gloucester:
You talk of evil... You, who gave me deformity in form of a twisted spine and a withered, arm. Who possesses the greater evil my mother? You who made me this way, or I who have to bare it!
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The team of Roger Corman and Vincent Price is undoubtedly most famous for the adaptations of Edgar Allen Poe's works, but it would be unwise to ignore this interpretation of William Shakespeare's play 'Richard III' as it's one of the duo's finest hours! This same story was brought to the screen 23 years earlier with the 1939 film of the same name (also featuring Vincent Price), but Corman's version, although obviously made on a limited budget is still a great version of the tale. The plot features prominent themes of envy, greed and insanity, and the story of one of England's most famous rulers is interesting for its own merits, and Corman's portrayal of it makes it interesting for fans of classic horror also. The plot begins with the death of the current king of England, Richard's brother. The throne is intended to go to the brother's son, but King Richard has other ideas as he begins to murder all those that stand in his path to the most coveted seat in the country. However, what he doesn't count on is his conscience getting in the way; and before long, he is being haunted by the ghosts of his victims.
Every film in the Corman's Poe Anthology is filmed in colour, but here Corman shoots on black and white film, and it does the story no end of favours as the atmosphere always feel thick and foreboding, and gorgeous shots of smoke filled locations help to increase the tension. The fact that the film stars the great Vincent Price is most definitely its strongest element. Price is best at playing villains and people suffering from mental torment, and here he gets to do both in the meaty role of King Richard III. Price's acting style certainly suits Shakespearian roles as he's never afraid to go over the top, and I'm sure Corman was always happy to capitalise on this fact as Price is allowed to let rip completely during many instances of the film. Price also manages to look sinister while he's being hammy, and just small things such as the little hat that Price wears give him an understated villainy that suits the role like a glove. The supernatural elements of the film are well utilised, and Corman is happy to capitalise on the horror aspects of the play at all times. The ending is a little abrupt, but overall, this film is a definite 'hit' and one that shouldn't be missed by Price, Corman and even Shakespeare fans!
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