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14 user 1 critic

Richard II (1978)

King Richard the Second (original title)
The incompetent Richard II is deposed by Henry Bolingbroke and undergoes a crisis of identity once he is no longer king.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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David Swift ...
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Richard Owens ...
Janet Maw ...
Queen
Jeffrey Holland ...
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Storyline

The incompetent Richard II is deposed by Henry Bolingbroke and undergoes a crisis of identity once he is no longer king.

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Details

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28 March 1979 (USA)  »

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Richard II  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director David Giles shot the episode in such a way as to create a visual metaphor for Richard's position in relation to the court. Early in the production, he is constantly seen above the rest of the characters, especially at the top of stairs, but he always descends to the same level as everyone else, and often ends up below them. As the episode goes on, his positioning above characters becomes less and less frequent. See more »

Quotes

Henry Bolingbroke: My heart this covenant makes, my lips thus seals it.
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User Reviews

 
Wonderful, hard to think of what is wrong with it
30 August 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I have loved Shakespeare since reading Twelfth Night in my sixth year at primary school. And I admire most of the actors here, most notably Derek Jacobi and John Gielgud. This performance of Richard II is just wonderful. The production values are very good if not as good as the dialogue and performances. The sets do convince you of the time and place at least, and the costumes do have a sense of regality to them. Shakespeare's dialogue is brilliant, both poetic and forceful.

And the story of loyalty and betrayal as well as rebellion and politics is always compelling and delivered and staged with utter conviction. All the performances are superb, delivering their lines gracefully and intelligently with a good deal of intensity when needed. In particular Derek Jacobi, his performance is a masterclass in abject humiliation that later replaces Richard's kingly pride complete with a regal demeanour and a sense of human thought. Jon Finch is a handsome yet appropriately dark and brooding Bolingbroke and Charles Gray and Wendy Hiller give equally adept performances, but it was John Gielgud that gave the best supporting performance, his This is England...speech is chillingly moving in how elegiac the dialogue and delivery was.

Overall, the brilliant performances especially were what made this Richard II so great. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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