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Richard III (1983)

The Tragedy of Richard III (original title)
Richard of Gloucester uses murder and manipulation to claim England's throne.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Benson ...
Antony Brown ...
Sir Richard Ratcliffe (as Anthony Brown)
...
...
Anne Carroll ...
Paul Chapman ...
...
Rowena Cooper ...
Arthur Cox ...
Lord Grey / Lord Mayor of London
...
David Daker ...
...
Henry, Earl of Richmond / Second Citizen / First Messenger
Jeremy Dimmick ...
Tenniel Evans ...
Derek Farr ...
Sir Robert Brakenbury / Earl of Surrey
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Storyline

Richard Duke of Gloucester, youngest brother of King Edward IV, will stop at nothing to get the crown. He first convinces the ailing King that the Duke of Clarence, his elder brother, is a threat to the lives of Edward's two young sons. Edward has him imprisoned in the Tower of London; killers in Richard's pay then drown Clarence in a barrel of wine. When news of Clarence's death reaches the King, the subsequent grief and remorse bring about his death. Richard is made Lord Protector, with power to rule England while his nephew (now King Edward V) is still a minor. Before the young king's coronation he has his two nephews conveyed to the Tower, ostensibly for their safekeeping. Richard's accomplice, the Duke of Buckingham, then declares the two boys illegitimate and offers Richard the crown, which after a show of reticence he accepts. After Richard's coronation, he and Buckingham have a falling-out over whether or not to assassinate the two children. Written by Peter Brynmor Roberts

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Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

23 January 1983 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Richard III  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At 239 minutes, this production was the longest episode in the entire BBC Shakespeare series, and when the series was released on DVD in 2005, it was the only adaptation split over two disks. Of the 3,887 lines comprising the First Folio text of the play, Howell cut only 72; roughly 1.8% of the total. See more »

Connections

Version of Masterpiece Playhouse: Richard III (1950) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Trenchant begins to describe this version...
31 October 1999 | by (Bay Area, California) – See all my reviews

I'm fairly sure that many educated and interested-in-film folk have seen the superb and terrifying McKellen version, but sadly, I'd bet hardly anyone remembers this version, which in the original was the capstone of the cycle of plays that begins with Richard II and continues through the various Henry plays (six of 'em). The series was cast as a whole, and the list of actors is a who's-who of British acting skill, culminating in this horrorshow of a play. From the opening moments, when the camera pulls back from the last frame of Henry VI, Part III to reveal a small blackboard, onto which a disembodied hand scrawls Richard III in chalk, to the final frame, where Margaret sits, cackling hysterically atop a pile of bodies (all the characters killed in the preceding eight plays), this version assaults you and tests your ability to withstand true, and intentional villainy, as personified in the demonic Richard. See this version...plague the BBC with letters asking for it to be reissued...write to the actors and shower them with adulation..whatever it takes to return this play to the public eye, where it richardly belongs. Cheers!


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