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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

Credited cast:
Peter Aldwyn ...
Peter Benson ...
Brian Binns ...
Gerald Blackmore ...
Stephen Brigden ...
Anthony Brown ...
...
...
Anne Carroll ...
Paul Chapman ...
Michael Cogan ...
...
Rowena Cooper ...
Arthur Cox ...
Lord Grey / Lord Mayor of London
Stuart Cox ...
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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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23 January 1983 (UK)  »

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Richard III  »

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Trivia

This episode was filmed on the same set as the three Henry VI plays. However, designer Oliver Bayldon altered the set so it would appear to be a ruin, as England reached its lowest point of chaos. In the same vein, the costumes became more and more monotone as the four plays went on; The First Part of King Henry VI (1983) features brightly coloured costumes which clearly distinguish the various combatants from one another, but by this point, everyone fights in similarly coloured dark costumes, with little to differentiate one army from another. See more »

Connections

Follows The Second Part of King Henry VI (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fantastic Tudor propaganda
2 October 2009 | by (North Yorkshire) – See all my reviews

I recently purchased the 4 DVD versions of the BBC TV 1980's 'Henry VI/Richard III' series and they have had me spellbound.

I agree withe the general view of other commentators that the excision of the British 'hammy' style does nothing but enhance the powerful sweep of this epic.

In the final play Ron Cook's deliberately paced and under-stated (by comparison with, say, Olivier) performance renders a powerful image of the 'toad'.

I was especially struck by the scene with the 3 women characters where they debate the evils wrought by their various male relatives on them and their offspring.

The last few scenes covering the night before the battle of Bosworth where the stream of ghosts taunting Richard then support Richmond, highlights what a great piece of pro-Tudor propaganda this play is.

I know that my comments are really about the original Shakespeare play but this production made it live for me.

The final scene with Margaret cackling on top of the heap of dead is a masterstroke!


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