Ian McKellen gives a tour-de-force performance as Shakespeare's tragic titular monarch in this special television adaptation of the Royal Shakespeare Company production of one the playwright's most enduring and haunting works.
"Now is the winter of our discontent..." With these timeless words, Duke Richard - lounging on his sun deck - sets his murderous plans in motion. His goal: to eliminate the hated rival ... See full summary »
Maria Conchita Alonso
William Shakespeare's classic play is brought into the present with the setting as Great Britian in the 1930s. Civil war has erupted with the House of Lancaster on one side, claiming the right to the British throne and hoping to bring freedom to the country. Opposing is the House of York, commanded by the infamous Richard who rules over a fascist government and hopes to install himself as a dictator monarch. Written by
Anthony Hughes <email@example.com>
Maggie Smith (The Duchess of York) plays the mother of Ian McKellen (Richard III), Nigel Hawthorne (George, Duke of Clarence) and John Wood (Edward IV). In real life, however, she was less than five years older than McKellen, five years younger than Hawthorne and four years younger than Wood. See more »
Richard III died aged 32, after reigning for 2 years. Ian McKellen was in his mid-50s during filming and no attempt is made to hide his age. However he was not the first or last middle-aged actor to play the role. See more »
This is one of the movies you remember for a long time - and for all the good reasons. Transplanting Shakespeare in a different time and giving his historical plots a modern political sense is not such a new idea. What is really strong and works well here is the perfect fit between the characters as Shakespeare intended them and the background which is so different from the original historical one. Each one of the characters is both shakespearian as intended, a perfect citizen of the fictional time created by the director - a fascist England in the 30s - and more than everything else a human being: sensual, hating and loving as only humans do.
Perfectly acted, almost flawlessly directed, with very little overweight, this film is a feast for the intelligent spectator, a brutal, well-paced and expressive piece of art - and exactly as Shakespeare would have loved it, a mirror of his time, of our time, and of any time. 9/10 on my personal scale.
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