The classic Shakespearean play about a murderously scheming king staged in an alternative fascist England setting.

Director:

Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Richard III (1955)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Shakespeare's powerful tale of the wicked deformed king and his conquests, both on the battlefield and in the boudoir.

Director: Laurence Olivier
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Cedric Hardwicke, Nicholas Hannen
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Al Pacino's deeply-felt rumination on Shakespeare's significance and relevance to the modern world through interviews and an in-depth analysis of "Richard III."

Director: Al Pacino
Stars: Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey
Othello (1995)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The evil Iago pretends to be friend of Othello in order to manipulate him to serve his own end in the film version of this Shakespeare classic.

Director: Oliver Parker
Stars: Laurence Fishburne, Kenneth Branagh, Irène Jacob
King Lear (TV Movie 2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

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.

Director: Trevor Nunn
Stars: Ian McKellen, Ben Addis, Frances Barber
Henry V (1989)
Action | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In the midst of the Hundred Years' War in 1415, the young King Henry V of England embarks on the conquest of France.

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi, Simon Shepherd
Restoration (1995)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The exiled royal physician to King Charles II devotes himself to helping Londoners suffering from the plague, and in the process falls in love with an equally poor woman.

Director: Michael Hoffman
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Sam Neill, David Thewlis
Hamlet (1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns home to find his father murdered and his mother remarrying the murderer, his uncle. Meanwhile, war is brewing.

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Julie Christie, Derek Jacobi
Titus (1999)
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Titus returns victorious from war, only to plant the seeds of future turmoil for himself and his family.

Director: Julie Taymor
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Lange, Osheen Jones
Henry V (1944)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In the midst of the Hundred Years' War in 1415, the young King Henry V of England embarks on the conquest of France.

Director: Laurence Olivier
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Robert Newton, Leslie Banks
Richard III (2008)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

"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 »

Director: Scott Anderson
Stars: David Carradine, Sally Kirkland, Maria Conchita Alonso
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The last days of Frankenstein (1931) director James Whale are explored.

Director: Bill Condon
Stars: Ian McKellen, Brendan Fraser, Lynn Redgrave
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Young lovers Hero and Claudio, soon to wed, conspire to get verbal sparring partners and confirmed singles Benedick and Beatrice to wed as well.

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Keanu Reeves
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
George, Duke of Clarence
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Rivers' Mistress
...
...
...
Edit

Storyline

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 <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

I can smile, and murder while I smile See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

29 December 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ricardo III  »

Box Office

Budget:

£6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

£403,233 (UK) (17 May 1996)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Prince of Wales: Goodnight Father.
King Henry: Goodnight son.
Prince of Wales: Goodnight your majesty.
See more »

Connections

Version of Richard III (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Come Live With Me
Paraphrased from "The Passionate Shepherd to his Love,(1599)" by Christopher Marlowe
Performed by Stacey Kent and Vile Bodies
Music composed by Trevor Jones
Arranged by Colin Good
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Brilliantly thought out, superbly played and totally gripping
5 June 2000 | by (Rural Kent, UK) – See all my reviews

I'm not always comfortable with Shakespeare in modern dress, nor with Ian McKellen's apparent assumption of the mantle of Olivier and Gielgud. Neither did I think that anything could top the experience of seeing Antony Sher play the role on the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Bosworth.

So after all the unfavourable comment, I was shocked to find this version comprehensively squashing all such reservations. It's brilliantly thought out, superbly played and totally gripping from start to finish.

The updating to a non-specific inter war period is not just apposite but genuinely illuminating. The games McKellen plays with the changing techniques of warfare in the period, the rise of fascism, realpolitik and the undermining of royalty by the Wallis Simpson affair, push back the boundaries of Shakespeare on film in all directions.

For example, at the very moment you're thinking that all this mayhem is a bit much in English period costume, the helmets change, then the uniforms get darker, the red flags appear and Richard's acceptance speech turns into an underground Nuremburg Rally - a stark reminder of just how deeply the country flirted with fascism in the 30s and just how short and steep the descent can be. Stanley's troops, crucially uncommitted, stood off overlooking the real Battle of Bosworth. McKellen's Richard has control of the railway network here, but Wing Commander Stanley denies him the all-important air support in a superb piece of updated analogy. Throughout, modernity is so carefully and relevantly overlaid on the plot structure that it becomes one of the great pleasures and achievements of the piece.

Lots of surprises, not the least of which comes as the play's most famous line is perfectly re-engineered and delivered and lots of great players at the top of their form.

McKellen, Scott Thomas, Broadbent, Downey Jnr and Annette Bening are all worth the price of admission individually, but there's hardly a flaw in any of the performances.

I simply can't see what the detractors are on about at all. Really. An epic piece of work. Easily the best version on film. Easily the most thought provoking Shakespeare on film.


59 of 67 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Modern era adaptations of Shakespare jean-gove
LIES!! tinkerbell52504
East German uniforms? djmoon17
Favorite moment? palehorse864
Help with a plot point re: Lord Stanley lemon_magic
1930s? mike-1871
Discuss Richard III (1995) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?