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Looking for Richard (1996)

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."



(play), (narration) | 1 more credit »

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Herself / Queen Elizabeth
Gordon MacDonald ...
Himself / Dorset
Madison Arnold ...
Himself / Rivers
Himself / Grey
Himself / King Edward
Himself / Duke of Clarence
Himself / Richard III
Timmy Prairie ...
Landon Prairie ...
Prince Richard
Himself / Hastings
Himself / Lord Stanley
Himself / Earl of Buckingham
Phil Parolisi ...
Halberd / Messenger


Director Al Pacino juxtaposes scenes from Richard III, scenes of rehearsals for Richard III, and sessions where parties involved discuss the play, the times that shaped the play, and the events that happened at the time the play is set. Interviews with mostly British actors are also included, attempting to explain why American actors have more problems performing Shakespearean plays than they do. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A four hundred year old work-in-progress.


Documentary | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some scenes of violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 October 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

En busca de Ricardo III  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$33,843 (USA) (11 October 1996)


$1,361,420 (USA) (24 January 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


All the actors that appear in the film, all worked for scale in which at one point Alec Baldwin jokingly admitted during the film "Here I am working for forty bucks a day and have all the donuts you can eat". See more »


In discussion, Pacino and co. are studying the "*G* of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be," and decide, since it's supposed to refer to Clarence, that they'll change it to "'C" of Edward's heir's." The problem is, the prophecy very deliberately refers to Richard, Duke of GLOUCESTER and Clarence, Duke of GEORGE. With "G" the prophecy is true. If you change it to "C" the prophecy becomes false, and can no longer refer to two people. See more »


Barbara Everett: Irony is only hypocrisy with style.
See more »


Version of Richard III (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

Simple and fantastic
30 October 2002 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

I'll admit to some possible bias here: I like Shakespeare, I used to study acting, and I like Pacino. And I thought it was wonderful how the three were mixed together to form this great documentary.

It's not a film good just for entertainment; it's good if you feel like watching something educational, and enlightening. What I loved about the movie was how it showed the process of acting, particularly Shakespeare. You go from actors sitting around a table reading from a script, to actors sitting around a table improvising to get a feel for their character, to the finished product. And the acting is fantastic.

I enjoyed how this movie showed how good professional actors are. Because of his looks, Kevin Conway is just a character actor in Hollywood; the parts he gets are generally going to be all along the same lines. But here he gets to show just how talented, skilled, and trained actor he is. For me, Shakespeare is a litmus test. I've rarely been impressed by Alec Baldwin as an actor (Glengarry Glen Ross excepted) but here he shows that he truly is a professional actor, not just a "movie star." Unfortunately, Wynona Ryder did not past the test. I thought she was the weakest part of the movie; she did not sound at all natural. While everyone else spoke their lines as Shakespeare is supposed to sound like, Ryder sounded like she was "speaking Shakespeare." I had similar problems with Leo DiCaprio and Claire Danes in Romeo + Juliet, especially compared to the smooth and natural performances of Pete Postlethwaite and Harold Perrineau.

The movie is not for everyone. But if you enjoy acting, if you enjoy Shakespeare, and/or you simply enjoy Pacino, this is a must-see.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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