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King Richard the Second (1978)
This is a brilliant adaptation of Shakespeare's Richard II. Derek Jacobi is absolutely amazing as Richard (His speech at the end of the film just before he gets murdered is brilliantly read) and so is John Gielgud as John of Gaunt (He is particularly good in his final scene). There are many other superb performances too including Jon Finch as Bolingbroke and Charles Gray as York. For some reason, they chose to film the outdoor scenes indoors and many sets aren't very good too. But seeing as the acting is some of the best i have ever seen, that doesn't matter much.
A Brilliant adaptation and a wonderful recreation of the period
I loved this film. It is good in almost every way. The acting is great (Claire Bloom as Queen Catherine and Timothy West as Wolsey were particularly good) as you would expect from a BBC film but as well as that it was actually filmed on location at Penhurst Place, Dover Castle and Leeds Castle and there are some wonderful costumes. Sometimes, what you see on the screen looks like a painting of the time come to life. Also, there is a lot of music from the period and one of the songs ("Orpheus and His Lute" I think) was sung by Emma Kirkby. The only thing about it that I don't think is brilliant is the play itself. It is a bit dull, especially when listened to on audio cassete and even more so when reading it. However in this adaptation, the play and the characters come to life.
I don't know why the BBC don't release "The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare" series, on video. The ones I've watched have all been very good and have some very well known British actors
A good TV drama
I'm glad I watched this. It is a good production of a neglected (and in my opinion unjustly so) play. Leonard Rossiter gives a magnificent performance in the title role. There are, as well as him, many other very good performances (notably Claire Bloom as Constance and John Thaw as Hubert). The film however was very obviously filmed entirely indoors and does not attempt to hide the fact. Due to this, the supposedly outdoor sets are very bad, some of it unnecessary. For some reason, when the scene is in France they painted Fleur-de-Lys in the sky and the town walls of Angiers look like what you'd expect from a children's playground. However in spite of this I enjoyed it very much. It has excellent acting, quite good costumes (though again, some of this looks a little stagy) some nice Medieval music and good directing.