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Richard III (1955)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 11 March 1956 (USA)
Shakespeare's powerful tale of the wicked deformed King and his conquests, both on the battlefield and in the boudoir.

Director:

Laurence Olivier

Writers:

William Shakespeare (plays), David Garrick (textual alterations for his production of the play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cedric Hardwicke ... King Edward IV of England
Nicholas Hannen ... Archbishop
Laurence Olivier ... Richard III
Ralph Richardson ... Duke of Buckingham
John Gielgud ... George, Duke of Clarence
Mary Kerridge ... Queen Elizabeth
Pamela Brown ... Jane Shore
Paul Huson ... Edward, Prince of Wales
Stewart Allen Stewart Allen ... Page to Richard
Claire Bloom ... The Lady Anne
Russell Thorndike Russell Thorndike ... First Priest
Wallace Bosco Wallace Bosco ... Monk (as Wally Bosco)
Norman Fisher Norman Fisher ... Monk
Andrew Cruickshank Andrew Cruickshank ... Brackenbury
Clive Morton ... The Lord Rivers
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Storyline

Richard's military skills have helped to put his older brother Edward on the throne of England. But jealousy and resentment cause Richard to seek the crown for himself, and he conceives a lengthy and carefully calculated plan using deception, manipulation, and outright murder to achieve his goal. His plotting soon has tumultuous consequences, both for himself and for England. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vivien Leigh wanted to play Lady Anne, but Sir Laurence Olivier chose the younger Claire Bloom instead. Co-Producer Alexander Korda then suggested he cast Leigh in a silent cameo, a role specially created for the movie version, but instead Olivier convinced Korda to cast her in another of his movies, The Deep Blue Sea (1955), a leading role he felt better suited to her talents. Not having Leigh around on the set proved to be fortuitous for Olivier, as he had an affair with Bloom during shooting. See more »

Goofs

As in the Shakespeare play, Richard has his rival Clarence drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine. Malmsey, a kind of Madeira, was not yet being made during the lifetime of Richard. See more »

Quotes

Duke of Buckingham: And is it thus? Repays he my deep services/ With such contempt? Made I him King for this?/ O let me think on Hastings
[who has been beheaded]
Duke of Buckingham: and let me be gone/ To Richmond, while my fearful head is on.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Most of the film's credits are shown at the end. The opening credits show only the title of the film, Shakespeare's name, and the names of the main actors. See more »

Alternate Versions

SPOILER: The 139-minute version omits the entire second half of Clarence's (John Gielgud) speech in the prison cell. The 139-minute version is also edited so that it appears to a viewer unfamiliar with either the play or the film that Richard had nothing to do with Edward IV's death. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Night Court: Bringing Down Baby (1991) See more »

User Reviews

 
The best Shakespearean film ever! Unparalleled!
26 October 2001 | by o_levinaSee all my reviews

I just can't find words to describe how I like this film. It is the most magnificent film I've ever seen. And it is certainly the best work of Laurence Olivier. I came to learn about this film quite accidentally. I was watching on TV some program about Shakespeare's plays and their adaptations. There were a number of fragments from different films and from this one too… It was the moment where Richard is offered a crown, he refuses at first and then accepts. I was stunned when Buckingham approached Richard to congratulate and Richard suddenly made him kneel down and kiss his hand. The gesture was so majestic, imperative and full of evil triumph. I understood at once that it was a great film. I've bought VHS tape as soon as I've found it and I've already seen it about dozen times. It's superb. Everything is splendid – screenplay, costumes, scenery and acting. I like John Gielgud as noble Clarence and Ralf Richardson as cunning Buckingham, and especially Claire Bloom as gentle and unhappy Lady Anne. However I still admire Laurence Olivier more than anybody else. I just can't forget his terrific voice and acting at the scene of first Richard's monologue that reveals malicious ambitious, mercilessness and devilish ingenuity of the Duke of Gloucester. Another scene I adore is his wooing Lady Anne. Both actors are great. Olivier is so convincing and moving that I believe any woman could surrender. Olivier maintains high standards of these impressive scenes through the whole film until the final battle. Richard is desperate and courageous at the end, he is killed but his spirit is not broken (he can be afraid of ghosts, not real enemies). Shakespearean play is brilliant and the film is worthy of the original. It's the most glorious historical movie of all times. I recommend everyone to see it.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

11 March 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Richard III See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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