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Richard II (1978)

King Richard the Second (original title)
The incompetent King Richard II is deposed by Henry Bolingbroke and undergoes a crisis of identity once he is no longer King.

Director:

David Giles

Writer:

William Shakespeare (play)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Derek Jacobi ... Richard II
John Gielgud ... John of Gaunt
Jon Finch ... Henry Bolingbroke
Wendy Hiller ... Duchess of York
Charles Gray ... Duke of York
Mary Morris ... Duchess of Gloucester
David Swift ... Duke of Northumberland
Clifford Rose ... Bishop of Carlisle
Charles Keating ... Duke of Aumerle
Richard Owens ... Thomas Mowbray
Janet Maw Janet Maw ... Queen
Jeffrey Holland Jeffrey Holland ... Duke of Surrey
Jeremy Bulloch ... Henry Percy
Robin Sachs ... Bushy
Damien Thomas ... Bagot
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Storyline

The incompetent King Richard II is deposed by Henry Bolingbroke and undergoes a crisis of identity once he is no longer King.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 March 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: King Richard the Second See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Part of the long running BBC Television Shakespeare project which ran between 1978 and 1985. See more »

Quotes

Thomas Mowbray: A trespass that doth vex my grieved soul.
See more »

Connections

Version of Richard Vtoroi (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent Acting in an Infrequently Seen Play

Although it is the prelude to the great cycle of Shakespeare's English history plays, Richard II is much less often produced than Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI, Richard III. In fact, unless you live in England or in a city where there's a theater devoted to Shakespeare or an annual Shakespeare festival, you may never have an opportunity to see this in a stage production.

Happily, the BBC produced the entire cycle of Shakespeare plays in the 1970's and this Richard II is among the best. It has Derek Jacobi as Richard, John Gielgud as John of Gaunt, his eldest uncle, Jon Finch as Bolingbroke, Gaunt's son, later Henry IV, Wendy Hiller as the Duchess of York and Charles Gray as the Duke of York.

Say what you will, no one does Shakespeare better than the British, and Jacobi, Gielgud and Hiller are among the best interpreters of the past century. I saw this play once years ago at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford in a production I thought slightly superior to this one -- but the acting was in no way better. Although I DO live in a city with a Shakespeare theater and attend it regularly, this is only the second production of Richard II that I have managed to see in the ensuing years.

Richard II has the added distinction of being one of the few Shakespeare plays that is entirely in verse. Why it is not more often played, I do not know. If you love Shakespeare, don't miss this DVD.


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