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Richard III (1983)

The Tragedy of Richard III (original title)
Richard of Gloucester uses murder and manipulation to claim England's throne.

Director:

Jane Howell

Writer:

William Shakespeare (play)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Benson ... King Henry VI
Antony Brown ... Sir Richard Ratcliffe (as Anthony Brown)
David Burke ... Sir William Catesby
Michael Byrne ... Duke of Buckingham
Anne Carroll Anne Carroll ... Jane Shore
Paul Chapman Paul Chapman ... Earl Rivers
Ron Cook ... Richard III
Rowena Cooper Rowena Cooper ... Queen Elizabeth
Arthur Cox ... Lord Grey / Lord Mayor of London
Annette Crosbie ... Duchess of York
David Daker ... Lord Hastings
Brian Deacon ... Henry, Earl of Richmond / Second Citizen / First Messenger
Jeremy Dimmick Jeremy Dimmick ... Young Duke of York
Tenniel Evans ... Lord Stanley
Derek Farr ... Sir Robert Brakenbury / Earl of Surrey
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Storyline

Richard Duke of Gloucester, youngest brother of King Edward IV, will stop at nothing to get the crown. He first convinces the ailing King that the Duke of Clarence, his elder brother, is a threat to the lives of Edward's two young sons. Edward has him imprisoned in the Tower of London; killers in Richard's pay then drown Clarence in a barrel of wine. When news of Clarence's death reaches the King, the subsequent grief and remorse bring about his death. Richard is made Lord Protector, with power to rule England while his nephew (now King Edward V) is still a minor. Before the young king's coronation he has his two nephews conveyed to the Tower, ostensibly for their safekeeping. Richard's accomplice, the Duke of Buckingham, then declares the two boys illegitimate and offers Richard the crown, which after a show of reticence he accepts. After Richard's coronation, he and Buckingham have a falling-out over whether or not to assassinate the two children. Written by Peter Brynmor Roberts

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 January 1983 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: The Tragedy of Richard the Third See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The production is unusual amongst filmed Richards insofar as no one is killed on camera except Richard himself. This was very much a conscious choice on the part of Jane Howell; "you see nobody killed; just people going away, being taken away - so much like today; they're just removed. There's a knock on the door and people are almost willing to go. There's no way out of it." See more »

Goofs

When Henry VI's corpse is borne in on a brier, the Queen laments the passing of her husband. When she removes the sheets, Henry VI's stomach can clearly be seen heaving. See more »

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User Reviews

I beg to differ.
21 April 2003 | by nomorehandshakesSee all my reviews

I love Shakespeare, both classically performed and the recontextualised adaptations of recent years, but this production, made with a large budget (British television-wise) with a talented director and a superb cast somehow manages to fail spectacularly to bring Shakespeare's classic play to life. I would not envy Jane Howell's task of directing Richard III using the (almost) complete text as a shooting script, but I think she could have approached it in a more imaginative fashion, making better use of television conventions. Save for the close-up and the shot-reverse shot technique, Howell prefers to display what is simply "Filmed Theater", with a set that offers little to a medium as visual as television. The performances, though excellent, don't really come across with the power and passion they no doubt would in the theater, and the end result is a four hour long dirge that does no credit to Shakespeare's sharp and vibrant play.


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