12 user

Richard III (1983)

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


Jane Howell


William Shakespeare (play)


Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Following his father's early death and the loss of possessions in France young Henry VI comes to the throne, under the protection of the duke of Gloucester. He is unaware that there are ... See full summary »

Director: Jane Howell
Stars: John Benfield, Peter Benson, Antony Brown
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Following his father's early death and the loss of possessions in France young Henry VI comes to the throne, under the protection of the duke of Gloucester. He is unaware that there are ... See full summary »

Director: Jane Howell
Stars: John Benfield, Peter Benson, Gerald Blackmore
Julius Caesar (TV Movie 1979)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The assassination of the would be ruler of Rome at the hands of Brutus and company has tragic consequences for Brutus and the republic.

Director: Herbert Wise
Stars: Richard Pasco, Charles Gray, Keith Michell
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Following his father's early death and the loss of possessions in France, young Henry VI comes to the throne, under the protection of the Duke of Gloucester. He is unaware that there are ... See full summary »

Director: Jane Howell
Stars: John Benfield, Peter Benson, Brenda Blethyn
Richard III (1955)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Shakespeare's powerful tale of the wicked deformed King and his conquests, both on the battlefield and in the boudoir.

Director: Laurence Olivier
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Cedric Hardwicke, Nicholas Hannen
Richard II (TV Movie 1978)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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
Stars: Derek Jacobi, John Gielgud, Jon Finch
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (TV Movie 1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Hamlet suspects his uncle has murdered his father to claim the throne of Denmark and the hand of Hamlet's mother, but the Prince cannot decide whether or not he should take vengeance.

Director: Rodney Bennett
Stars: Derek Jacobi, Claire Bloom, Patrick Stewart
Twelfth Night (TV Movie 1980)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Viola and Sebastian are lookalike twins, separated by a shipwreck. Viola lands in Illyria, where she disguises herself like her brother and goes into the service of the Duke Orsino. Orsino ... See full summary »

Director: John Gorrie
Stars: Alec McCowen, Robert Hardy, Felicity Kendal
Romeo & Juliet (TV Movie 1978)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two teenagers fall in love, but their feuding families and fate itself cause the relationship to end in tragedy.

Director: Alvin Rakoff
Stars: Patrick Ryecart, Rebecca Saire, Celia Johnson
The Merchant of Venice (TV Movie 1980)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A rich merchant, Antonio is depressed for no good reason, until his good friend Bassanio comes to tell him how he's in love with Portia. Portia's father has died and left a very strange ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Gold
Stars: John Franklyn-Robbins, John Rhys-Davies, Alan David
As You Like It (TV Movie 1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After the overthrowing of Duke Senior by his tyrannical brother, Senior's daughter Rosalind disguises herself as a man and sets out to find her banished father while also counseling her clumsy suitor Orlando in the art of wooing.

Director: Basil Coleman
Stars: Helen Mirren, Brian Stirner, Richard Pasco
Titus Andronicus (TV Movie 1985)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Roman warrior Titus Andronicus finds himself trapped in a nightmarish cycle of vengeance, misery, and bloodshed.

Director: Jane Howell
Stars: Paul Davies Prowles, Edward Hardwicke, Walter Brown


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 ... 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


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









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


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


Version of König Richard III: Erster Teil (1964) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Encrypted propaganda
27 November 2016 | by Dr_CoulardeauSee all my reviews

It is one of the best known and most produced play by Shakespeare and certainly the best known and most produced history. What's surprising about this play is that it can stand all by itself though knowing the three Henry the Sixth plays help understand the stake of this one. True enough it only helps because this history is very self sufficient, in a way.

We have to clear the plate of a question that is today no longer debated. Shakespeare proposes here the vision of Richard III promoted by the Tudors, that is to say those who vanquished and destroyed him, in order to stabilize and justify their taking over te throne of England. Richard III was not the physical monster they described.

This being said this play is a real thriller. Richard has to eliminate everyone on his path to climb (really climb) to the throne. I would say that sounds plain normal but he declares himself to be evil and to enjoy killing, particularly innocent people. And when he has finally finished the elimination of those who have a blood claim to the throne, except Richmond who has fled to Brittany, he starts killing those who have helped him in his ascent, which is politically absurd and plain suicidal. Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, comes back with an army and defeats Richard III at Bosworth in 1485 and thus becomes Henry VII known as the first Tudor king, though he is a Lancaster, which means the House of Lancaster in the end wins but they change the dynastic reference, probably to ensure the past be the past, which might explain why Richard III after proper examination was buried in a small church with no indication on his grave, which explains why in modern times when the church was pull down to open some space for a parking lot no archaeological search was started and Richard III remained under the parking lot for a long time before new excavations to build some new structure finally discovered him, or at least his remains.

The victor is always right and history hates the past and disguises it to the colors of the present, which means the color of the past changes from one present to the next [...]

This production is superb in many ways, once again by the physical acting of pain, sorrow and death, particularly with body language, facial language and tonal language. A triplet of queens is essential: Margaret the old widow of Henry the Sixth; Lady Anne, widow to Edward Prince of Wales, son of Henry the Sixth, later married to the Duke of Gloster who later became Richard the Third; and Elizabeth, queen to Edward the Fourth and then his widow. Of these three queens Lady Anne is the most discreet though fundamental because of her marrying Gloster, the future Richard the Third and the killer of both her husband and her father in law, but another triplet is composed with the Duchess of York, mother to King Edward the Fourth, Clarence and Gloster, the latter to become Richard the Third. The oldest of them, Margaret is a real warmonger against Richard the Third and this production makes her triumphant at the very end, after the concluding words from Henry the Seventh, sitting, laughing hysterically, at the top of a pile of half denuded dead bodies, and holding the corpse of Richard the Third. The full and final step of this purification cycle typical of Shakespeare: she takes, or rather is granted, the victory she is provided with by history or fate [...]

But to show how strong Shakespeare's music can be, I will make a final remark on the famous ghost scene. In his last night living on earth before the battle of Bosworth he has a dream that brings up EIGHT apparitions of ghosts, eleven ghosts all together [...]

EIGHT is the symbol of the Second Coming, and here we have eleven second comings. The Second Coming is the triggering event of the Apocalypse in the Book of Revelation.

ELEVEN is the number of apostles after the elimination of Judas, the eleven apostles who retire away from the Crucifixion (except John) and who deny Jesus, like Peter, and who hide away from the crucifixion and post crucifixion scene out of fear. These eleven apostles announce the resurrection too, even if in a negative way, the way they announce the end of Richard III but they also appear to Richmond and they announce the resurrection of the English monarchy with Henry the Seventh, known as Richmond in this play.

Finally NINE is necessary to complete the prophecy, the prediction, by identifying the beast, in this case Richard the Third. And sure enough the ghosts are going to curse Richard III with a simple formula: "despair and die." And in that ghost scene this mantra is repeated NINE times.

We must understand that in Elizabethan times, after the Reformation and in the ascending phase of chapels and Puritanism, such biblical references (in this case the Passion of Jesus and the Book of Revelation) were unavoidable elements that everyone understood and appreciated. What's more it is very effective in the "propaganda" (rather self-justification) of the Tudors: the killing of the crucifixion is prophesied, the Second Coming is announced and the Beast is identified. We are in the midst of medieval numerical symbolism. This makes me say NINE is the numerical symbol of this king, and as I have already said in my review of Henry the Sixth, Part Three: 1 + 8 = 9; 4 + 5 = 9; 1 + 4 + 8 + 5 = 18 = 9 x 2. The beast is killed on the diabolical date that is also the resurrection date of Bosworth, the final battle. After this last battle the prophecy of the New Messianic Jerusalem becomes possible [...]


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 12 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed