7.4/10
13,649
92 user 62 critic

Richard III (1995)

The classic Shakespearean play about the murderously scheming 15th-century king is reimagined in an alternative setting of 1930s England as clouds of fascism gather.

Director:

Richard Loncraine

Writers:

Ian McKellen (screenplay), Richard Loncraine (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Bowen ... Prince Edward of Lancaster
Edward Jewesbury ... King Henry VI
Ian McKellen ... Richard III - Duke of Gloucester
Bill Paterson ... Ratcliffe
Annette Bening ... Queen Elizabeth
Matthew Groom Matthew Groom ... Young Prince Richard of York
John Wood ... King Edward IV
Nigel Hawthorne ... Duke of Clarence
Maggie Smith ... Duchess of York
Kate Steavenson-Payne ... Princess Elizabeth of York
Robert Downey Jr. ... Lord Rivers
Tres Hanley ... Air Hostess
Tim McInnerny ... Catesby
Stacey Kent Stacey Kent ... Ballroom Singer
Jim Carter ... Lord William Hastings
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Storyline

William Shakespeare's classic play is brought into the present with the setting as Great Britian in the 1930s. Civil war has erupted with the House of Lancaster on one side, claiming the right to the British throne and hoping to bring freedom to the country. Opposing is the House of York, commanded by the infamous Richard III (Sir Ian McKellen), who rules over a fascist government and hopes to install himself as a dictator monarch. Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

fascist | dog | tank | battle | widow | See All (70) »

Taglines:

What Is Worth Dying For... Is Worth Killing For. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard's black uniform is actually the tunic of an S.S.-Oberst-Gruppenführer (Colonel General), minus the swastika insignia. See more »

Goofs

When Elizabeth is summoned to talk with Richard in the train car, her coat unbuttons between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Prince Edward: Goodnight, your majesty.
King Henry: Goodnight, son.
Prince Edward: Father.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK (video) release has the cast credits in order of appearance. See more »

Connections

Version of Richard III (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Te Deum: Marche en rondeau prelude
(uncredited)
Composed by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
See more »

User Reviews

 
Shakespearean tragedy in 1940s Europe
13 March 2006 | by mstomasoSee all my reviews

This film sets Shakespeare's Richard III in an alternative to WWII era England, where fascists and royalists maintain their own militias and play power games with kings and thrones. The first scene sets the tone for the entire film. A young officer is settling down to dinner with his dog chewing on a bone nearby. The building begins to shake and a low rumbling is heard. Soon enough, a tank erupts through the fireplace and stormtroopers charge in automatic rifles ablaze. Ian McKellan removes his gas mask and spouts a few lines of Shakespearean dialog.

The action and the intrigue never really let up, as the film follows Richard's (McKellan) rise to infamy and power. Neither does the Shakespearean dialog. Somehow the cast manages to make the dialog fit the action and setting effortlessly.

Richard III is jarringly strange - perhaps the most innovative of the recent Shakespeare updates - very well acted and directed. Although I recommend the film, I have to warn you - it's not for everyone.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 December 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Richard III See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$91,915, 1 January 1996

Gross USA:

$2,684,904

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,748,518
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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