7.5/10
12,765
90 user 56 critic

Richard III (1995)

The classic Shakespearean play about a murderously scheming King staged in an alternative fascist England setting.

Director:

Richard Loncraine
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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
Edward Jewesbury ... King Henry
Ian McKellen ... Richard III
Bill Paterson ... Ratcliffe
Annette Bening ... Queen Elizabeth
Matthew Groom Matthew Groom ... Young Prince
John Wood ... King Edward
Nigel Hawthorne ... Clarence
Maggie Smith ... Duchess of York
Kate Steavenson-Payne ... Princess Elizabeth
Robert Downey Jr. ... 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 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 (45) »

Taglines:

Power Conquers All 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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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 December 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ricardo III See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,600,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Ian McKellen wrote the screenplay while touring the play. Originally, he thought it would be a television production, but he soon realized that the large production he envisaged would require the budget of a feature film. Still on tour, he began to consider screen actors he met for roles in this movie, including Sir Patrick Stewart, Danny DeVito, and Meryl Streep. See more »

Goofs

Richard III died aged 32, after reigning for 2 years. Ian McKellen was in his mid-50s during filming and no attempt is made to hide his age. However he was not the first or last middle-aged actor to play the role. See more »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Referenced in The Oprah Winfrey Show: Summer Movie Reviews (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

Brilliant!!! But traditionalists be warned...
3 January 1999 | by scout-15See all my reviews

I just rented this again for the 4th time. Maybe I should just buy myself a copy. It's among my top five movies of all time and perhaps my favorite Shakespeare adaptation. It's stunning, brilliant, and beautiful. If you like your Shakespeare with every forsooth and thee and thou spoken by actors poncing around in doublets, you'll want to avoid it. If you're a bit more daring, rent it. For the unbelievably gorgeous costumes and sets. For the modern fascist spin that gives the whole thing disturbing contemporary relevance. But most of all for the performances--from McKellan's mesmerizing turn as Richard to Nigel Hawthorne's sweet and simple Duke of Clarence. Even the smaller roles are perfectly cast. I enjoyed Adrian Dunbar's sadistic assassin, Domenic West's dashing Richmond, and Robert Downey Jr. as the playboy Earl Rivers. Annette Bening, I must say, is terrible as Queen Elizabeth. Completely unconvincing down to her wandering pseudo-aristocratic accent. I keep imagining her betters tittering with embarrassment every time the lesser-light Bening exited the "stage." A minor flaw, however, in a stunning movie. Rent it. Again and again!


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