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Richard III (1955)

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

Director:

Laurence Olivier

Writers:

William Shakespeare (plays), David Garrick (textual alterations for his production of the play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cedric Hardwicke ... King Edward IV of England
Nicholas Hannen ... Archbishop
Laurence Olivier ... Richard III
Ralph Richardson ... Duke of Buckingham
John Gielgud ... George, Duke of Clarence
Mary Kerridge ... Queen Elizabeth
Pamela Brown Pamela Brown ... Jane Shore
Paul Huson Paul Huson ... Edward, Prince of Wales
Stewart Allen Stewart Allen ... Page to Richard
Claire Bloom ... The Lady Anne
Russell Thorndike Russell Thorndike ... First Priest
Wallace Bosco Wallace Bosco ... Monk (as Wally Bosco)
Norman Fisher Norman Fisher ... Monk
Andrew Cruickshank Andrew Cruickshank ... Brackenbury
Clive Morton ... The Lord Rivers
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Storyline

Richard's military skills have helped to put his older brother Edward on the throne of England. But jealousy and resentment cause Richard to seek the crown for himself, and he conceives a lengthy and carefully calculated plan using deception, manipulation, and outright murder to achieve his goal. His plotting soon has tumultuous consequences, both for himself and for England. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

9 November 1956 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Ricardo III See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir John Gielgud's casting in this movie can be seen as a combination of Sir Laurence Olivier's quest for an all-star cast, and the fact that Olivier had rejected Gielgud's request to play the Chorus in Hendrik de Vijfde (1944). See more »

Goofs

In the scene when Richard tells King Edward of Clarence's supposed treason, two monks are singing hymns from a large book: their lips are not only out of sync with their singing, but with each other. See more »

Quotes

Richard III: A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Most of the film's credits are shown at the end. The opening credits show only the title of the film, Shakespeare's name, and the names of the main actors. See more »

Alternate Versions

SPOILER: The 139-minute version omits the entire second half of Clarence's (John Gielgud) speech in the prison cell. The 139-minute version is also edited so that it appears to a viewer unfamiliar with either the play or the film that Richard had nothing to do with Edward IV's death. See more »

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Excellent Version of the Play, With Olivier & More
22 January 2002 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

This excellent production of "Richard III" features a terrific performance by Laurence Olivier in the lead role, plus a fine supporting cast, good color photography, and plenty of color and pageantry to set off the action. Richard III can be one of Shakespeare's most entertaining plays when it is done well, and this version does full justice to this classic play. It's especially enjoyable if you get the restored widescreen version.

Olivier is unsurpassed at performing Shakespeare, keeping the balance between giving life to his characters while making sure that they remain part of the play as a whole, rather than drawing all the attention to himself. This might be the best of all his screen Shakespearean roles, since Richard gives him so much to work with, and also because he has such an accomplished supporting cast to complement his own performance. Playing Richard gives him a chance to be charming, devious, tyrannical, and more, and the role offers some choice solo speeches plus other scenes that have excellent give-and-take with the other characters.

The rest of the cast also deserves praise. Ralph Richardson is ideally cast as Buckingham, a character who is so important both to the plot and also to showing us what Richard himself is all about. The rest of the cast includes good performances from Cedric Hardwicke, John Gielgud, Claire Bloom, and others. Olivier's adaptation/revision of the script also works pretty well, maintaining the feel of the play while often highlighting scenes that make for particularly good cinema. It all makes this just what a movie version of Shakespeare should be.


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