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Richard III (1955)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 11 March 1956 (USA)
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 »
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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 ... Jane Shore
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:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

11 March 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Richard 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

Esmond Knight (Ratcliffe) wanted to make his appearance at Richard III's tent (at dawn during the Battle of Bosworth) longer by "loosening his sword in the scabbard, then look over the shoulder through the flap in the tent towards the horses, and then say it." However, Sir Laurence Olivier refused his request and told him to "Play straight and piss off!" 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

The Lord Hastings: The cat, the rat, and Lovell the dog / Rule all England under the hog.
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

Referenced in Psychos in Love (1987) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Bear Him My Head. They Smile At Me Who Shortly Shall Be Dead
19 February 2004 | by glgioiaSee all my reviews

Personally, I think this is Shakespeare's most entertaining work. The evil but brilliant Richard has got to be a favorite for any actor. License to really go nuts and just be pure villain. Olivier's interpretation dwells on the cerebral side, and as usual for him, lends little or no mirth to the subject. I always think Shakespeare is best played when the humor which is present in all of his tales, is shone in full light. Olivier must have disagreed. But I do like this interpretation, and it probably still stands as the best film version as such. It was carefully produced to attract all audiences, not just fans of the Bard. Olivier jukes up the dialogue, curiously interchanging verses out of order for cinematic effect I suppose. He also pedantically pounds home and over-dramatizes the key plot points. As if to say, 'Pay attention dopes, this part is critical!' But he omits nothing, and the surrounding cast is simply phenomenal. Its a celebration of 50s color photography and looks like only films from that era do. The tale of Richard III however truthful Shakespeare was in relating it, represents a crucial period in British history. The War of The Roses is finally ended and the modern dynasty from which the Royal family of Britain today is directly descended, is established in Richmond's victory at Bosworth.


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