Pssst, want to check out Richard III in our new look?
See all comments
This is nowhere near as great as Olivier's Hamlet.
John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson , and Laurence Olivier- what a cast and director!
I was disappointed. Not with Richard himself, which is played with unusual humor and bouts of real psychosis. I wasn't even that disturbed by Olivier's usual restructurings (he cuts well-known scenes, re-edits scene placement and even adds lines from a different version of the play). I think what put me off, mostly, was the look of the picture. Its Technicolor vibrancy and beautiful sets and locations give the story the feel of a fairy tale, which Richard III definitely is not. Yes, there's some intriguing work done with following characters' shadows, but I find the production design and cinematography at odds with the material. And though it seems Claire Bloom gets rave reviews about her Princess Anne, I can't believe the character's motivation. Olivier makes her desperately fall in love with his Richard over the corpse of her husband... it plays less well than a woman who now needs protection at court, in my opinion. She's good in that context, but I don't like the context. All the actors are fine, and my heart skipped at seeing Patrick Troughton as Tyrell, but I do find fault in Olivier's use of John Gielgud as Clarence. When you have an actor of that caliber, why would you so savagely cut half his scenes? Overall, a good film, but weaker than Olivier's Richard III or Hamlet (not coincidentally, it's the weaker play as well).
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!
In 5 official lists
View all lists this movie is in
This movie ranks #9 in BAFTA - Best Film
This movie ranks #238 in The Criterion Collection
This movie ranks #240 in The British Film Institute: 360 Classics
This movie ranks #385 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown
This movie ranks #725 in The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made