Richard III (1995)

RichardIIIposterBB.5

(out of 5)


So much effort has been put into the design of this stylish adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most violent plays that the original material is sunken into the background to very bad effect. Set in a magical fantasy version of World War II, the film stars  as a Naziesque Richard looking to do whatever it takes to put himself upon the throne, including murdering his own siblings and then marrying the woman () whose husband he also killed. Performances are excellent, especially Scott Thomas and  as Queen Elizabeth, but the material has been dumbed down so much and the dialogue rewritten to the point of obscurity, robbing the film of most of its possibilities. It also doesn’t help that while McKellen’s Richard is tough and swaggers around to the meanest effect, his performance is shallow and never as much fun as it should be. Instead of the visual style enhancing the story, it ends up overpowering it.  is fantastic as McKellen’s mother, a woman not too proud of what she has brought up to rule England.


Mayfair Entertainment International, British Screen Productions, Bayly/Paré Productions, United Artists Pictures, First Look International

United Kingdom/USA, 1995

Directed by

Screenplay by , Richard Loncraine, based on the play by

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Award Nominations
Best Art Direction (Tony Burrough)
Best Costume Design (Shuna Harwood)

Golden Globe Award Nomination
Best Performance By An Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama (Ian McKellen)

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