Richard III (1955)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

United Kingdom1955.  London Film Productions.  Textual alterations by , , based on the plays Richard III and Henry VI: Part III by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Once you get over the silly fake nose and wig that seems to come out of an episode of The Smurfs, you’ll thoroughly enjoy Laurence Olivier‘s full-blooded performance as the title character of Shakespeare’s bloody play. Olivier also directs this excellent production, filmed in gorgeous colour with a fantastic cast that includes Ralph Richardson and John Gielgud. Brother to the King of England, Richard is a deformed, bitter man who decides that he’ll do whatever it takes to get himself on the throne. He stops at nothing, not even at murdering his own family members. gives an annoyingly breathy performance as Anne, the woman that Richard traps into marriage; perhaps she’s written as a featherbrain on purpose, but take a look at Kristin Scott Thomas’s performance in the tepid 1995 version to see just how much the part could be improved by a more practical approach. Despite its healthy running time, this film is intelligent and exciting.

The Criterion Collection:  #213

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Actor (Laurence Olivier)

Berlin Film Festival Award: Silver Bear

Golden Globe Award Nomination:  Best English Language Foreign Film

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