Richard III Reviews

  • Jul 21, 2020

    Ok version with nothing really to recommend it.

    Ok version with nothing really to recommend it.

  • Nov 05, 2019

    A fair take on the play. Olivier was a bit much though. He must've had quite the ego.

    A fair take on the play. Olivier was a bit much though. He must've had quite the ego.

  • Oct 14, 2019

    An excellent adaptation of Richard III by Laurence Olivier. Intriguing and daring cinematic adaptations and compression of the play create an excellent film.

    An excellent adaptation of Richard III by Laurence Olivier. Intriguing and daring cinematic adaptations and compression of the play create an excellent film.

  • Apr 03, 2017

    truly exceptional film. oliviers adaptation of Shakespeare play of the wicked kings rise to power.

    truly exceptional film. oliviers adaptation of Shakespeare play of the wicked kings rise to power.

  • Mar 27, 2017

    Lengthy but masterful rendition of Shakespeare's history play of one of the most infamous of English kings. Laurence Olivier is superb in the title role.

    Lengthy but masterful rendition of Shakespeare's history play of one of the most infamous of English kings. Laurence Olivier is superb in the title role.

  • Jan 25, 2017

    Visually, this is one of the best Oliver/Shakespeare films. However, the story of Richard III is not Shakespeare's best. Oliver and the supporting cast do a great job of bringing this tale to life.

    Visually, this is one of the best Oliver/Shakespeare films. However, the story of Richard III is not Shakespeare's best. Oliver and the supporting cast do a great job of bringing this tale to life.

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    Alec B Super Reviewer
    Aug 24, 2016

    Olivier's performance is occasionally hammy (To be expected I suppose) but that's more a product of his era that any major failings as an actor. I'm not sure if this is the definitive film version of this play, but it's hard to deny the moments of brilliance.

    Olivier's performance is occasionally hammy (To be expected I suppose) but that's more a product of his era that any major failings as an actor. I'm not sure if this is the definitive film version of this play, but it's hard to deny the moments of brilliance.

  • Apr 01, 2016

    A typical production of Richard III would ordinarily take about four hours to perform, so Laurence Olivier got his film effort down to 158 minutes by shortening many scenes and excising the character of Queen Margaret entirely (he also tacked on elements of Henry VI Part 3 so those unfamiliar with the historical context of the story would be up to speed). Shakespeare buffs may balk at some of the other liberties taken with the source play, but it's hard not to admire the pedigree of the cast, the beautiful Technicolor vibrancy of the cinematography, and Olivier's powerhouse acting in the title role. All of those strong points are often discussed by cinephiles when Richard III was brought up, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover how great the scene blocking in this film happens to be; you'll be rewarded if you pay attention to how the camera uses the shadows of each character to add impact to certain scenes.

    A typical production of Richard III would ordinarily take about four hours to perform, so Laurence Olivier got his film effort down to 158 minutes by shortening many scenes and excising the character of Queen Margaret entirely (he also tacked on elements of Henry VI Part 3 so those unfamiliar with the historical context of the story would be up to speed). Shakespeare buffs may balk at some of the other liberties taken with the source play, but it's hard not to admire the pedigree of the cast, the beautiful Technicolor vibrancy of the cinematography, and Olivier's powerhouse acting in the title role. All of those strong points are often discussed by cinephiles when Richard III was brought up, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover how great the scene blocking in this film happens to be; you'll be rewarded if you pay attention to how the camera uses the shadows of each character to add impact to certain scenes.

  • Mar 25, 2016

    "Conscience is a word that cowards use." - Richard III This original "Game of Thrones" adapted Shakespeare's play to the screen for the first time with director Laurence Olivier relishing the title role. Richard's conniving concoctions are a pleasure to see play out as characters are dispatched in diverse yet artful manners. John McCorry worked overtime in ornamenting the cast, arranged like flowers in this Technicolor framing. RICHARD III hits many peaks during its occasionally dense and admittedly dated run.

    "Conscience is a word that cowards use." - Richard III This original "Game of Thrones" adapted Shakespeare's play to the screen for the first time with director Laurence Olivier relishing the title role. Richard's conniving concoctions are a pleasure to see play out as characters are dispatched in diverse yet artful manners. John McCorry worked overtime in ornamenting the cast, arranged like flowers in this Technicolor framing. RICHARD III hits many peaks during its occasionally dense and admittedly dated run.

  • Feb 26, 2016

    Classic adaptation of Shakespeare's play that represents the best work by Laurence Oliver both in front of & behind the camera. Oliver was always brilliant at Shakespeare & his performance as Richard III is one of his best. He easily conveys the charm & intelligence required of the role, making you root for the great villain even as he does dastardly things. Oliver even gives you reason to empathize with Richard, pointing out being born & treated as a cripple has twisted him (a sinister look he gives to one of the young princes after an innocent comment shows his inner rage on the matter). He's of course surrounded by an equally excellent cast, from Claire Bloom, who's Lady Anne is terrifying seduced by Richard, to John Gielgud's tragic Duke of Clarence. Behind the camera, Oliver expertly cut & edited the bard's lengthy play for film (which is still 2 & half hours) even splitting some scenes for greater effect (Richard's seduction of Anne is a prime example). He also makes great use of the sets, giving a true theatrical feel (the haunting scene on the battlefield is chilling). Oliver at his finest and one of the best adaptations of Shakespeare ever.

    Classic adaptation of Shakespeare's play that represents the best work by Laurence Oliver both in front of & behind the camera. Oliver was always brilliant at Shakespeare & his performance as Richard III is one of his best. He easily conveys the charm & intelligence required of the role, making you root for the great villain even as he does dastardly things. Oliver even gives you reason to empathize with Richard, pointing out being born & treated as a cripple has twisted him (a sinister look he gives to one of the young princes after an innocent comment shows his inner rage on the matter). He's of course surrounded by an equally excellent cast, from Claire Bloom, who's Lady Anne is terrifying seduced by Richard, to John Gielgud's tragic Duke of Clarence. Behind the camera, Oliver expertly cut & edited the bard's lengthy play for film (which is still 2 & half hours) even splitting some scenes for greater effect (Richard's seduction of Anne is a prime example). He also makes great use of the sets, giving a true theatrical feel (the haunting scene on the battlefield is chilling). Oliver at his finest and one of the best adaptations of Shakespeare ever.