Richard III (1956) - Rotten Tomatoes

Richard III (1956)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Richard III Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Laurence Olivier was the director, co-screenwriter (with Alan Dent), and star of this robust adaptation of Shakespeare's drama, which, as Bruce Eder has written, "was the final, crowning glory of the British studio system and the end of the great cycle of British films aimed at international audiences." Olivier begins his Richard III with Edward IV (Cedric Hardwicke) being crowned king. In the background of the celebration, Richard (Laurence Olivier) jealously views the proceedings and begins to pick off those obstructing his pathway to the throne. Eventually, Richard becomes king and, after proceeding with a succession of intrigues and duplicities, he finds his kingdom in dire peril, set upon by Henry Tudor (Stanley Baker) and mustering a final defense for his realm at the Battle of Bosworth. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: William Shakespeare, Colley Cibber
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 24, 2004
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


Cedric Hardwicke
as Edward Plantagenet (...
Nicholas Hannen
as Archbishop of Canter...
Laurence Olivier
as Richard III
Ralph Richardson
as Henry Stafford Duke ...
John Gielgud
as George Duke of Clare...
Claire Bloom
as Lady Anne Neville
Alec Clunes
as Thomas Lord Hastings
Mary Kerridge
as Elizabeth Woodville ...
Stanley Baker
as Henry Tudor
Pamela Brown
as Jane Shore
Paul Huston
as Edward Prince of Wal...
Russell Thorndike
as First Priest
Andrew Cruickshank
as Brankenbury
Clive Morton
as Antony Woodville Ear...
Douglas Wilmer
as Marquess of Dorset
Michael Ripper
as 2nd murderer
George Woodbridge
as Lord Mayor of London
Esmond Knight
as Sir Richard Ratcliff...
John Laurie
as Lord Lovell
Ann Wilton
as Scrub woman
Bill Shine
as Beadle
Deering Wells
as Clergyman
Richard Bennett
as George Stanley
Patrick Troughton
as James Tyrell
Brian Nissen
as 1st Messenger
Alexander Davion
as 2nd Messenger
Lane Meddick
as 3rd Messenger
Robert Bishop
as Messenger
Laurence Naismith
as Thomas Lord Stanley
John Phillips
as John Howard Duke of ...
Derek Prentice
as Clergyman
Norman Wooland
as Sir William Catesby
Helen Haye
as Queen Mother
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Richard III

Critic Reviews for Richard III

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (4)

Laurence Olivier's classic rendition (1956) of Shakespeare's total villain contains one of his most engaging performances and reveals some of his best spatial manipulation of action.

Full Review… | July 9, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It becomes almost laughable when it tries to transcend its own timidity in the dramatic climaxes.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The quality of production was superb, and a viewer had a true sense of pageantry and court grandeur.

Full Review… | March 17, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Director and star Sir Laurence Olivier doesn't shy away from center stage in this adaptation... nor would any sane person want him to.

Full Review… | May 22, 2013
Movie Metropolis

The conception and execution of this film is not as bold as Henry V or Hamlet (also by Olivier), but the cast, headed by Olivier as the malevolent hunchbacked monarch, Gielgud and Richardson, is superb.

Full Review… | July 29, 2011

Audience Reviews for Richard III


Shakespeare, a.k.a. Mr. Wordy, takes a lot of time to say what he means. Thus it is no wonder that this version of Richard III is Tedium 101. Sure, it's a faithful rendition, but Olivier does very little to spice this up a bit. The final scene was laughable. The 1995 version with Ian McKellen is a much more accessible version for the modern audience.

Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

Really fantastic version of Richard III, but if you are not familiar with the play this version is a little hard to follow.

Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

Although the depictions of Richard III could perhaps have been overplayed over the years, no one revels in the stereotype like Laurence Olivier delivering a deliciously manipulating Richard.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Richard III Quotes

– Submitted by Jed G (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Jed G (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Jed G (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Jed G (3 years ago)

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