1955, Laurence Olivier, UK, 158 min. With Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson.
- Fri, Dec 23rd 2:00pm
- Tue, Dec 27th 6:30pm
"Not even in the same actor-director’s HENRY V had Shakespeare ever made such dazzling, hypnotic screen entertainment as in Laurence Olivier's RICHARD III." — BritMovie
RICHARD III was the third and last of Olivier's Shakespeare adaptations, and he acts and directs with tremendous gusto, rendering the play as a rousing black comedy with touches of horror movie and Grand Guignol. His Richard is a magnificently malevolent monster as he schemes and slaughters his way to the English throne. Olivier's contorted postures as the crookbacked monarch were copied by Johnny Rotten in his Sex Pistols performances, and his seductively sinister asides to audience provided a template for Kevin Spacey's Frank Underwood in House of Cards. The incredible cast includes John Gielgud as Richard's hapless brother Clarence; Claire Bloom as his tormented wife Ann; Cedric Hardwicke as the ineffectual Edward IV; and Ralph Richardson as the opportunistic Duke of Buckingham (his and Olivier's crafty-and-craftier duets are among the film's highlights). This recent restoration by the Scorsese-sponsored Film Foundation was taken from the original VistaVision negative and restores twenty minutes of footage that had melted away in various rereleases. DCP digital. (MR)