Richard III

""Now is the winter of our discontent"

The film is now available on DVD - See Entry Page for more information


Listen to A beautiful midi by George Pollen
of the music from the film. Visit George's web site HERE

Shakespeare - Richard III


New York Times, March 12, 1956

"The measure of Sir Laurence Olivier's genius for putting Shakespeare's plays on the screen is beautifully and brilliantly exhibited in his production and performance of Richard Ill. The latest of Sir Laurence's films from Shakespeare is done in colors which a Rembrandt might be proud of and projected in the large-screen VistaVision that gives the picture strong clarity and depth. Sir Laurence's Richard is tremendous--a weird poisonous portraitof a super-rogue whose dark designs are candidly acknowledged with lick-lip relish and sardonic wit. Heavily made up with one dead eyelid, a hatchet nose, a withered hand, a humped back, a drooping shoulder and a twisted, limping leg, he is a freakish-looking figure that Sir Laurence so articulates that he has an electric vitality and a fascinatingly grotesque grace. A grating voice, too, is a feature of his physical oddity. More important to the character, however, is the studiousness and subtlety with which Sir Laurence builds up tension within him as his mischiefs and crimes accumulate. Sir Laurence, as director as well as actor, has clearly and artfully contrived to emphasize Richard's isolation and his almost pathetic loneliness."

Saturday Review, March 10, 1956

"For the third time Sir Laurence Olivier had addressed himself to what is, beyond any doubt, the most difficult of all film assignments, the translation of the poetic drama of Shakespeare into the overwhelmingly realistic motion picture medium. And to say that in Richard III he has succeeded admirably suggests less the extent of his achievement than the magnitude of the problem itself. Olivier brings to it, above all else, a keen intelligence, an ability to think through the words of Shakespeare to a vivid, visual setting for them, and a deep feeling for the poetry itself, for the music of the lines, that is reflected not only in his own readings but also in the superb casts he has always gathered around himself. The imagination and interpretive power that Olivier first displayed in his Henry V is now coupled with a firm grasp of film technique."

Pictures and text on this page from Laurence Olivier, Theater & Cinema, by Robert Daniels