Richard III
Richard III (1956)

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… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: June 1, 1956
DVD Release Date: February 24, 2004
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Critic Score: 80% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Don Druker
Chicago Reader

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.

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Christopher Long
Movie Metropolis

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

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TV Guide

This filmed record of Olivier's Richard has intimidated generations of actors -- how can they hope to compete with an interpretation both so brilliant and so familiar to audiences?

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Time Out

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

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Emanuel Levy

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.

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Olivier's is a turgid rendition with little regard for how the medium of cinema might lend alternative perspectives to the text.

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

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

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Christopher Lloyd
Sarasota Herald-Tribune

It's fascinating to note that Richard is almost always portrayed by middle-aged actors - Olivier was 48, and actually comes in at the low end. In reality, Richard was only 32 when he died.

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Christopher Null

how can you not dig a movie that offers John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson on top of Olivier?

More reviews for Richard III

Flixster Audience Score: 78% Flixster User Reviews
Wildaly M
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… More
Cameron Johnson
Well, it would appear as though Shakespeare ran out of King Henrys, or Henries; eitherway, it's a forced pluralization. Man, if there was a line of great… More
Ken Stachnik
Really fantastic version of Richard III, but if you are not familiar with the play this version is a little hard to follow.
Alec Barniskis
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.… More
John Ballantine
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… More
Chris Browning
Richard III is known for being one of the best of the play's adaptations and particularly for Laurence Olivier's stunning performance as he stars,… More