RICHARD III is one of the
more interesting adaptations of a William Shakespeare play. I didn’t warm
to it when I first saw it on
VHS about 20 years ago, but a second viewing on blu-ray shows how great it is
from Ian McKellan’s great performance as Richard (before he went on to do his
two most iconic roles as Gandalf and Magneto), the production design, and the
wonderful script by Ian McKellan and director Richard Loncrane (based on a recent
stage production that also starred Ian McKellan)). This adaptation takes
place in a fascist
version of Greta Britain during the 1930s as Richard plans to claim the throne
for himself after he helps end a civil war.
He turns his brothers against each other and marries the widow (Kristin
Scott Thomas) of his dead enemy while the Queen (Annette Benning) and her
brother (Robert Downey Jr.) have doubts about his intentions towards the King
who is in ill health. As time goes on,
you see Richard turning England
into a fascist state as he walks around in a Nazi style uniform hiding his own
physical deformities. This movie acts as
a cautionary tale and Shakespeare tragedy in one as Ian McKellan plays the part
of the two faced Richard to perfection with a great cast of well recognized
British actors (Jim Broadbent, Nigel Hawthorne, Maggie Smith) if you have
watched a enough British TV and films.
Annette Benning holds her own in every scene she is in with Ian. RICHARD
has now become one of my favorite movie adaptations of the famous Bard’s plays-
right up there with any Shakespeare adaptation by Julie Tamor and Kenneth
Isolated Music and Effects track
Original theatrical trailer
Eight page booklet with a wonderful essay by
I wish there was an audio commentary or even
but the movie does look and sound great on blu-ray.
FINAL ANALYSIS: RICHARD III
is a tight thriller with a masterful turn from Ian McKellan in one of the bets
Shakespeare to film adaptations ever made.
Buy the blu-ray before all 3000 copies are gone since this is a limited
edition through Twilight Time.
This review is ©5-6-2015
David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments
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