Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Movie of the Week – Richard III

This week’s movie: Richard III (1955).

This film is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Richard III about the wicked deformed King of England; his conquests on the battlefield and scheming behind closed doors.

The film is directed by Laurence Olivier following up the wonderful job he did adapting Hamlet for the screen. Olivier shot the film in Technicolor and VistaVision, and it looks magnificent with great aesthetics. He worked with composer William Walton, cinematographer Otto Heller, and production designer Roger K. Furse.

Olivier also stars in the film as Richard III. The film boasts a strong supporting cast including Cedric Hardwicke, Ralph Richardson, John Gielgud, and Claire Bloom (many of which were well known for their work on stage performing Shakespeare).

The film is ambitious, radiant, and above all very well acted. Olivier is brilliant as Richard, Duke of Gloucester, an ugly hunchback with an unyielding desire for power and a silver tongue. Like Hamlet, Olivier’s film is almost just as impressive for its aesthetics as its performances. With Richard III, he takes full advantage of the colors and scope afforded him by VistaVision and Technicolor. This is a must-see for Shakespeare fans.

Trailer: Here
Available on: Blu-ray and Video On-Demand

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