Steve Simels
July 08, 1994 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Richard III (Movie - 1955)

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
performer
John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, Claire Bloom, Norman Fisher, Cedric Hardwicke
director
Laurence Olivier

We gave it a B+

Despite its cult reputation, Richard III, the last of actor-director Laurence Olivier’s Shakespearean adaptations (heretofore only available on tape, cut by 20 minutes), is not a complete success. Its stylized look and Olivier’s directorial decisions are intriguing, and the William Walton score is gorgeous, but the acting, oddly enough, is wildly variable. Still, this letterboxed laserdisc is by far the best video version available (though the restored footage is noticeably less crisp than the rest), and Voyager’s customary fact-filled second-audio-track commentary, here provided by stage director Russell Lees, is a genuine treat. B+

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