HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dead
Death at Broadcasting House
Huracan
Ghost Strata
Call to Spy, A
Tailgate
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Buddies
Threshold
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
   
 
  Richard III The Killer
Year: 1995
Director: Richard Loncraine
Stars: Ian McKellen, Annette Bening, Jim Broadbent, Robert Downey Jr, Nigel Hawthorne, Kristin Scott Thomas, John Wood, Maggie Smith, Jim Carter, Edward Hardwicke, Adrian Dunbar, Dominic West, Tim McInnerny, Bill Paterson, Denis Lill, Michael Elphick
Genre: Drama, WarBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: The United Kingdom in the nineteen-thirties, but not as history quite recalls it, as the King and his army have been struck down by the forces of York, and Edward (John Wood) has taken the throne, although he is not in the best of health. The man who shot the previous monarch is Edward's brother, Richard (Ian McKellen), and he has plans of his own, plans which he does not share with many people so you should feel privileged that he takes you into his confidence. After making a rousing speech at a celebratory dance, he ends up alone, plotting and plotting, informing us that he will not rest until he has the crown himself...

For many years, the definitive screen interpretation of William Shakespeare's most celebrated villain, Richard III, was Laurence Olivier's in his 1955 version of the play, but forty years later there arrived a different reading, one which, though not as widely seen, was at least the equal of Olivier's. This was a pet project of Sir Ian McKellen's, and to bring this adaptation, which he co-scripted with director Richard Loncraine, to the screen took a lot of work, all of which paid off as the finished production was something most would agree was highly imaginative and rather marvellous.

For a start, the setting is inspired. It takes the old science fiction concept of a parallel world and runs with it, translating the Bard's drama to a Britain that is suffering under the yoke of fascism: here it is not only Germany which is struggling with the Nazis, as Richard and his allies are fulfilling the same role in their own country. You get the impression that this Richard is not so much obsessed with becoming supreme ruler, as taking down the world which he abhors, leaving the dead bodies of the powerful strewn in his wake and the nation, the world even, in as much turmoil as he can possibly bring down upon its heads.

In this version, the script is streamlined from Shakespeare, so if you know the play inside out then you will be noticing what's missing and what has been altered, but unlike other films drawn from literature, this should not rankle too much with the purists. Why? Because it's so gleefully smart about what it does, crediting the audience with the intelligence to see how clever its being without descending into unwanted, obnoxious smugness. Much of this is thanks to McKellen: he may give himself the meatiest role, but he allows you to see there was nobody who could have carried this off any better than he.

It's a tremendous performance, humorous, sly, and calculating but never letting Richard's twisted humanity get away from him. The other members of an excellent cast do well to keep up with him, with a good many seizing their chances to shine when the spotlight falls on them, but really this is Sir Ian's show all the way. Working up a sense of decadence and decay that the new broom of Richmond (Dominic West) would do well to sweep away, not only does the film have Richard happy to execute his closest allies as well as those in the way to his kingdom, but will also see him relaxing with photographs of the recently put to death or turning into a man-boar during a nightmare sequence. With all this and a rally out of thirties Nuremberg and Lady Anne (Kristin Scott Thomas) injecting herself with heroin to get through the coronation, you cannot say it was not audacious, and you cannot say you do not relish every frame of Richard's wickedness. Music by Trevor Jones.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3149 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Richard Loncraine  (1946 - )

Capable British director who moves between film and television. Slade movie Flame was his first credit, then horror Full Circle and Dennis Potter adaptation Brimstone and Treacle were next. Michael Palin comedy The Missionary and the superb version of Shakespeare's Richard III were well received, as was his TV drama about Winston Churchill, The Gathering Storm. He then had a hit with romantic Britcom Wimbledon.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: