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Looking For Richard [1997] [DVD]

Al Pacino , Alec Baldwin , Al Pacino    DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey, Frederic Kimball, Penelope Allen
  • Directors: Al Pacino
  • Writers: Al Pacino, Frederic Kimball, William Shakespeare
  • Producers: Al Pacino, James Bulleit, Michael Hadge, William Teitler
  • Format: PAL, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French, Italian
  • Subtitles: French
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 5 April 2005
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E8RHG8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 301,723 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Looking for Richard, a strange and charming documentary by Al Pacino in which he also stars, is an exploration of several topics: Shakespeare and his humpbacked villain, the impulse to act, the way actors work--and Pacino's single-minded effort to make the Bard accessible to all audiences and not just the effete few. Over the course of the film, Pacino alternately discusses the role and the text, roams Manhattan talking about Shakespeare with everyone from scholars to street people and re-creates scenes from the play in a production staged at the Cloisters, an evocative castle-like museum on the north end of Manhattan. He assembles a cast that includes Kevin Spacey, Winona Ryder, Estelle Parsons and Alec Baldwin to perform the scenes, slipping back and forth between text and discussion of the play in a way that makes Shakespeare comprehensible and fascinating to viewers who know or care nothing about his writing. --Marshall Fine,

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare Deconstructed 1 July 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a really enjoyable documentary/play where Al Pacino is attempting to deconstruct the works of Shakespeare to appeal to American audiences who as the films voxpops show think of Shakespeare as boring or irrelevant.

Pacino and a few othe ractors including Kevin Spacey and Winona Ryder are rehearsing for a production of Richard III and act out some of the major scens in the play and then analyses what is happening and where the plot is leading.

The film also employs some interesting interviews with Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, James Earl Jones and John Gielgud.

Ithink this would be an excellent film to show students who are studying Shakespeare in school as the film shows that the works of Shakespeare aren't old, stuffy relics of a bygone era.
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62 of 68 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is just a great watch 15 Dec 2004
Al goes and does an in depth analysis of Richard 3rd (III), for example the opening sequence (about 15 minutes), is about the first line in the play, and by god I've never been so interested.
The whole film is an in depth view not only of the play but the way this (amazing) actor approaches the subject matter, to get inside the characters head by not just looking at the historical context of the play, but how a human being would react.
And as Pacino says this play has murder, incest, war, love, betrayal, witches everything, so it has allot to offer the actors and viewers.
I must admit, if you buy this film, it may take you ages to get around to watching it (it's not specifically action love or comedy so you'll never know when to watch it). But one day you'll sit down put this on, and remember it for the rest of your life.
What other sign is there for a great film.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! 1 Aug 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This DVD was a dream for me personally - Al Pacino, one of my Top 3 favourite actors, covering the subject of William Shakespeare, my favourite author. It was also great because although I've read a lot of Shakespeare, I didn't know this particular play too well, so I came out a little more educated than before as well as more than a little entertained.
Thanks Al for a class act.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 4 Aug 2007
First off lets be clear, this is a documentary about Al Pacino making a version of Richard III. As someone who has very minimal knowledge of Shakespeare I found this to be very interesting and it made me want to watch a complete film or see it performed at a theatre.

Contrary to some previous reviewers I'd say that Pacino showed great respect to the material and to the more famous British actors who have been involved in versions of this story down the years. He interviews Sir John Guilgud and Kenneth Brannagh to try and understand what the lines he is saying really mean. I have no doubt that if Sir Lawrence Olivier had still been alive Pacino would have wanted to interview him about his famous performance.

Pacino proves himself to be an engaging and intelligent presenter, and his Richard III, whilst undoubtably heavily influenced by Oliver is a striking performance. If like me you have never studied Shakespeare, and have little understanding of what is now frankly almost a foreign language then this film gives you the opportunity to be educated and entertained at the same time.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Witty and wise 1 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Al Pacino's take on the Bard's Richard III is a refreshing one. For those for whom the language of Shakespeare seems alien and archaic it gently opens up the themes and politics of Richard III, and shows it to be a play remarkable for it's insight into the human condition and the politics of power.
Movie stars, pretentious hangers-on at New York arty parties, and scholary academics - all have their say. It's fun, witty and laid back, and leaves you with a renewed respect for Shakespeare's talent.
Pacino selflessy casts the stagelight on Shakespeare's genius, but he should take a bow for this witty and wise commentary.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By vicki
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
reallly interesting to follow one man's dream to such a wonderful conclusion. the acting was superb and pacino came over so much more relaxed than i have seen him giving interviews etc.i wonder if this was a journey looking for himself through a lot of not very nice things that have been said about him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy Richard III 21 Oct 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A wonderful film to spark your interest in and to help understand Richard III. Al Pacino really brings it to life. It is more than 15 years since I saw it at the cinema but my enjoyment of the DVD was undiminished. A drama workshop for everyone who would like to understand Shakespeare and truly appreciate his work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Rediscovering Shakespeare! 9 April 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I've always rated Al Pacino as one of those rare actors who becomes every part he plays. I'd seen him as Shylock in the film version of The Merchant of Venice, and had heard that Looking for Richard was as much about him trying to reconnect people with the plays of Shakespeare as it was about performing the play Richard III on film. Risky. It could have been very "worthy" and a bit reverential and remote from a modern audience, but it is utterly fantastic. The film follows Pacino's creative journey as he tries to get "under the skin" of Richard III and it features script readings, impromptu rehearsals in the street with a great cast of American and British actors, lots of off-the-cuff humour and performances of snippets of the play in full costume. Make no mistake, though. This isn't an American actor trying to be Laurence Olivier or something he isn't. He plays it with complete integrity, from the heart, and is in full command of the character. For me the high point of his portrayal of Richard is the soliloquy (piece to camera) before the battle of Bosworth, which is quite stunning. Looking for Richard is inspiring, funny, moving, powerful and if you want to move a modern audience to read Shakespeare or go and see one of his plays at the RSC in Stratford, THIS is the film to give them!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Disaster
Not sure what Mr Pacino tried to do, but it was a disaster. Felt more like very bad documentary. If anyone looking for Richard the III story this is not the one to buy.
Published 13 months ago by Bibiana Bielicka
4.0 out of 5 stars Exploration of the play prior to performance
Gripping journey through the research and rehearsal processes with some excellent acting in rehearsal. Why isn't it coupled with the performance that resulted?
Published 15 months ago by Timothy Shepherd
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Excellent, quick, reliable service. Brilliant film. A must for any shakespeare, acting or theatre enthusiast. I would highly recommend this DVD.
Published 18 months ago by Steve
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
This Video is not to get in Germany, so I bought in in UK.
In Germany the people did not knowing so much about Shakespeare (we have Goethe ;-) so I was really surprised and I... Read more
Published 22 months ago by GRG
4.0 out of 5 stars Richard III - Al pacino style
I remember seeing this documentary on TV a few years ago, so knew what to expect when I ordered it for my 15 year old daughter as a resource to prepare for the Kevin Spacey... Read more
Published on 27 Sep 2011 by Dancing Queen
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for those studying Richard III
Having studied Shakespeare as part of my English degree it has to be said approaching 'The Histories' was somewhat daunting. But, I read the play and enjoyed it. Read more
Published on 19 May 2011 by J. H. Elliott
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
I am currently reading Richard III and would say that this film is an absolute must for anyone who is studying the play. Read more
Published on 21 Feb 2010 by Gadfly
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
We live in germany and we looked for this video on and never found it.
so thank to uk !

we love it !!

gina and jo
Published on 28 Oct 2009 by JOKLIN
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