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Richard III [DVD] [1996] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Ian McKellen , Annette Bening , Richard Loncraine    DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details). Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.


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Product details

  • Actors: Ian McKellen, Annette Bening, Jim Broadbent, Robert Downey Jr., Nigel Hawthorne
  • Directors: Richard Loncraine
  • Writers: Ian McKellen, Richard Loncraine, William Shakespeare
  • Producers: Ian McKellen, David Lascelles, Ellen Dinerman Little, Joe Simon
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Colour, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Mar 2000
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792844041
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,413 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



This film adaptation of a critically acclaimed stage production of Shakespeare's historical drama stars Ian McKellen in the title role. The setting is a comic-book vision of 1930s London: part art deco, part Third Reich, part industrial-age rust and rot. The play's force is turned into a synthetic high by art directors and storyboard sketchers, all of whom have a field day condensing the material into disposable pop imagery. Richard III is a fun film, more than anything, so infatuated with its own monstrous stitchery that even the most awkward casting (Annette Bening and Robert Downey Jr) seems a part of the ridiculous design. McKellen is the best thing about the movie, his mesmerising portrayal of freakish despotism and poisoned desire a thing to behold. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

Richard Iii

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars OK but you can't get rid of the German 29 Oct 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is, of course, one of the most innovative interpretations of Richard III and I can't add anything to the other reviews about the performance.

BUT!!!!! this is a German DVD and it does play in English, only at the expense of having German subtitles which can't be switched off. I find this very distracting. Currently, there doesn't seem to be any other recording available, so I have to put up with it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To Anyone who hates this movie 6 Aug 2007
If you hate this movie then you are obviously of the pixie caps and tights brigade who hate to see Shakespeare removed from the 'proper setting'. In my opinion there are very very few flaws in this movie. The pure and unrepentant villainy of McKellen's Richard is phenomenal, and who can forget the utter hilarity of the final scene. All I'll say is: "I'm sittin on top, top of the world..."

Buy this movie, watch this movie, show it too your friends. Believe me I have...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous film, stylish and fun. 7 Dec 2007
This is probably about ten percent of the original dialogue, and therefore it rolls along at a terrific pace. Having Richard arrive in a tank through a wall, must be the most dynamic entrance of any character in a Shakespeare play. You can suddenly see the origins of the pantomime Wicked Uncle figure in this piece as well, when he croons over the departing Little Princes 'So wise so young they say do never live long, come-let's to supper.' Fabulous! Don't miss it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisitely crafted 23 July 2006
The cast list reads like a who's who, which can occasionally make one a little sceptical. However, this is a wonderful brought-about production. The whole film is worth it for Ian McKellen's turning to the camera and saying 'well I'm not made of stone...'

Beautifully dry yet inspiringly wonderful. Buy it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A great cast. A truly great play.Ian McKellen, Annette Bening, Jim Broadbent, Nigel Hawthorne, Kristin Scott Thomas, Maggie Smith and Robert Downey Jr.I agree that there ought to be another release of this fine production as it was produced in English after all.As that doesn't exist at present this is the one to watch!
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Villany Unveiled. 1 Jun 2005
A gala ball: The York family celebrate their reascent to power; the War of Roses (named for the feuding houses' heraldic badges: Lancaster's red and York's white rose) is almost over. Actually, the year is 1471, but for present purposes, we're in the 1930s. A singer delivers a swinging "Come live with me and be my love." Richard of Gloucester (Sir Ian McKellen), the reinstated sickly King Edward IV's (John Wood's) youngest brother, moves through the crowd; observing, watching his second brother George, Duke of Clarence (Nigel Hawthorne) being quietly led off by Tower warden Brackenbury (Donald Sumpter) and his subalterns. With Clarence gone, Richard seizes the microphone, its discordant screech cutting through the singer's applause, and he, who himself made this night possible by killing King Henry VI of Lancaster and his son at Tewkesbury, begins a victory speech: "Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this sun of York" (cut to Edward, who regally acknowledges the tribute). But when Richard mentions "grim-visaged war," who "smooth'd his wrinkled front," the camera closes in on his mouth, turning it into a grimace reminiscent of the legend known to any spectator in Shakespeare's Globe Theatre: that he wasn't just born "with his feet first" but also "with teeth in his mouth;" hence, not only crippled (though whether also hunchbacked is uncertain) but cursed from birth, his physical deformity merely outwardly representing his inner evil.
Then, mid-sentence, the image cuts again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Protest 18 Mar 2014
Format:VHS Tape
Sorry, but this is great Shakespeare on film - it's on the same level as Brannagh's Henry V, Feinnes' Coriolanus, Olivier's Hamlet - it is absolutely shameful that there is no proper British release of this movie.

Just look at the cast - not just Ian McKellen (Maybe the film's being witheld because it would be wrong to let stupid people see the actor that went on to play Gandalf here playing a villain) - Maggie Smith, Jim Broadbent, Tim McInerny, Jim Carter, Bill Patterson, Adrian Dunbar, Michael Elphick - and Annette Bening and Robert Downey jnr - why, for goodness sake, can there not be a proper British copy of this fantastic film?

I cannot get this message to United Artists so I am putting it here.

If anyone knows of any way to bring pressure to bear on the right person to get this situation changed, please do let me know.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Setting for a Dark Tale 7 Aug 2002
Producing Shakespeare in a fascist setting is not exactly original, but it really works with this film as it is merely a suitable backdrop to a very dark tale of one man's scheming, opportunism & driving ambition. The (original) script is actually lightened by the 1930s feel, eg the authentic-sounding rendition of a sonnet set to 30s dance music in the ballroom scene is terrific, and McKellan's twinkle-eye cheeky asides when he tells us what dastardly deed he is planning next. The rest of the cast is almost universally excellent, with performances ranging from sophisticated Coward-style interplay to occasional flashes of extreme violence. All in all a very gripping production, which may not please traditionalists, but will more than delight anyone with a real interest in theatre and a good story well told.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great setting.
This is a truly engaging piece of drama and the 1930s Hitleresque setting worked perfectly. However, feel that there should have been some horses rather than motorised vehicles in... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Vanessa
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Richard iii out there
Great performance and put into a context which is familiar to most GCSE students. Good prep for controlled assessment. Great
Published 1 month ago by J. Mcquaid
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning
A version of Richard III that is absolutely stunning. Beautifuly acted and set in the 1930s which works a treat.
Published 2 months ago by paul
5.0 out of 5 stars claim to fame
the film was wonderful, unfortunately I ordered the German version. I didn't want to ask my daughter in law to replace my lost English one as she was the producer Lisa Pare of... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Anne McCarron
4.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff
Loved this DVD, received fast and well packed. The only thing that stops it getting five stars is the German subtitles that you can't get rid of, but that's not Amazon's fault! Read more
Published 4 months ago by AmandaB
3.0 out of 5 stars great video shame about you cannot turn off the subtitles
I have been trying to get a copy of this for ages and was so pleased when I found it on Amazon unfortunately it didn't say it was in Swiss German and you cannot switch off the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by william
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film, inferior quality DVD
I love this film and was delighted to get it, BUT you can only watch it in German with English subtitles, or in English with German subtitles, really annoying and very... Read more
Published 6 months ago by AnnaC
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Been looking for this for ages, lent the VHS to a colleague who didn't return it. Special because myself and husband worked on the film. Read more
Published 8 months ago by KTB
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite
Just got this and looking for Richard. I preferred the latter. Found the 1930s setting just didn't quite work for me
Published 9 months ago by M. C. Collington
4.0 out of 5 stars I hate Shakespeare adaptation - but this is a great movie
As with all Shakespeare plays all the great actors of the time try to squeeze in. this film is no exception. However the actors do not outshine the character they play. Read more
Published 12 months ago by bernie
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