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Richard III - BBC Shakespeare Collection [1983] [DVD]
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2012
This DVD impressed me, good production & costumes (as has become expected from the BBC) for this Shakespeare classic. As a result of viewing this DVD my wife & I have now booked to see a live production of the play performed by the RSC at Stratford Upon Avon in May.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2013
BBC at its best: lovely to watch. Clear diction. Great for GCSE and for studying the text. Brings text to life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 January 2015
Brilliant. Seen it again and again
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 5 August 2011
This production is only worth watching because it is the only one presenting the full text (well nearly full) to be available on DVD. The previous installments of the tetralogy by the BBC were quite good, in fact Henry VI part 1 is truly excellent, but it's a steady declension after that, as the story enfolds towards what sadly comes as an anticlimax. The fault of it really lies with Ron Cook who gives a very flat performance, with neither nuance, humour nor subtlety, and which besides gets completely outshone by the rest of the cast. Having no charisma, Mr. Cook resorts to playing Richard as a mere knave when we all know that he has to be much more formidable and multifaceted than that to become believable! The part should have gone to Mark Wing-Davey who played Warwick earlier on. He surely would have made a stronger impression on our imagination!
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on 5 May 2015
dated production but acting superb
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 2 August 2012
Think 'Richard III' and one cannot help but think 'Olivier'. Olivier set the bench mark for the part but he is remembered for a film made in glorious colour for the cinema. This is a play made for TV so to compare the two is, perhaps, unfair but one can also compare this with the Beeb's own 'An Age of Kings' which had the same plays as this later series and ended with 'The Boar Hunt' and the late, great Paul Daneman in the part of Richard.

Ron Cook is an able actor but no Olivier. Gone are the cut-glass vowels; the subtle use of the eyebrows; the deliberate, measured delivery. Mr Cook's Richard is very much "trouble at t'mill". His Richard has no nobility. He is a lout. It is an interesting interpretation but, in the end, it just didn't really work for me. It is rather flat.

What makes this version a joy to watch is the collection of fine character actors, many sadly no longer with us but special mention must be made of Julia Foster who continues her role as Queen Margaret. She dominates every scene she appears in and here is an actress surely at the peak of her profession. Here is all the venom and hatred of a wronged woman bent on revenge. Ben Fogle can be proud of his mum!

One surprise is the bit-part of Sir Richard Ratcliffe. Usually he hardly makes a mark in the play yet here (although depicted years older than the real Ratcliffe)he is all quiet menace.

What really depressed me was the production. Filmed in colour, the actors are sentenced to wear blacks and greys. The set (and there is basicly only one set) is primitive and as drab as the costumes. The heraldry is just awful; the 'armour' just about acceptable. In short the series is much inferior to 'An Age of Kings' in production terms. It is very much 'cheap and cheerful'.....except it's not even cheerful, just bleak.

Is this DVD worth buying? Most certainly. It apears to have almost all the text (which Olivier edited quite boldly)and should be seen as a brave interpretation.
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on 30 May 2015
would buy again very good
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 2012
A fine adaptaion of a classic work by Shakespeare. A must for anyons collection of classical collection of DVD's. Now is the winter of our discontent. A line written many year's ago but could very well refer to today.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 October 2014
A rare chance to see pretty much the full text performed (two discs are required), but the production and titular performance lack the diabolical energy required. More Greek tragedy than medieval morality, this is a disappointing end to the tetralogy
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on 14 October 2014
Excellent
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