Gosh this adaptation is just to die for (to steal another reviewer's words)!!! Stunning sets, costumes and the feel is spot on. As for the cast....perfection. I could listen to McKellen read the phone book. Extremely very well done. Did not think this would be as good as it is. If you like this genre you will LOVE this. Was done in 1995 but has not dated one bit. An unusual 5/5 from me.
As far as the Bard adaptations go this is one of the better ones. The text has wisely been cut down to the minimum to focus on the action - after all this is a movie and not a play. Not for purists.
Probably the only updating of Shakespere that works without any reservations. Sir Ian McKellen goes beserk as a Fascist Teddy VIII, with most of the movie, unless I am mistaken, set in the ruins of Pink Floyd's Battersea Power Station. Dame Maggie Smith, Robert Downey Jr, Nigel Hawthorn & Kristen Scott-Thomas are part of a supporting troupe to die for. Along with Scofield's incredible Lear, the greatest Shakespeare adaptation that will never be seen. Please, Quickflicks, address this! I did not join to watch Die Hard #2349.
I'm usually a bit wary of movies, operas, etc that have been updated but this was a fabulous exception. The story translated beautifully to the 1930s & the parallels between Richard lll & Hitler were extraordinary, as were those between him & his mother (played brilliantly, as always, by Maggie Smith) & Queen Mary with her son Edward Vlll who abdicated in 1936 to become the Duke of Windsor, & his wife (Wallis Simpson). Interesting that Edward lVs (older brother of Richard & king) wife & her dissolute brother Earl Rivers, who were not from an aristocratic family, & were universally hated by the royal family, were played by Americans to highlight the contrast. For history buffs, it is a real treat. Ian Mckellen as an evil Richard was superb.
One of the best Shakespeare adaptations ever! The setting is moved to 1930s Britain, and the whole atmosphere, plot and situations are absolutely spot on for that time. If you are afraid of Shakespeare, watch this and be astonished. Sir Ian plays Richard III as a fascist dictator, devoid of remorse, but still a living person.
I loved it when I saw it and I still do now.
Great story, great acting
Ian McKellan is awesome as usual. I just wish, one time, that someone would do Shakespeare verbatim, but in a way where we can actually make out EVERYTHING they are saying. Woudl have been nice to make it a little 'more' historically factual.