Parents' Guide to

Richard III

By Rich Phippen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Olivier's classic Shakespeare adaptation has some violence.

Movie NR 1955 161 minutes
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This is the only one of Olivier's Shakespeare adaptations not to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, although it did win Best Film at the 1955 BAFTAs. Olivier himself also won a BAFTA for his performance as the scheming titular character. Unlike Hamlet, which was released seven years earlier, Richard III is shot in color and is far more advanced in terms of presentation, although the sets and extended scenes do tend to make it feel like a stage play. The seminal performances are first rate, as is the norm with Olivier's adaptations. However, the dialogue can be tricky for anybody unfamiliar with Shakespeare's works, which may make the plot harder to follow. The studio sets have dated somewhat, but this doesn't particularly detract from the delivery of Shakespeare's words.

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