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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: September ::
Olivier's Richard III on DVD
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1732  Thursday, 4 September 2003

[1]     From:   Richard Burt <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 03 Sep 2003 08:25:32 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1721 Olivier's Richard III on DVD

[2]     From:   Keith Hopkins <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 3 Sep 2003 17:54:24 +0100
        Subj:   Olivier's Richard III on DVD


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Burt <
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Date:           Wednesday, 03 Sep 2003 08:25:32 -0400
Subject: 14.1721 Olivier's Richard III on DVD
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1721 Olivier's Richard III on DVD

This welcome news.  There is a DVD (PAL, region 2) of Richard III now
available in the UK, but it doesn't have an commentary or other extras.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Keith Hopkins <
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Date:           Wednesday, 3 Sep 2003 17:54:24 +0100
Subject:        Olivier's Richard III on DVD

Further to Doug Lanier's post, this classic portrayal is available in
the UK already but I think I do have to say that it has been utterly
eclipsed nowadays by the phenomenal 1995 McKellan version complete with
tank that smashes through the Lancastrian HQ in the opening scene. It is
an understatement when John Julius Norwich states in his "Shakespeare's
Kings" that all earlier versions including Olivier's are "pedestrian"
compared with McKellan's dazzling tour de force. So many wonderful
things in McKellan's version that cast a brilliant and so far as I am
aware entirely novel light on the play .I loved the "Now is the Winter
of our discontent ..." opening speech by him in which the first part is
shown as a public speech to Yorkist supporters and the second half is
recited to himself whilst he is in the gents toilet to emphasise that
these are his private thoughts. A  wonderfully insightful touch and the
film was full of these deft touches. And the whole thing with such
expressive diction. wit humour and mobile intelligence that one just
cannot imagine the role ever being betterred. By all means watch Olivier
but then see McCellan and be prepared to be blown away! There was also a
very fine performance by Nigel Hawthorne.

Keith Hopkins
London

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