WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Richard III

Reviewed In Issue 09 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, John Giegud, Claire Bloom, Cedric Hardwicke, Alec Clunes, Lawrence Naismith, Norman Wooland, Paul Huson, Andy Shine, Pamela Brown, Michael Gough, Michael Ripper, Patrick Troughton, Andrew Cruickshank, Mary Kerridge & Stanley Baker

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 2.5
Sound Rating: 1.5
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): Criterion Collection
(Catalog Number): CC1342L-190
(MPAA Rating): Not Rated
(Retail Price): $69.95
(Running Time In Minutes): 158
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): No
(Theatrical Release): 1955
(LD Release Date): 01/01/94
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Laurence Olivier
(Screenplay/Written By): Laurence Olivier & Alan Dent
(Story): NA
(Music): Sir William Walton
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Carmen Dillon
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): Helga Cranston
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): NA
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Laurence Olivier

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): VistaVision
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 1.85:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 1.85:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Mono Sound
(Theatrical Sound): Optical Mono
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital):
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround):
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
William Shakespeare’s,historical drama, Richard III, is the last of the trilogy of Shakespeare films of the 1950’s, directed by and starring Laurence Olivier, which helped to rocket him to international stardom. His portrayal of the crippled Richard, brother to King Edward IV, is full of malevolence and treachery as he schemes his way to the throne by destroying all who stand in his way, even to the direct descendants of Edward, his two children, whom he banishes to ’The Tower’. Richard becomes King, only to find he has soon to defend the title from Henry Tudor and the House of Lancaster. In that famous battle scene, “My kingdom for a horse” he finally succumbs to defeat and death.

LaserDisc Picture:
The picture has been matted to 1.85:1. The transfer quality is superb, but problems with the source elements mar the experience. The picture has oversaturated color but the look is film-like. Images are very sharp with good contrast. Fleshtones are inconsistent and some scenes are excessively grainy and blurred.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The sound is compressed and harsh.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz):
(Aggressive System Surround):
(Intense 25Hz Bass):
(Deep Bass Challenging):
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield):
(Aggressive Split Surround):
(Center Back Surround Imaging):
(Directionalized Dialogue):
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition: