Friday, June 22, 2012

Richard III in The Wars of the Roses

King Richard III. Dir. Michael Bogdanov. Perf. Andrew Jarvis, Michael Pennington, Anne Penfold, June Watson, and Susanna Best. Wars of the Roses. 1990. DVD. Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 2005.

And now, in the category of terrific films that no reasonable person can reasonably afford, we have the series The Wars of the Roses, the English Shakespeare Company's astonishing production of both tetralogies. Yes, they filmed their series of plays that includes the plots of Richard II; Henry IV, Part One; Henry IV, Part II; Henry V; Henry VI, Part One; Henry VI, Part Two; Henry VI, Part Three; and Richard III. Amazing is too mild a word for it.

But it's also around $700 for the series, which is why you should have your library buy it for you (as I did).

Their Richard III opens with this excellent and humor-filled introduction to the cast. In under four minutes, they set the stage for the play, obliterating any confusion students, scholars, and general readers might face in encountering the play:

Links: The Series at IMDB.
Click to purchase
(or to have your library purchase)
the films from Films for the Humanities and Sciences.


Anonymous said...

I LONG to see this production, as two of my friends are in it, but my local library can't come through with a purchase or an ILL. Alas. Thanks for posting the clip! Lovely to see.

Anonymous said...

Hi there! Do you know where I can find a working link to purchase the series for my library? Thanks!

kj said...

Thanks, Anonymous. I'm afraid the link went sour in some way. I've fixed the link above, but you can also link directly to it at this URL:

Take care!


Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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