Laurence Olivier Constance A. Brown - Essay

Anthony Holden

Constance A. Brown

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Richard III in particular offers as much as can reasonably be expected of a film. In Olivier's hands, one of Shakespeare's better plays (certainly not one of his best) is transformed into an intricate, subtle, coolly ironic plunge into one of those recesses of human nature that are generally avoided through the same fastidious impulses that make the manufacture of sewer covers a profitable business. In its rather stylized way, Richard is an extraordinarily honest film, and requires proportional honesty from anyone who hopes to assess it correctly—which may partly account for the fact that so far no one has bothered….

Olivier's alterations of Richard III are so numerous that...

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