Blu-ray, DVD Release: Richard III

Blu-ray Release Date: April 23, 2013; DVD Release Date; April 9, 2013
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $39.95
Studio: Criterion

Richard III movie sceneWith the 1955 historical war drama film Richard III, director, producer, and star Laurence Olivier (Hamlet) brings Shakespeare’s masterpiece of Machiavellian villainy to mesmerizing cinematic life.

Olivier is downright diabolical—and captivating–as 15th Century England’s Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who, through a set of murderous machinations, steals the crown from his brother Edward.

Co-starring including Ralph Richardson (Long Day’s Journey into Night), John Gielgud (Arthur), and Claire Bloom (The King’s Speech), the classic Richard III is filmed in the gloriously widescreen VistaVision format and Technicolor, making it one of the most visually inspired of all big-screen Bard adaptations.

Criterion previously issued a single disc DVD edition of Richard III back in 2004. The new Criterion release is a two-disc set that includes all the bonus features that appeared on the first incarnation, as well as a new essay by film critic Amy Taubin. Here’s the complete list of features on the new DVD and debuting Blu-ray:

• New high-definition digital master of the Film Foundation’s 2012 restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
• Audio commentary by playwright and stage director Russell Lees and John Wilders, former governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company
• Interview with actor Laurence Olivier from a 1966 episode of the BBC series Great Acting, hosted by theater critic Kenneth Tynan
• Gallery of behind-the-scenes and production stills and posters, accompanied by excerpts from Olivier’s autobiography, On Acting
• Twelve-minute television trailer featuring footage of Olivier, producer Alexander Korda, and other cast and crew from the film
• Trailer
• A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Amy Taubin

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.