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Looking for Richard [VHS]

102 customer reviews

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$39.99 + $3.99 shipping Only 2 left in stock. Ships from and sold by VHS movies for your VCR.


Product Details

  • Actors: Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey, Frederic Kimball, Penelope Allen
  • Directors: Al Pacino
  • Writers: Al Pacino, Frederic Kimball, William Shakespeare
  • Producers: Al Pacino, James Bulleit, Michael Hadge, William Teitler
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • VHS Release Date: April 29, 1997
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304393075
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,899 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The camera follows the cast and crew throughout rehearsals, eavesdropping on the behind-the-scenes process that goes into creating characters and mounting a production. With appearances from Sir John Gielgud, Kenneth Branagh, Vanessa Redgrave, James Earl Jones and Kevin Kline. "Looking For Richard" is "outrageous fun" (Rolling Stone).

Amazon.com

This strange and charming documentary by Al Pacino, in which he also stars, is an exploration of several topics: Shakespeare and his hump-backed villain, the impulse to act, the way actors work--and Pacino's single-minded effort to make the Bard accessible to all audiences and not just the effete few. Over the course of the film, Pacino alternately discusses the role and the text; roams Manhattan, talking about Shakespeare with everyone from scholars to people on the street; and re-creates scenes from the play in a production staged at the Cloisters, an evocative castle-like museum on the north end of Manhattan. He assembles a cast that includes Kevin Spacey, Winona Ryder, Estelle Parsons, and Alec Baldwin to perform the scenes, and he slips back and forth between text and discussion of the play in a way that makes Shakespeare comprehensible and fascinating to viewers who know or care nothing about his writing. --Marshall Fine

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 28, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Few people know that Al Pacino "did" Shakespeare before moving on to the big Hollywood roles we know him for. This film is intelligent, witty, and downright entertaining. In fact, there's two stories being told: in one sense, the film is an abridged version of Shakespeare's Richard III; simultaneously this is the story of the actors, directors, and producers concerns in producing a Shakespearean play. Production is interpretation, and people have made their entire careers interpreting Shakespeare in wildly abstract ways. "Looking for Richard" is far from wildly abstract. As a graduate student in literature, and specifically, Shakespeare, I can say that this film succesfully put into layman's terms many of the issues that are discussed by scholars in elitist terms. It's fun and offers a glimpse of what those wildly abstract literary scholars truly love, but not so oft express. As to another reviewer who cautioned that this play ignores the historical inaccuracy of the play, I offer "so what"- this movie and play are not about history. Highly recommend
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Scott FS VINE VOICE on August 1, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
I really like looking behind the scenes of making a film - or, as in this case - putting on a play.

I've been searching for this film for quite a while, and I'm glad it is again available. It's a must-see for students of acting, Shakespeare, or both.

Al Pacino is faced with mounting a free production of Richard III in Central Park. Along the way, he has to assemble his crew of actors and actresses, coordinate the production, and try to get his arms around one of the Bard's more difficult plays.

There is a world of difference in reading Shakespeare, and watching it on stage. I think we've all done penance reading Shakespeare, with mixed results. I've found the language in the abstract (i.e. simply reading the play) to be difficult. Seeing it on stage (or screen) adds the visual element, that makes it more understandable. (After all, the plays were meant to be seen, not read.)

This is a film that will bear watching over and over again. Follow it by watching the play itself.

Highly recommended.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Michael Snyder on June 20, 2005
Format: DVD
Some reviewers have complained about this film. This is a documentary that illustrates how Shakespeare can be seen as both art and history, both as literature and as entertainment. One reviewer called it an introductory for grade school children. That's exactly the point. "looking for Richard" is an introductory to the complexities and richn ess of Shakespeare and those who act and perform his plays. Certainly the general audience at "The Rose" and "The Globe" were not scholars, teachers or students of English literature or history. Few were alive in 1600 that lived in the days of the last Plantagenet and the first Tudor. To them, history was oral and immediate. Historical accuracy is not high on the Bard's priorities or of in those of his audiences. What matters is the interplay of characters, the tone and thrust of its plot and the relevance to its audiences. Thus there is a correlation between those Renaissance English audiences and most American audiences. How many Americans even know what the "War of the Roses" was about? Most would link it to the Mike Douglas/Kathleen Turner movie before a period of desperate political and military conflict, full of violence and treachery, ambition, greed and pride, in England which almost wiped out the old noble families and set the stage for Henry the VIII and Elizabeth Rex. The play uses the "historical" background to explore these issues. It has also been described as a piece of Tudor propaganda, written to buttress Elizabeth's legitimacy on the throne by painting the loser of the last conflict of the war as a villain, defeated by the hero, her grandfather. All this background and the richness of human emotion contained in the play come forth from this documentary like effort.Read more ›
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Maximiliano F Yofre on December 24, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Shakespeare's plays are an inextinguishable source of inspiration for movie-makers. His works are approached from very different stands: classical as "Julius Caesar" (1953) and "Antony and Cleopatra" (1972); as transposition to other time and surroundings as "West Side Story" (1961) and "Ran" (1985) or as in the present case from a very personal optic.

Al Pacino gives the viewer a very personal and enlightening sight of one of Shakespeare's more famous plays. Here Al is actor, director, producer and scrip writer. Can you ask more compromise with a movie?
He is really fascinated with the play and the character. Pacino conducts a thoroughly investigation on the historical Richard III and compares him with the play's personage.
This film is a strange but tasty mixture of documentary and drama. It comprises interviews, rehearsals, and character and playacting discussion.

The ordinary viewer, as me, is enriched by getting in touch with the inner work of an actor when preparing his/her stage performance; the problems that a director must face to deliver an enticing play.

Pacino is paramount in his acting; especially some Richard's monologues are gripping. The rest of the cast is on par with high points in Wynona Ryder, Harris Yulin and Kevin Spacey performances. Vanessa Redgrave, Kenneth Branagh, James Earl Jones and John Gielgud amongst other give helpful insights in their interviews.

A very good and entertaining movie for a wide range of audiences.
Reviewed by Max Yofre.
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