The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.

Richard III

This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.


Richard III 1995 15

104 mins United Kingdom Director. Richard Loncraine

In one of the most bold and imaginative adaptations of Shakespeare to reach the screen, the 16th-century drama is relocated to imagined 1930s fascist Britain, with Ian McKellen’s vicious performance presenting the sheer embodiment of evil.

Co-written by McKellen with director Richard Loncraine, the reworking is notable for the detail applied to its vision of alternate reality, in which British history is intermingled with Nazi iconography and famous London landmarks are reimagined - or occasionally even relocated (Battersea Power Station is transplanted to the Kentish coast).

With an all-star cast including Annette Bening, Jim Broadbent, Robert Downey Jr., Nigel Hawthorne, Kristin Scott Thomas and Maggie Smith, this is stunningly cinematic translation of the powerful National Theatre production upon which it’s based; but it’s McKellen’s transfixing performance that captures its black heart.

Start watching in: 30 days

Finish watching in: 48 hours

Directed by

Richard Loncraine


Maggie Smith

Kristin Scott Thomas

Nigel Hawthorne

Robert Downey Jr

Jim Broadbent

Annette Bening

Ian McKellen




Richard III (1452-1485)


Shakespeare on Film Best of BAFTA






United Kingdom



Read lessRead more

Explore further

View Richard III
Richard III
Watch for free

Richard III 1911

A fascinating record of F.R Benson’s famed production at Stratford’s Shakespeare Memorial Theatre.

20 mins United Kingdom


View All

Welcome to a new subscription service like no other.

>100s of hand-picked classics and critically-acclaimed films

>Critic Mark Kermode picks a must-see film every week

>No contract, cancel anytime

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts

Never ask | Ask me later