Looking for Richard

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Looking for Richard
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAl Pacino
Written byWilliam Shakespeare
Al Pacino
Frederic Kimball
Produced byMichael Hadge
Al Pacino
CinematographyRobert Leacock
Edited byWilliam A. Anderson
Ned Bastille
Pasquale Buba
Andre Ross Betz
Music byHoward Shore
Chal Productions
Jam Productions
Distributed byFox Searchlight Pictures
Release date
  • October 11, 1996 (1996-10-11) (United States)
Running time
112 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,408,575

Looking for Richard is a 1996 American documentary film directed by Al Pacino, in his directorial debut. It is a hybrid film, including both a filmed performance of selected scenes of William Shakespeare's Richard III and a documentary element which explores a broader examination of Shakespeare's continuing role and relevance in popular culture. The film was featured at the Sundance Film Festival in January 1996[1] and it was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival.[2] Al Pacino won the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – Documentaries.


Pacino plays both himself and the title character, Richard III. The film guides the audience through the play's plot and historical background.[3] Pacino and several fellow actors, including Penelope Allen and Harris Yulin,[4] act out scenes from the play.[5]

In addition, the actors comment on their roles. Pacino also features other actors famous for performing Shakespeare, such as Vanessa Redgrave, Kenneth Branagh, John Gielgud, Derek Jacobi, James Earl Jones, and Kevin Kline.[6] Pacino includes interviews with Shakespeare scholars such as Barbara Everett,[7] as well as ordinary people on the street.



The film received positive reviews from critics. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 82% of 49 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.1/10. The website's consensus reads: "Looking for Richard is a smart, fascinating behind-the-scenes look at adapting Shakespeare."[8]


  1. ^ Janet Maslin (29 January 2002). "Films on Junior High School And a Farm Win at Sundance". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  2. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Looking for Richard". festival-cannes.com. Archived from the original on 2012-10-06. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
  3. ^ Bruce Weber (6 October 1996). "Al Pacino, Slouching (Again) Toward Shakespeare". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  4. ^ Godfrey Cheshire (5 February 1996). "Looking For Richard". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  5. ^ Roger Ebert (25 October 1996). "Looking For Richard". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  6. ^ Janet Maslin (11 October 1996). "Royal Monster, Are You Out There?". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  7. ^ Burnett, Mark (2000). Shakespeare, film, fin-de-siècle. Basingstoke New York: Macmillan St. Martins. p. 66. ISBN 9780230286795.
  8. ^ "Looking for Richard". Rotten Tomatoes.

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