Screenplay by Ian McKellen and Richard Loncraine
INT. DRAWING-ROOM - COUNTRY RETREAT -
Everyone is waiting for the outcome of
KING EDWARD'S attack.
The super-cool RICHARD takes out an Abdulla. At his side,
BUCKINGHAM offers a light and then lights his own fat cigar - he
is smooth as an agent and RICHARD is soon to become his star
(aside to BUCKINGHAM)
This is the fruits of rashness.
(to HASTINGS and CATESBY)
Marked you not,
How that the guilty brother of the Queen
Looked pale, when he did hear of Clarence's death?
God will revenge it!
The door opens. The DUCHESS OF YORK has
arrived with LORD STANLEY. BUCKINGHAM goes to greet her.
DUCHESS OF YORK
0 Clarence, Clarence, my unhappy son.
This news is bad indeed.
What, is he in his bed?
He is. 0 he has over-used his royal person
Before the DUCHESS OF YORK can be led to
her son's bedside, there is a SCREAM and commotion from the floor
|scene 48 was filmed in the Long
Gallery on the ground floor of the Brighton Pavilion.
Richard can hardly wait for the fortuitous death of his elder
brother and the power vacuum that his own Lord Protectorship can
fill. Buckingham is already at his side, as Richard slides over to
Hastings and Catesby whose support, as Prime Minister and Civil
Service Chief, he will also need. Lady Anne is ignored once more.
All the scenes at Brighton Pavilion (39,
41, 48, 49
and 50) were shot through the night. The day
before night-filming is for sleep, which I can usually induce,
with the aid of Boots' waxen ear-plugs and a British Airways'
eye-shade. During the working night, as the real world outside
sleeps, the enclosed fraternity of film- making intensifies.
Caffeine is on tap from the tea and coffee urns, although I enjoy
cat-napping whether sitting, leaning or lying down.
After the hot meal in the early hours, I restored energies by
sleeping on my caravan fold-down double-bed, my right cheek on the
pillow, careful to avoid disturbing Daniel Parker's prosthetics on
my left side. The night's work over, there was breakfast at dawn
and then a second day's sleep at the hotel, with ear-plugs again,
muffling the chambermaids at their housekeeping.
'This news is bad indeed.' This line and Richard's reply
are borrowed from elsewhere in the play (1.1) where Hastings has
been newly released from The Tower - a sub-plot that was omitted
because of its long roots in the Wars of the Roses.
INT. THE KING'S BEDROOM - COUNTRY RETREAT
A scene of mayhem.
On top of the royal bed, KING EDWARD has
died, his mouth fixed in an agonised last gasp for breath.
On one side of him, his DOCTOR searches
for a pulse with his stethoscope.
On the other, QUEEN ELIZABETH tries to
revive her husband's corpse, with thumps of rage and fear. She
never planned to be a powerless widow.
As RIVERS tries to restrain her, QUEEN
ELIZABETH rushes out, uncontrollable.
RIVERS follows her down the corridor,
without a glance at PRINCESS ELIZABETH, who gazes at death for the
first time in her protected, young life.
The DOCTOR examines the corpse. The NURSE
looks tearful, as she closes the shutters. The ARCHBISHOP mumbles
|scene 49. RL contained all this
action within a single static shot from the point of view of the
dying King. As his breathing stops, Queen Elizabeth leaves,
attended by her brother and then by the Archbishop. The doctor's
job is over. Princess Elizabeth is left alone. Above her is the
magnificent ceiling of the Brighton Pavilion's Music Room,
recently restored to glory following its partial destruction in a
INT. DRAWING-ROOM - COUNTRY RETREAT - DAY
QUEEN ELIZABETH rushes down the stairs and
collapses onto a chair.
DUCHESS OF YORK
What means this scene of rude impatience?
Edward, my Lord, your son, our King is
Everyone wonders what should happen next.
A nervous silence. Before HASTINGS has a chance to speak,
BUCKINGHAM takes control.
RICHARD looks to HASTINGS and LORD STANLEY. They nod their
RIVERS enters, out of breath, and goes to
help his sister.
Why grow the branches, now the root is
Why wither not the leaves, the sap being gone?
DUCHESS OF YORK
Alas! I am the mother of these griefs.
On me pour all your tears; I am your sorrow's nurse.
Elizabeth, have comfort. All of us have
To wail the dimming of our shining star.
Though we have spent our harvest of this
We are to reap the harvest of his son.
Sister, think you like a careful
Of the Prince of Wales, your son. Send straight for him.
Let him be crowned; in him your comfort lies.
BUCKINGHAM takes control. The Lord
Protector's dry-eyed party is framed together, as they face the
grieving mother, widow and her brother.
'We are to reap the harvest of his son.'
Buckingham needs no prompt from Richard as he presents his plan.
'The King is dead. Long live the King - and the Lord Protector!'
so to speak.
(to QUEEN ELIZABETH)
Meseemeth good that, with some little
The Prince be brought to London to be crowned.
Why 'with some little train', my Lord of
Lest by a multitude, dear sir,
The new-healed wound of civil war break out.
I hope the King made peace with all of us:
And the compact is firm and true in me.
And so in me. And so, I think, in
Therefore, I say, with noble Buckingham,
It's fitting that so few should meet the Prince.
'Why "with some little train", my Lord of
Having been enthralled by Robert Downey Jr's performance as
Chaplin, I jumped at the chance to act with him in Restoration
in the summer of 1994. As the wastrel Merivel, he effortlessly
combined innocence with sexiness, sentiment with slapstick. As his
loyal servant Will Gates, I found it easy to be both paternal and
We were under pressure from our financiers who wanted another
internationally recognised name in the cast list, as well as
Annette Bening. I called Robert at his home in Malibu, knowing
that Rivers was too small a part for him to accept. I misjudged
his generosity. He wanted to help the film be made and immediately
cleared his diary for three weeks in London. Richard III
and Restoration were released in North America on the same
day, 22 December 1995.
'And so in me.' Rivers, the American playboy, does not
have a chance against the scheming heavyweight team of Richard and
Everyone nods agreement and looks toward
RICHARD, the Lord Protector, who, in turn, defers to HASTINGS, the
And so say I.
Then, be it so.
RIVERS leads QUEEN ELIZABETH toward the
door, where the ARCHBISHOP is waiting with professional
commiseration. They leave.
DUCHESS OF YORK
Now two mirrors of my husband's likeness
Are cracked in pieces, by malignant death.
(to LORD STANLEY, who offers his
And I, for comfort, have but one false
That grieves me when I see my shame in him.
Madam, Mother, I do humbly crave your
DUCHESS OF YORK
God bless you - and put meakness in your
Love, charity, obedience and true duty!
The DUCHESS OF YORK sails out with LORD
HASTINGS and CATESBY see RICHARD is upset
and discreetly leave.
(wryly; but he's been hurt by his mother)
Amen! And make me die a good old
That is the butt-end of a mother's blessing.
I marvel that Her Grace did leave it out!
(taking RICHARD'S arm)
My Lord Protector.
Agent and client have made a contract.
They leave, forgetting LADY ANNE. A FOOTMAN respectfully draws the
|Defers to Hastings. My back to
camera, it was possible to identify Hastings by adding 'Prime
Minister?' onto the final soundtrack.
DUCHESS OF YORK. I had always hoped that Maggie Smith
would agree to play my mother, a small part for which she is, of
course, far too young, but which needs a dominant personality to
convey the emotional barrenness of Richard's childhood.
Maggie and I first made contact in 1964, when she was a young
star of Laurence Olivier's newly formed National Theatre Company.
She was about to play Beatrice in Franco Zeffirelli's production
of Much Ado
About Nothing. The search was on for a young Claudio, a
part I had played three years before, in my first job at the Belgrade
Theatre, Coventry. Having seen me in my West End debut in A
Scent of Flowers, Maggie recommended me to Olivier and
Zeffirelli. I auditioned in front of all the National Theatre
directors and joined the company to play Claudio again.
Also gathered beneath Olivier's wing were many young actors
hoping for the same roles -Jeremy Brett, Mike Gambon, Edward
Hardwicke, Anthony Hopkins, Derek Jacobi, Edward Petherbridge,
Ronald Pickup, John Stride, Christopher Timothy and Michael York
as well as the established younger stars like Colin Blakely,
Albert Finney, Frank Finlay and Robert Stephens. Eight months
later, I left the company and although Olivier wrote to me that I
should stay to build up my personal repertoire with him and that
he was 'haunted by the spectre of lost opportunity', I found I
could get better parts as a freelance actor.
I did not work with Dame Maggie again until the film. I see
everything she appears in, but missed her stage debut in Oxford as
Viola in Twelfth Night (1952) and her later Shakespeare
during her 1976-80 sojourn in Stratford, Ontario, where she played
Queen Elizabeth to Brian Bedford's Richard III.
EXT. LORD PROTECTOR'S HEADQUARTERS -
RATCLIFFE manoeuvres the Lord Protector's
limousine, carrying RICHARD and BUCKINGHAM, through the tall,
wrought-iron gates into an enclosed courtyard.
|scene 51. We used the exterior
of the London County Hall in whose basement Clarence was killed.
INT. LOBBY - LORD PROTECTOR'S
HEADQUARTERS - DAY
RICHARD and BUCKINGHAM walk through the
RICHARD and BUCKINGHAM walk through the imposing lobby.
The film's architecture radically changes with this expression
of the Lord Protector's power, the lobby of the Senate House in
London University (built in 1936) with its large expanses of
marble. During the Second World War, the Ministry of Information
occupied the Senate House, from which was broadcast information
about Dunkirk and the D-Day landings.
It took five days to add the atmospheric footsteps to the
finished soundtrack. To facilitate this and to prevent the actors'
actual footsteps competing with their dialogue, any leather soles
were cushioned during filming, by applied strips of thin
INT. HALL/STAIRWAY - LORD PROTECTOR'S
HEADQUARTERS - DAY
RICHARD and BUCKINGHAM walk through the
hall and up the grand staircase.
My Lord, whoever journeys to the
For God's sake, let not us two stay at home.
And let us part Earl Rivers from the Prince.
My other self.
My oracle, my prophet, my dear Buckingham.
I, as a child, will go by your direction.
INT. LORD PROTECTOR'S OFFICE - DAY
RICHARD and BUCKINGHAM have reached the
door to the office of the Lord Protector.
RICHARD pushes open the door, revealing
the interior of his newly appointed working premises, worthy of
the most powerful leader in the country and dominated by an iconic
oil painting of a physically perfect RICHARD, which is mounted on
the end wall.
|scene 54. Although we filmed
Richard's point of view at the door of his magnificent new, empty
office, its splendour had been pre-empted by scenes 52
and 53 in the public lobby. In deleting the
scene, the last two lines of the previous scene had to go as well.
This was unfortunate. 'I as a child, will go by your direction' is
an ironic, yet heartfelt, reference to the Duchess of York's lines
in scene 50.
The oil painting is now revealed later, in scene 74,
by which time it is appropriate that Richard's self-confidence
should be increasingly on display.
INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR - DAY
CHAMBERMAID, with towels, notes 'Do not
Disturb' sign on a bedroom door and carries on along the corridor.
TYRELL, approaching from the opposite direction, gives her a wink.
|scenes 55 & 56 were shot
inside the Pearl Assurance Building.
INT. HOTEL BEDROOM - DAY
Through the thin curtains, the afternoon
sun shines on RIVERS, lying back, naked, on the brass-headed
double-bed in the luxury hotel room, which he has rented for a
couple of hours. The AIR HOSTESS french-kisses him.
The CAMERA closes in on RIVERS.
As Miss Pan-Am moves down his chest to attend to lower parts,
unseen by him, the door silently opens a little. CLOSE on RIVERS,
as his ecstasy rapidly reaches an agonising climax, a long, sharp
blade slices up through the mattress, emerging out of his chest.
The AIR HOSTESS screams simultaneously
with a piercing Train whistle.
|The AIR HOSTESS, whom I always
imagined might have been crowned 'Miss Pan Am 1935', is identified
by her hat. In the background, the bedroom door silently opens to
An early draft had Rivers executed by Tyrell in The Tower, his
body thrown into the murky, fast-flowing Thames. The more
distinctive death of the final screenplay was devised by RL. The
nasty stabbing effect was achieved by filming a blade piercing a
dummy body and then transferring it via computer onto the film of
Robert Downey's torso, which thankfully remains unhurt and
Train whistle. The housekeeper in Hitchcock's The
Thirty-nine Steps (1935) discovers a corpse and opens her
mouth to scream in time with the whistle of the steam-engine
carrying away the supposed murderer, Richard Hannay.
EXT. RAILWAY VIADUCT - DAY
Across the massive monument to Victorian
engineering, a steam train thunders forward, pulling its royal
carriages through vistas of an idyllic, rural landscape.
||scene 58. I had written for an
INT. ROYAL TRAIN - DAY
A comfortable drawing-room on wheels.
The slim, rather cocky heir to the throne, Edward, PRINCE OF
WALES, in his private-school uniform, is taking tea, opposite
his massive minder, the Duke of Buckingham, whose cigar smoke
lingers in the beams of sunshine.
The Prince of Wales takes a crumpled pack of ten Senior
Service from his trouser pocket. The ever-obliging Buckingham
offers him a light.
Shortage of funds and time robbed the new young King of this
EXT. THE COUNTRYSIDE - DAY
The steam train rushes on towards the
capital, as the countryside gives way to a cityscape.
|scene 59 was shot on the 5-mile
steam locomotive Bluebell Railway in Sussex, which was saved from
closure by its Preservation Society in 1955.