Looking for Richard

Looking for Richard Study Guide

Looking for Richard is a 1996 film directed by Oscar-winning Hollywood actor Al Pacino. It is an exploration of Pacino's love for Shakespeare, particularly Shakespeare's Richard III, and it playfully intersperses documentary-style interviews with scholars, theater professionals, and people on the street with dramatizations of some of the play's pivotal scenes.

The film is as much a window into Pacino's unique obsession with acting and with inhabiting a character as it is about the play itself. Throughout, we see Pacino interacting with his collaborators trying to figure out how best to bring Shakespeare—a writer from a different era—to the modern public. Al Pacino works with producers Frederic Kimball and Michael Hadge, as well as actors like Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey, Penelope Allen, Estelle Parsons, Winona Ryder, and Kevin Conway to bring the story to life.

The film was met with positive reviews at the time of its release, praised for its playful style and in-depth examination of an actor's project. In his review of the film, Peter Travers wrote, "Pacino rises so thrillingly to the dare, you want to see more interpretations. Bring on that just-discovered 1912 silent-film version of the play. Pacino makes looking for Richard a great adventure and outrageous fun."