Amid the Wars of the Roses in England, ruling monarch Edward IV's lame, misshapen brother Richard schemes to ascend the throne.
Richard turns the king against their other brother, the Duke of Clarence, who is imprisoned for treason, then arranges for Clarence's murder.
He then woos the Lady Anne, determined to wed her to increase his influence.
When Edward finally dies, Richard plots the murders of the young heir apparent and his brother--his own nephews.
His machinations accelerate and murder piles atop murder as Richard succeeds in taking the throne--and desperately tries to hold it.
Laurence Olivier's classic protrayal of the ambitious, calculating man reveals both his wickedness and his unshakable strength.
The lush photography and widescreen format do the elaborate battle scenes justice.