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  • Tower of London is a 1939 black-and-white historical film and quasi-horror film released by Universal Pictures and directed by Rowland V. Lee. It stars Basil Rathbone as the future Richard III of England, and Boris Karloff as his fictitious club-footed executioner Mord. Vincent Price appears as George, Duke of Clarence. Actor John Rodion, who appears in a small role, is actually Rodion Rathbone, Basil's son. The film is based on the traditional depiction of Richard rising to become King of England in 1483 by eliminating everyone ahead of him. Each time Richard accomplishes a murder, he removes one figurine from a dollhouse resembling a throneroom. Once he has completed his task, he now needs to defeat the exiled Henry Tudor to retain the throne. The plot was not derived from Shakespeare's Richard III, but rather was written by Robert N. Lee after reading a great deal of British history. George, Duke of Clarence is depicted as something less than the tragically noble figure found in Shakespeare. Ian Hunter portrays Edward IV, who is not depicted here as the feeble, dying King found in Laurence Olivier's 1955 film version of Shakespeare's play. The exterior castle sets constructed for this film became a staple of the Universal backlot and could be seen time and time again in subsequent films. Wikipedia

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