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Chimes at Midnight (aka Falstaff)

Film adaptation of Shakespeare by Orson Welles

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A Quick Tip by voilodion2012

  • Jun 14, 2013
  • by
This is the Orson Welles film that nobody has ever seen. What gives?? I understand the movie had some major licensing problems back in the day, but nowadays you can watch the movie on Youtube free of any charge. Furthermore, it's been called one of his greatest films alongside CITIZEN KANE. Welles himself even said if there was one movie he could use as a ticket to get into heaven, it would be this one. So why does it continue to remain in obscurity?

The film is kind of oddly pieced together, no doubt indicative of the film's troubled funding and the fact that its taking material from five different plays. Still, Welles manages to make it work. Even moments you wouldn't associate with a Welles movie, like the battle scenes, are nicely edited and feel fast and brutal.  Welles himself is perfect in the role of Falstaff.

I've always loved Falstaff.  How could you not be taken in by such a corpulent, crafty rogue?  His presence alone elevated HENRY IV Part 1 to one of my favorite Shakespeare plays.  In the end, I was really glad to have seen this movie.  It may not gain the favor of everyone; it may amuse or befuddle depending on your particular tastes and liberal arts education.  But I have no doubt that the image of Welles as Falstaff waddling around in full armor during the Battle of Shrewsbury will bring a chuckle to even the most cynical of movie goers.
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June 15, 2013
will give it a look....
 
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Wiki

Chimes at Midnight (U.K. release: Falstaff, Spanish release: Campanadas a medianoche), is a 1966 English language Spanish-Swiss co-produced[1] film directed by and starring Orson Welles. The film's plot centers on William Shakespeare's recurring character Sir John Falstaff and the father-son relationship he has with Prince Hal, who must choose between loyalty to Falstaff or to his father, King Henry IV.

Welles said that the core of the film's story was "the betrayal of friendship." It stars Welles as Falstaff, Keith Baxter as Prince Hal, John Gielgud as Henry IV, Jeanne Moreau as Doll Tearsheet and Margaret Rutherford as Mistress Quickly. The script contains text from five Shakespeare plays: primarily Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2, but also Richard II, Henry V, and some dialogue from The Merry Wives of Windsor. Ralph Richardson's narration is taken from the works of chronicler Raphael Holinshed.

Welles had previously produced a Broadway stage adaptation of nine Shakespeare plays in 1939 called Five Kings. He later revived this project in Ireland as Chimes at Midnight in 1960, which was his final performance on the stage. Neither of these plays were successful, but Welles considered portraying Falstaff to be his life's ambition and turned the project into a film. Welles struggled to find financing throughout the film's production and at one point lied to producer Emiliano Piedra about intending to make a version of Treasure Island ...

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