Falstaff: Chimes At Midnight (Campanadas a Medianoche) (1965) by Orson Welles - DVD

Director: Orson Welles

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Film Info:

Origin: Spain / Year: 1965 / Rating: PG / Running Time: 115 Mins / Black & White / Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 / Cat No: MRBDVD048 


On the brink of Civil War, King Henry IV (John Gielgud) attempts to consolidate his reign while fretting with unease over his son’s seeming neglect of his royal duties. Hal (Keith Baxter), the young Prince, openly consorts with Sir John Falstaff (Orson Welles) and his company of “Diana’s foresters, Gentlemen of the shade, Minions of the moon”. Hal’s friendship with the fat knight substitutes for his estrangement from his father. Both Falstaff and the King are old and tired; both rely on Hal for comfort in their final years, while the young Prince, the future Henry V, nurtures his own ambitions.

Orson Welles considered Chimes at Midnight his personal favorite of all his films. Perhaps the most radical and groundbreaking of all Shakespeare adaptations, the film condenses the Bard’s Henriad cycle into a single focused narrative. Its international cast comprises of Jeanne Moreau, Fernando Rey, Margaret Rutherford, and Ralph Richardson as the narrator, in addition to Welles and Gielgud. The film’s harrowing war scenes have proven especially influential, cited in Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V as well as Mel Gibson’s Braveheart.


"Greatness...Here is a film to treasure" -- Roger Ebert

"5/5. Orson Welles’ “lament for merrie England” was his favourite among his films” -- The Independent

"5/5. Welles makes Shakespeare’s Falstaff a hero, not a buffoon in his intimate tragicomic drama. The result is a treat” -- The Guardian

"5/5. Welles’s most human film, his most poignant, funny and empathetic” -- Time Out


Cast & Credits:

Orson Welles
Keith Baxter
John Gielgud
Margaret Rutherford
Jeanne Moreau
Norman Rodway

Director: Orson Welles
Producers: Orson Welles, Emiliano Piedra, Angel Escolano
From plays by: William Shakespeare
Assistant Director: Tony Fuentes
Cinematography: Edmund Richard
Editor: Fritz Mueller
Music: Alberto Lavagnino  


- Cannes Film Festival 20th Anniversary Prize & Technical Grand Prize

- Cannes Film Festival Technical Grand Prize

- BAFTA Best Foreign Actor: Orson Welles


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