Chimes at Midnight

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The crowning achievement of Orson Welles’s extraordinary cinematic career, Chimes at Midnight was the culmination of the filmmaker’s lifelong obsession with Shakespeare’s ultimate rapscallion, Sir John Falstaff. Usually a comic supporting figure,... read more
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The crowning achievement of Orson Welles’s extraordinary cinematic career, Chimes at Midnight was the culmination of the filmmaker’s lifelong obsession with Shakespeare’s ultimate rapscallion, Sir John Falstaff. Usually a comic supporting figure, Falstaff—the loyal, often soused friend of King Henry IV’s wayward son Prince Hal—here becomes the focus: a robustly funny and ultimately tragic screen antihero played by Welles with looming, lumbering grace. Integrating elements from both Henry IV plays as well as Richard II, Henry V, and The Merry Wives of Windsor, Welles created a gritty and unorthodox Shakespeare film as a lament, he said, “for the death of Merrie England.” Poetic, philosophical, and visceral—with a kinetic centerpiece battle sequence that rivals anything in the director’s body of work—Chimes at Midnight is as monumental as the figure at its heart.

Original Release

12/22/1965

Links

Cast

Orson Welles Falstaff
Jeanne Moreau Doll Tearsheet
Margaret Rutherford Mistress Quickly
John Gielgud Henry IV
Marina Vlady Kate Percy
Walter Chiari Mr. Silence
Michael Aldridge Pistol
Tony Beckley Ned Poins
Jeremy Rowe Prince John
Norman Rodway Henry 'Hotspur' Percy
(see additional cast & crew)

Directors

Orson Welles

Writers

Orson Welles, William Shakespeare, Raphael Holinshed

Cast

Orson Welles Falstaff
Jeanne Moreau Doll Tearsheet
Margaret Rutherford Mistress Quickly
John Gielgud Henry IV
Marina Vlady Kate Percy
Walter Chiari Mr. Silence
Michael Aldridge Pistol
Tony Beckley Ned Poins
Jeremy Rowe Prince John
Norman Rodway Henry 'Hotspur' Percy
Keith Baxter Prince Hal
Alan Webb Shallow
Fernando Rey Worcester
Andrew Faulds Westmoreland
Patrick Bedford Bardolph (as Paddy Bedford)
Ralph Richardson Narrator (voice)
Ingrid Pitt (uncredited)
Beatrice Welles Falstaff's Page
Fernando Hilbeck
Andrés Mejuto

Producers

Editors

Elena Jaumandreu, Frederick Muller, Peter Parasheles

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