Chimes at Midnight (1965)

Chimes at Midnight



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The legendary Shakespearean character Sir John Falstaff, the notoriously drunken, obese, and yet charming companion of the young Henry V, steps up from supporting character in several plays to the central focus of Orson Welles' Chimes at Midnight, considered by many critics the best of the director's acclaimed Shakespeare films. The script borrows scenes from several plays, but draws most heavily on the two parts of Henry IV, focusing on the shifting relationship between Falstaff and Prince Hal. … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: William Shakespeare, Raphael Holinshed, Orson Welles
In Theaters:


as Falstaff

as Doll Tearsheet

as Mistress Quickly

as Henry IV

as Kate Percy

as Prince Hal

as Henry 'Hotspur' Perc...

as Justice Shallow

as Worcester

as Mr. Silence

as Falstaff's Page

as Westmoreland

as Northumberland

as Prince John

as Narrator
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Chimes at Midnight

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (8)

Welles's most human film, his most poignant, funny and empathetic.

Full Review… | April 29, 2015
Time Out
Top Critic

Of all the movies Welles made, it may offer the most clues to his imposing pachyderm soul.

Full Review… | January 13, 2015
Village Voice
Top Critic

It takes large latent talent to tell the audience that you know that what you're doing isn't worth doing and still do it better than anyone else in the movie.

Full Review… | August 30, 2012
The New Republic
Top Critic

A personal viewpoint, it mixes the grotesque, bawdy, comic and heroic, and does have a melancholy under its carousing and battles.

Full Review… | June 18, 2008
Top Critic

Here is a film to treasure.

Full Review… | April 6, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Welles waddles through the foreground with an eye on his own problems of patronage, while behind the camera he conjures a dark masterpiece, shot through with slapstick and sorrow.

February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Chimes at Midnight

Considering that just about everything Orson Welles directed after "Citizen Kane" was compromised by studio interference and/or budgetary constraints, it's remarkable that he made as many brilliant movies as he did. "Chimes at Midnight" is one of his very best. Magnificent yet flawed, so well does this film mirror both its creator and the character he plays in it, lovable rogue Sir John Falstaff, that its very flaws almost become virtues. Though it is directed, photographed and edited with extraordinary skill, "Chimes at Midnight" contains some of the worst dialogue synching I have ever come across. A restoration of the film has long been rumoured, but such is the quantity of slapdash dubbing, short of creating a brand new soundtrack, no amount of judicious tweaking is ever likely to completely reunite Shakespeare's words with the lips that are uttering them. In spite of this, in spite of the difficult language and the dizzying editing style, which exhilarated but ultimately exhausted me, "Chimes at Midnight" is a wonderful movie.

Stephen M

Super Reviewer

magnificent. the finest shakespeare adaptation i've seen with one of the finest battle scenes ever filmed! absolutely breathtaking. it's criminal that this doesn't have a criterion and armageddon does

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

Complaints about low-quality dubbing seem unfair in the face of such stunning images and inspired direction. Orson Welles' vision is strange, powerful and inspiring. He always finds surprising ways to shoot and cut his films, and just looking at them is thrilling enough for me. The performances are uniformly strong as well.

Mike T.

Super Reviewer

Chimes at Midnight Quotes

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