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Orson Welles' classic; discarded as drivel when released but has withstood the test of time. Welles' Falstaff seems like self parody but he hits the mark solidly and the viewer is given a great film.
Orson Welles takes on Shakespeare again!
Chimes at Midnight (1965) is a delightful Shakespearean adaptation from director Orson Welles. Henry IV is re-imagined by Welles through the perspective of the rogue lord Falstaff (played by the portly Welles himself!), as he befriends the Prince Hal. Welles is phenomenal as the joyful and ridiculous thief Falstaff. His dramatic moments, especially at the end, are tender and believable with years of experience and wear on display.
John Gielgud is incredible as the tired and weary King Henry IV. He delivers monologue after monologue with effortless authority. Gielgud demonstrates why he was one of the greatest Shakespearean actors who ever lived.
I rather enjoyed the silly then serious performance from Keith Baxter as Prince Hal. His goofy shenanigans into the ultra regal portrayal of as a king for the finale is quite impressive.
I wish there were more of the insane performance from Jeanne Moreau. Her long brunette hair and wild dialogue are very entertaining.
Overall, Welles directed another classic film utilizing intense lighting to amplify the black and white starkness. His use of rapid fire editing and clever cuts made the battle sequence frightening and chaotic. His intense cinematography and eye for movement made the sword fights thrilling. Overall, Welles directed another masterpiece of loud revelry and quiet pains.
An incredible Shakespeare adaptation with gripping performances and phenomenal images, this is a forgotten masterpiece from Orson Welles.
Perhaps Orson Welles finest film. He marries passages from several Shakespearean works together with flair.
Like much of Shakespeare, it's hard to appreciate on the first viewing. Good to see Welles working with Gielgud though.
Chimes at Midnight is a decent film. It is about Sir John Falstaff as the roistering companion to young Prince Hal. Orson Welles and Jeanne Moreau give good performances. The screenplay is a little slow in places. Orson Welles also did an alright job directing this movie. I liked this motion picture because of both the humor and drama.
If it is hard to understand Shakespeare, Chimes at Midnight tells the story beautifully with fast, innovative editing, magnificent lighting and seemingly perfect composition in photography that showed how fantastic Welles' gutsy project became.
Just another remarkable feat by Welles, especially in acting; Gielgud is a screen-stealer.
Chimes at Midnight is superb technically speaking if you discount its frequently poor sound. The dialogue is excellent, the cinematography is splendid, the acting is very good and the attention to detail is overwhelming and quite commendable. But the script is not the greatest, the characterization should have been better and the film is tough to follow at times and oddly paced leading to a solid, but problematic effort.
Welles is obviously a great Falstaff but not in the ways you'd expect. His bold performance consistently defies conventional takes on the character.