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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.
Definative Restored Version
excellent,but orson welles diction was a little bit difficult to understand.johnPublished 2 days ago by John Hunt
Like so many of his projects, Orson Welles' film 'Chimes at Midnight' was bedevilled by financial problems, causing delays in filming,the results of which manifest themselves in... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mr. T. Harvey
My favorite film since the 1960's. I have the Brazilian version for some time. This one is somewhat better.
Comparison shows older version on top. Read more