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Chimes at Midnight (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] 08/30/16

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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. Beginning as the prince's companion in debauchery and idleness, the corpulent jokester finds himself falling out of favor as the prince comes to terms with the importance of his destiny as England's future leader. While Falstaff's ample wit is still much in evidence, the film places greater emphasis on the tragic character beneath all the joviality, with Welles perfectly embodying this mixture of spiritually youthful prankster and sad adult. While his towering performance naturally takes center stage, the other cast members are also superb. The film's visual elements are also strong, with Welles' attention to composition matching his sensitivity to character. There are technical imperfections due to the film's extremely limited budget, including an inconsistent soundtrack, but they are unable to overshadow the film's many achievements.


Actors: Orson Welles, Jeanne Moreau, Keith Baxter, Beatrice Welles
Directors: Orson Welles
Format: Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
Language: English
Subtitles: English
Region: Region A/1
Number of discs: 1
Not Rated
Studio: Criterion Collection
DVD Release Date: August 30, 2016
Run Time: 116 minutes

Cast & Crew

Orson Welles Sir John (Jack) Falstaff
John Gielgud Henry IV of England
Jeanne Moreau Doll Tearsheet
Norman Rodway Henry Percy, "Hotspur"
Keith Baxter Prince Hal
Margaret Rutherford Hostess Quickly
Marina Vlady Kate Percy
Alan Webb Shallow
Walter Chiari Mr. Silence
Patrick Bedford Bardolph
Charles Farrell Actor
Andrew Faulds Westmoreland
Julio Pena Actor
Keith Pyott Actor
Jeremy Rowe Prince John
Beatrice Welles Falstaff's Page
Michael Aldridge Pistol
Tony Beckley Poins
José Nieto Northumberland
Ingrid Pitt Actor
Fernando Rey Worcester
Ralph Richardson Narrator

Technical Credits

Orson Welles Director,Screenwriter
Jose Antonio de la Guerra Art Director
Carlo Franci Musical Direction/Supervision
Angelo Francesco Lavagnino Score Composer
Cornejo Madrid Costumes/Costume Designer
Fritz Muller Editor
Emiliano Piedra Producer
Gustavo Quintana Production Designer
Edmond Richard Cinematographer

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