Shakespeare films: Chimes At Midnight

When:
12th January 2016 @ 20:30
2016-01-12T20:30:00+00:00
2016-01-12T21:00:00+00:00
Where:
Sands Films Studios
82 St Marychurch St
London SE16 4HZ
UK
Cost:
Free
Contact:
Sands Films Cinema
020 7231 2209

U.S. theatrical release poster

 Chimes at Midnight (1965) |PG | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, History

Welles had produced a Broadway stage adaptation of nine Shakespeare plays called Five Kings in 1939. In 1960, he revived this project in Ireland as Chimes at Midnight, which was his final on-stage performance. Welles considered portraying Falstaff to be his life’s ambition and turned the project into a film.

Chimes at Midnight (UK release: Falstaff (Chimes at Midnight), Spanish release: Campanadas a medianoche), is a 1966 English language Spanish-Swiss co-produced film directed by and starring Orson Welles. The film’s plot centres on William Shakespeare’s recurring character Sir John Falstaff and the father-son relationship he has with Prince Hal, who must choose between loyalty to Falstaff or to his father, King Henry IV.

Welles said that the core of the film’s story was “the betrayal of friendship.” It stars Welles as Falstaff, Keith Baxter as Prince Hal, John Gielgud as Henry IV, Jeanne Moreau as Doll Tearsheet and Margaret Rutherford as Mistress Quickly. The script contains text from five of Shakespeare’s plays; primarily Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2, but also Richard II, Henry V, and uses some dialogue from The Merry Wives of Windsor. Ralph Richardson’s narration is taken from the works of chronicler Raphael Holinshed.

Welles had previously produced a Broadway stage adaptation of nine Shakespeare plays called Five Kings in 1939. In 1960, he revived this project in Ireland as Chimes at Midnight, which was his final on-stage performance. Neither of these plays were successful, but Welles considered portraying Falstaff to be his life’s ambition and turned the project into a film. Throughout its production, Welles struggled to find financing and at one point, to get money, he lied to producer Emiliano Piedra about intending to make a version of Treasure Island. Welles shot Chimes at Midnight throughout Spain between 1964 and 1965, and premiered it at the 1966 Cannes Film Festival, where it won two awards.

 


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