The career of Shakespeare's Sir John Falstaff as roistering companion to young Prince Hal, circa 1400-1413.
The career of Shakespeare's Sir John Falstaff as roistering companion to young Prince Hal, circa 1400-1413.
Falstaff - Campanadas de medianoche, Falstaff - O Toque da Meia Noite, Falstaff - Chimes at Midnight, Falstaff - Oi kabanes tou mesonyktiou, Oi kabanes tou mesonyktiou, Φάλσταφ, 한밤의 차임벨, As Badaladas da Meia-Noite
Welles is perhaps the greatest amateur in cinema, having never learned to "properly" direct because of the artistic success of Citizen Kane. His camera placements are always off in some way: actors are pushed too close in, the angle much too slanted, the sight lines mismatched. Characters jump off screen and then back into place without reason, and spatial relations are constantly shifting with motivation. Actors deliver Shakespearean dialogue much too pointedly, as if they were still on the stage any no sense for the camera. There's too much love paid to the bombastic sets and some of the cuts take away from poignant moments in which the camera should simply rest. Shots are either filled with too much information…
As many fat jokes as Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps but with an extended battle sequence largely shot by second unit director Jess Franco (not sure who directed the one in NP2TK. Also not sure why Orson Welles was attracted to a story about a wise but hedonistic fool of considerable girth who in his lifetime told fantastic stories that gained him the respect of mischievous young men but by the time of his death was unrecognized and misunderstood. Not sure about so much in this life).
Really glad I finally got to see this properly restored, as the print I caught back in '99 was beat up almost to the point of being unwatchable. (Same is true of The Trial, which will hopefully also turn up in better condition soon.) Now I can appreciate just how astounding Welles made the film look on a negligible budget, mostly by shooting from a distance in magnificent locations. As a bonus, this monumental aesthetic also makes the post-sync sound somewhat less distracting, though the disjunction between words and mouths still bugs me (as it does in virtually every Italian film from this period). That objection aside, Chimes ranks alongside Welles' Othello among the great Shakespeare adaptations, even if…
What a sublime pleasure it is to see this film restored, to be able to appreciate its wild beauty, itself a magnificent achievement given Welles's ludicrous setbacks and pauses in filming, to the fullest expression and to see that Orson truly was that bitch. Welles's Shakespeare adaptation perfected the balance between theatrical opulence, revisionist grit and filth, and the freer possibilities of cinema, and Chimes at Midnight is the ultimate synthesis of these traits. The movie and its characters are caked in dirt and clothed in rags, its humor drags all the common vulgarity out of Shakespeare's text, and for all the political machinations of holding power one is, as in both Welles's and Roman Polanski's adaptations of Macbeth, left…
Orson Welles fought his entire career to play this role: a great big fatso.
"Enfeoff'd himself to popularity;
That, being daily swallow'd by men's eyes,
They surfeited with honey and began
To loathe the taste of sweetness, whereof a little
More than a little is by much too much.
So when he had occasion to be seen,
He was but as the cuckoo is in June,
Heard, not regarded; seen, but with such eyes
As, sick and blunted with community,
Afford no extraordinary gaze,
Such as is bent on sun-like majesty
When it shines seldom in admiring eyes;
But rather drowzed and hung their eyelids down,
Slept in his face and render'd such aspect
As cloudy men use to their…
Human beings in a mob..
What's a mob to a king?
What's a king to a god?
What's a god to a non-believer?
Orson Welles alway harbored a magnificent obsession with the Bard and his plays, but one character in particular always held his interest in the highest regard: John Falstaff. This character gave a recurring appearance in several of Shakespeare's plays, typically appearing as the comic relief or dashing womanizer. Chimes at Midnight shows Welles taking his writing and theatrical capacities to their fullest, creating what could be the greatest Shakespeare play that Shakespeare never wrote- a beautiful conglomeration of five different plays, primarily focusing on Henry IV, Parts One and Two, that proves just how great of an artist Welles was never recognized as by the studios. Being forced to work overseas, this masterpiece was filmed in its entirety in Spain,…
As resounding in empathy as Orson Welles was in voice and prowess; “Chimes at Midnight” is definitively among the greatest of cinematic Shakespeare adaptions, and more than earns its place as Welles’ ‘other’ directorial masterpiece.
I’ve seen more than five performed versions of Henry IV, Parts 1/2 and let me tell you... there’s no faster way to doom these plays than to mess up Falstaff. A dismissive, purely comedic, or even less-than commanding interpretation of the character throws askew the entire balance of the works.
Luckily, Welles didn’t have far to look to find perhaps the greatest Falstaff of modern times; himself.
In an assertion of the undying relevance of Shakespeare’s texts, Falstaff is Welles. Just as Falstaff in “Henry…
This is an insane undertaking. Telling the tale of Shakespeare's Sir John Falstaff, this film uses parts of many, many of Shakespeare's plays to portray the tragic tale of a comic character. That there is such a tale to tell is a testament to Orson Welles and Shakespeare himself. The film is a full epic wrapped around a side character in three plays.
Welles is glorious in his role, of course, but he plays against Keith Baxter as Prince Hal, who often seemed awfully stiff in his portrayal, even when it didn't call for it. Still, there are plenty around to pick up the slack.
There are some grand sequences in here. The cleverly made tavern set, an epic battle scene (including the absurd cranes used to mount the knights on their horses--I have heard more than once this is a bullshit Hollywood convention), and a brilliant running fight/robbery all stand out.
December count: 49/100.
"God, send the prince a better companion."
"God, send the companion a better prince."
Orson Welles's Chimes at Midnight takes Sir John Falstaff, a comedic side character in three of Shakespeare's plays, and puts him center stage to tell a story about friendship and betrayal. It attains that wonderfully strange tonal synthesis of a tragedy about a comic relief character. A strange medley of death and fat jokes. Welles meets Shakespeare meets Tyler Perry.
"Your means are very slender, and your waste is great."
"I would it were otherwise. I would that my means were greater, and my waist slenderer."
I always do my best to not let technical limitations unreasonably hinder my enjoyment of film, but there's a huge…
At this point in his life, 1965, Orson Welles was huge in every sense of the word. Of all the impressive facets of Chimes at Midnight such as Welles’ clever screenplay, Edmund Richard’s stunning cinematography, the gorgeous on-location sets, and the Battle of Shrewsbury sequence, maybe the one that stands out the most is Welles’ lack of vanity as an actor.
While Falstaff is an outsized character on the page, Welles attacks the role with relish. He lumbers around the halls of castle and the outskirts of the battlefield, his physicality reinforcing the comic nature of his character. His face seems seems capable of registering five to seven expressions in the span of five seconds, be it hubris, mischievousness, melancholy,…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
As a Welles fan, any chance to see Orson in his prime is a treat, and "Chimes at Midnight" is no exception. It's really wonderful to see him execute a film according to his vision, in many ways it feels like this film is his most precious and precise. Welles' performance at Falstaff is just phenomenal, balancing love, pity, and disgust while keeping our eyes locked on him. Not unlike Charles Foster Kane, Falstaff is a larger-than-life figure who we get to see waste away.
That being said, I found it hard to connect with it from a narrative standpoint, largely because I'm not well-versed in Shakespeare, and Welles' (UNDERSTANDABLE) dedication to Shakespearian dialogue makes the movie hard to follow…
Mixing pieces from five different Shakespearean plays, Orson Welles is both Dr Frankenstein as director and the misunderstood creature as actor in Chimes at Midnight. John Falstaff was such a popular character that legend has it Queen Elizabeth requested Shakespeare write a play where he falls in love (The Merry Wives of Windsor). Orson Welles, enfant terrible of stage and screen, was born for this role. The lighting and staging holds up to Welles' typically high standards in this story of friendship and betrayal.
Probably the best straight out Shakespeare movie I’ve ever seen.
people in shakespeare times be like “aye my lord”
Can't wait to watch this again one day when I'm smarter
An absolute feast for the eyes!
... tho it lacks in basically every other department I would say
This was Orson Welles favourite of his own movies, and if you can take it more as a comedy than anything else and can manage to swallow the horrible Shakespearean theatrical acting, then this film is a fine watch i would guess. This is Orson Welles being pretentious as he knew really well how to be, and he has ridden himself of his old innocence of not knowing how to make a film which lead to the classic Citizen Kane's creative film making, this is Welles incorporating academic film making, it only gets somewhat redeemed in that it is an European production which results in him working with better actors and location, then he probably otherwise would have.
La expresión de Falstaff en la marca de 1:45:52 (en Criterion Channel), es lo que hace ésta la obra maestra de Welles, ese sencillo momento está tan cargado de dolor (un dolor que retumba más allá de las paredes de la ficción), que es imposible no quedar sacudido, una de los momentos actorales más impresionantes que he visto en pantalla.
Ésta es la película (criminalmente infravalorada) que Orson Welles nació para crear, es un torbellino artístico incontenible dentro de una figura que Shakespeare escribió, pero que el director originario de Winsconsin personificó dentro y fuera de la pantalla a la perfección, ésta es sin duda alguna la mejor adaptación al cine que he visto del Bardo.
Chimes at Midnight es…
Absolutely one of the best films I’ve seen in years. Chimes is an at-times hilarious adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, from the perspective of his recurring Sir Falstaff character — who Orson Welles embodies off the page and treats as delicately and as self-deprecated as he does with Quinlan in Touch of Evil. It is a magnificent reinterpretation of how most classic and contemporary takes on the Bard handle his dialogue, this time as poetry and not prose like we’re used to, and doing so heightens the comedy, emotion and context of how certain words are simply inflected. Packed with an insane amount of envelope-pushing location shooting, production design and close-ups, culminating in a showstopping battle comparable to Battle of the Bastards or Braveheart, this is one of Welles’ greatest films. Very ahead of its time.
This is a shakespear plan on screen.
Its not my cup of tea,
All that Orson Welles touches turns to gold.
Chimes at Midnight was Orson Welle’s lifelong dream. He has been quoted as saying that it is both his crowing cinematic achievement, and his favorite performance of his career. While I still think that Citizen Kane is a more entertaining film, it is hard to deny the marvel that is Chimes at Midnight. The cinematography is amazing, especially the use of deep focus, and also handheld cameras in the fight between Hotspur and Hal. Welles’ performance as Falstaff is amazing, and probably is the best of his career. Overall, a very well made film that I enjoyed my time with.
Parece que nesse filme Orson Welles encontra o equilíbrio que sempre almejou em sua carreira. O equilíbrio entre contribuir ao estudo da Linguagem e da narrativa e entreter o público ao mesmo tempo. Muitos de seus filmes anteriores como A Dama de Shanghai não conseguem divertir o telespectador comum como aqui.
juliodogpit 600 films
*New and better methodology. *Normalized distribution of more recent films. *Better approach resulting in less american bias. *Used specific…