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.
Flawed but watchable
- Falstaff: Chimes at Midnight review by Pete W
It's a shame Orson Welles wasn't allowed to do a proper job of making this film. He is very watchable as Falstaff but the fact that he had next to no budget for this film shows. Poor quality sound and some pretty obvious use of stand-ins are symptoms of this. But put these to one side and there are some classic scenes here, directed by a master.
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.
- Falstaff: Chimes at Midnight review by MR
Expected to enjoy this, but the direction was really rather ponderous, lots of exaggerated close-ups of faces, unclear verse speaking, and dreadful sound. But has to be worth watching for the magisterial performance of John Gielgud.
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful.
Methinks the words are held most dear but distorted sound did blight the ear!!
- Falstaff: Chimes at Midnight review by BE
It might be a restored version but I found the sound distorted in places and impeded the understanding of the shakespearian dialogue. I gave up well before it finished. The acting was good enough but only one star due to sound quality (or not, as the case may be)!