in about 100 words or less
Spain/Switzerland 119m, B&W
Director: Orson Welles; Cast: Orson Welles, Keith Baxter, John Gielgud, Jeanne Moreau, Margaret Rutherford, Marina Vlady, Fernando Rey
A brilliant adaptation and interweaving of a number of Shakespeare’s plays, Chimes at Midnight brings to the forefront, Falstaff, a relatively minor recurring character whose colossal figure in this film is wholly inhabited by Welles. A striking and gorgeously shot production, this is the story of Prince Hal, a young man who spends much of his time carousing with unsavory characters at the Boar’s Head Tavern with his good friend and fellow thief, John Falstaff. An utter disappointment to his father Henry IV, the young Prince knows that duty will eventually put an end to his carefree life. Perhaps the finest film adaptation of any of Shakespeare’s works, Chimes at Midnight is a wonderfully comedic tragedy of friendship, family and inevitable betrayal (Klaus Ming October 2016).