Chimes at Midnight

1965

Comedy / Drama / History / War

4
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 98%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 85%
IMDb Rating 7.8 10 7918

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
January 16, 2021 at 01:19 AM

Director

Cast

Orson Welles as Falstaff
Jeanne Moreau as Doll Tearsheet
Margaret Rutherford as Mistress Quickly
John Gielgud as Henry IV
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.04 GB
1204*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 56 min
P/S counting...
1.94 GB
1792*1072
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 56 min
P/S 7 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Ben_Cheshire 9 / 10

Welles' Masterpiece!

i just watched it, and it took my breath away. If possible, this might be better than Citizen Kane. Incredible. And the battle scenes are truly amazing. I only hope they'll bring out a new DVD release of it for Australia and America, because this movie deserves as much exposure as Kane. I was surprised and delighted by Welles's performance. He really shines in an atmosphere which permits theatricality (Shakespeare), and i felt this movie combines the best of his two loves: the theatre (the source material), and the cinema (told with Welles' stunning eye for a cinematic visual). Superbly produced for such a low budget (Macbeth was just too rushed in those three weeks). Its visually delicious, and has a brilliant sense of fun (like both Kane and The Trial), and yet it has more heart than the other two.

This movie has rejuvenated my love of and faith in Welles (i was really wavering after The Stranger, Macbeth and even Lady from Shanghai - all too damaged by money/studio interference for me).

Let's all take a bow to Mr Orson Welles, who after all those years of struggle, finally produced a thing of beauty and fun worthy of his talents, and reinstated his reputation as one of the greats.

Reviewed by ednlaura 10 / 10

Welles' final masterpiece is worth seeking out

This is one of the great Shakespearean adaptations and a true 'lost classic'. It's also the last masterpiece that Orson Welles directed in his lifetime, and with 'Citizen Kane,' 'Magnificent Ambersons' and 'Touch of Evil' comprises a quartet of major cinematic works that he accomplished.

The film is an inventive re-editing and condensation of Shakespeare's plays, spanning from the end of Richard II to the beginning of Henry V. The film focuses on the character of Jack Falstaff, played by Welles himself in a virtuoso performance. Falstaff's relationship with young Prince Hal (later Henry V) is explored, and uncannily parallels Welles' own experience with the young talents of Hollywood.

Chimes at Midnight can be a jarring experience due to inconsistent film quality, low budget sets and Welles' flair for shock cuts, but it's a truly rewarding experience once you adapt to the style and limitations.

There are several great performances, by John Gielgud as Henry IV, Keith Baxter as Hal and Norman Rodway as Hotspur, who seems like a predecessor to Kenneth Branagh.

Chimes at Midnight has a little of everything: low comedy, highly artistic camera angles, exciting battle scenes (the battle of Shrewesbury scene influenced Braveheart) and a deeply moving story that Welles has 'discovered' between the lines of Shakespeare's histories.

Reviewed by HenryHextonEsq 9 / 10

A magnificent, sprawling canvass.

This is all more of a fascinating and compelling film because of its difficult-to-find nature, and the feeling of its being neglected, despite much praise from film and Welles scholars. This forms part of the compelling sequence of Welles films that began with 1958's "Touch of Evil", and ran through to his final film, 1973's "F For Fake", a film I really want to see. The version I managed to locate of "Chimes..." revealed a film with, yes, some technical problems (the sound is a little poor, but I'd almost expected worse), and the feeling of being made on-the-hoof. But what a film it is! Certainly hitherto the finest and most moving Shakespeare film adaptation that I have seen; I was happy to be able to write on it for my recent University Tripos exam.

Welles is possibly not a perfect Falstaff - failing to some degree to capture the character's jovial humour - but he gives a good performance in a limited, but powerfully melancholy vein. Keith Baxter makes Hal very much his own, providing curious contrasts to both of his father figures. Gielgud is as sublime as ever, and his scenes are beautifully directed - one wouldn't know the problems Welles had in terms of actor availability, considering how effective the medium close camera-work is.

The poetry of the "Sleep" speech is absolutely overpowering in Gielgud's rendition, and his facial expressions, eyes cast in shadow, are perfectly haunting. The strength of his performance is crucial; Henry IV is thus very much a figure with dignity but guilt and a coldness matching the stone of his solitary court - brilliant use of some sort of cathedral. Margaret Rutherford and Tony Beckley certainly add a lot to the mix, as does the bizarrely ill-fitting Jeanne Moreau, that most French of actresses playing an English whore. The tenderness she feels for Falstaff is crucial in softening his character a bit; Moreau's bedraggled siren works as a necessary example of the femininity of the Tavern, as compared to the masculine world of battle and court that Falstaff is so lost in. What a striking actress she is here; piercing, soulful eyes, such lips and flowing dark hair. It is a skittish and perfect performance fitting in with Welles' fantasia of "Merrie England". That most of this was filmed in Spain conveys the sense of this as an artificial, beyond-reality dream of the Paradise Lost. The film can effectively be seen as Welles expressing his interest in Western society's mourning a lost golden age - in this case, "Merrie England", which Falstaff embodies. The rational and dulling technocracy of the future is suggested by the coldness of Gielgud and Baxter towards the end, and the atmosphere of court.

The actor playing Justice Shallow is supremely odd and bewitching in his shrill little voice; his blustering humour and reminiscence taking on much melancholy as the film moves inexorably towards its tragic, deathly close. The scene where Falstaff finds out Hal is now King, is wonderfully shown in long shot by a still camera; a depression and drift towards disillusion shown. When Falstaff finds out, the lift in spirits is conveyed with his movement towards the camera. It's a return to the general sense of camera mobility around Falstaff - contrasting with the stillness around Bolingbroke. The final rejection of Falstaff that follows is beautifully filmed by Welles, played ambiguously by Baxter and movingly by Welles.

What must be the most remarkable sequence is the Battle of Shrewsbury; it is this that will haunt the mind long into the ether... Savage, indiscriminate quickness of brutal death emphasised in quick cuts. The fighting is impersonal and grimly realistic; ranks of silhouetted men and horses charging in, arrows - unlike in Olivier's "Henry V" - being shown cascading into and piercing ranks of horses and soldiers. The dry ground dissolves gradually to mud, and a haunting, holy-sounding piece of choral music strikes a chilling note of ironic contrast. Mankind has been reduced by war back to the very mud from which it originally arose. All sense of 'glory' is dissipated and cut away, by this frightening, near-ten minute sequence. It is one of the most gripping, utterly transcendent and powerful sequences I have seen in the whole of my film viewing.

"Chimes at Midnight" is a marvel of a film; this is a Welles film in its true form and not tampered with - "The Magnificent Ambersons" is the most shameful previous example of this. "Chimes..." stands as a complex masterpiece; partly an elegy for an innocence than may never have truly existed, but which Welles *feels* deeply. Track this down if you can as it is something special; let's hope it is soon restored to the best possible condition. It is wonderfully slanted Shakespeare; history plays fashioned into a tragedy, and painted from the most compelling cinematic palette. And above all, it is wonderful Welles.

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