Chimes at Midnight Blu-ray
Criterion | 1965 | 116 min | Not rated | Aug 30, 2016
Single disc (1 BD-50)
Chimes at Midnight (1965) The Criterion Collection Blu-ray
The career of Shakespeare's Sir John Falstaff as roistering companion to young Prince Hal, circa 1400-1413.
Director: Orson Welles
Writers: William Shakespeare, Orson Welles
Starring: Orson Welles, Jeanne Moreau, Margaret Rutherford, John Gielgud, Marina Vlady, Walter Chiari
Chimes at Midnight
The crowning achievement of Orson Welles's extraordinary film career, Chimes at Midnight was the culmination of the filmmaker's lifelong obsession with Shakespeare's ultimate rapscallion, Sir John Falstaff. Usually a comic supporting figure, Falstaff—the loyal, often soused friend of King Henry IV's wayward son Prince Hal—here becomes the focus: a robustly funny and ultimately tragic screen antihero played by Welles with looming, lumbering grace. Integrating elements from both Henry IV plays as well as Richard II, Henry V, and The Merry Wives of Windsor, Welles created a gritty and unorthodox Shakespeare film, one that he intended, he said, as "a lament . . . for the death of Merrie England." Poetic, philosophical, and visceral—with a kinetic centerpiece battle sequence that rivals anything else in the director's body of work—Chimes at Midnight is as monumental as the figure at its heart.
- New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- Audio commentary featuring film scholar James Naremore, author of The Magic World of Orson Welles
- New interview with actor Keith Baxter
- New interview with director Orson Welles's daughter Beatrice Welles, who appeared in the film at age seven
- New interview with actor and Welles biographer Simon Callow
- New interview with film historian Joseph McBride, author of What Ever Happened to Orson Welles?
- Interview with Welles while at work editing the film, from a 1965 episode of The Merv Griffin Show
STREET DATE: august 30.