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Chimes at Midnight(Campanadas a medianoche)

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Spain, Switzerland · 1965
1h 55m
Director Orson Welles
Starring Orson Welles, Keith Baxter, John Gielgud, Jeanne Moreau
Genre Comedy, Drama, History

John Falstaff is one of Shakespeare’s most complex and overlooked characters. He is the funny, loyal, and often drunk companion of King Henry IV’s son, Prince Hal. Here he takes center stage in one of Orson Welles’s greatest films, a superlative which makes it also one of the greatest films of all time.

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What are critics saying?


NPR by Bob Mondello

Sprawling, and hugely ambitious, and containing a glorious Wellesian Falstaff who is as majestic in folly as he is in girth.


Chicago Reader by Dave Kehr

The one Welles film that deserves to be called lovely; there is also a rising tide of opinion that proclaims it his masterpiece.


The A.V. Club by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

The best and most touchingly personal of all Shakespeare adaptations, Chimes At Midnight is pervaded by melancholy and loneliness, even though its characters are almost seen never alone.


The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

Playing Falstaff might have been Welles’s creative and physical destiny: in the character he found a dignity and sensuality in his, by then, overweight form. The confidence and panache of his staging is a treat.


Christian Science Monitor by Peter Rainer

It is quite likely the greatest Shakespearean film ever and, except for Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons, it’s also Welles’s greatest film – which is saying something.

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