HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Elvis: That's the Way It Is
Man Who Laughs, The
Watch List
Giraffe
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Siddhartha
Three Outlaw Samurai
   
 
Newest Articles
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
   
 
  Chimes at Midnight My Two Dads
Year: 1966
Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Keith Baxter, John Gielgud, Jeanne Moreau, Margaret Rutherford, Marina Vlady, Walter Chiari, Michael Aldridge, Julio Peña, Tony Beckley, Andrés Mejuto, Keith Pyott, Jeremy Rowe, Alan Webb, Fernando Rey, Norman Rodway, Ralph Richardson
Genre: Drama, HistoricalBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 3 votes)
Review: There is a new king of England, and he is Henry the IV (John Gielgud), who violently deposed the previous monarch, with the result that not everyone accepts his new title. Hotspur (Norman Rodway) for one, and there is a conflict brewing that will settle who is the true heir to the throne once and for all. This should be of great interest to Henry's son Prince Hal (Keith Baxter) for he will be the next king if his father succeeds against his enemies, but for the present he is more involved with carousing with his great friend and mentor Sir John Falstaff (Orson Welles), who the king sees as a bad influence...

For many of Orson Welles' cultists, Chimes at Midnight was their favourite of his films, even above Citizen Kane; it was certainly Welles' most beloved of all his own works. Perhaps there is a tendency to see more of the great director in the role of Falstaff than there is in his Charles Foster Kane, which endears the film more to those who champion him, after all, one is meant to feel sorry for the character who was raised so high, only to be let down so badly by those who he counted as friends. This could also be the reason Welles favoured it so lovingly.

This was based on an unsuccessful play that Welles had assembled of five William Shakespeare works, the ones which featured Falstaff, that is, and he transformed his flop of a stage show into the result you see here. You can tell that he had a true feel for the Bard's oeuvre, even if there is a split in opinion between those who enjoy his reading and those who think he had got the wrong end of the stick. But there are few adapters of the playwright's classics who can, say, secure some genuine laughs out his humour four hundred years after the fact, as happens here.

That's not to mention a battle scene in the middle where Hotspur finally cannot take any more and faces the forces of Henry: it looks as though most of the budget went on this scene to pay for the extras and costumes alone, but it was worth it, with many citing its grime and brutality (for 1966) as being one of the finest of its kind. It surely brings home that it was not all jolly in Merrie England, and also helps in character building, as Falstaff, risibly dressed in armour to contain his girth (let's hope that was padding), effectively hides from the fighting until it is over and he can walk out of his shelter unscathed to praise Prince Hal on his victory.

Many a true word is spoken in jest, as witnessed by the scene where Hal impersonates his father for a laugh, but ends up making cutting jibes against his friend, unwittingly setting Falstaff up for the fall that will shatter him. Welles assembled an interesting cast for his opus, one of the final fictional films he would make (or finish at any rate), which included Margaret Rutherford as the landlady and Jeanne Moreau as Falstaff's companion, but the real acting honours go to himself, Baxter and Gielgud, a triangle of relationships which sees two father figures vying for the attentions of Hal. It is a hard heart who is not moved by the ending; Falstaff may have been a boastful, lying coward, but he was also loyal and warm-hearted, a friendship which the monarchy cruelly do not view with importance. As usual with most of Welles' films a lot more money wouldn't have hurt, and there's a ramshackle air to Chimes at Midnight, but somehow this reflects the personality of its main character and works, ironically, to a benefit of sorts. Music by Angelo Francesco Lavagnino.

[In celebration of Chimes at Midnight's fiftieth anniversary Mr Bongo have released a Blu-ray which has no extras but does finally put the film out there to be watched in excellent condition for the first time in decades.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5862 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (3)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: