Chimes at Midnight
Directed by Orson Welles
I was really confused when I started this movie? A Spanish Orson Welles movie? The title Chimes at Midnight sounds like a Chinese romance. However, once I realized that it was an adaptation of Henry IV, I rejoiced with nerdy excitement.
I should start by explaining that I love Shakespeare and have never found a play I haven't liked. Nearly all my friends are crazy about him and the worst argument I ever have gotten into with my friend Dan was when I said that the St. Crispin's Day was not the best speech in history of the world. However, I completely understand if Shakespeare isn't your jam, which is a shame, because there a quite a few of them in The Book.
Orson Welle plays an extremely large Falstaff, who is Prince Hal's friend. Prince Hal fucks around a lot, but claims that he is simply playing the part of a screw up until he becomes King. I think Prince Hal is a fascinating character, simply because you never know if he is bullshitting or not. Anyway, Hotspur, who is an equally interesting man, wants to overthrow the current ruler.
I have actually analyzed this play to death since we read it in a Shakespeare class I took in college. However, this is a film blog, so I should probably stick to talking about the cinematic aspects of this story.
Orson Welles is entering his slightly odd, slightly blimp-ish phase here and we see quite a bit that here. The directing is still excellent but the acting bordered on hammish sometimes. Otherwise, it was a pretty faithful adaptation and one that I enjoyed.
Orson Welles' favorite of his films.
Available on YouTube: