Tuesday, February 11, 2014

440. Campanadas a Medianoche

Campanadas a Medianoche
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.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Orson Welles' favorite of his films.

Available on YouTube:


  1. Amanda.. sorry, I missed this one.

    Shame, a chance for a hearty agree-fest - which, with your agreement, we shall have now.

    (Andrew, sorry, Amanda and I are going into a 'We love Will' huddle)

    On all aspects. The older I get the more I start to 'get' Shakespeare. And of all the works, it is the histories I love the best.
    (Pre-existing opinion warning.. As I sit and write, a portrait of Richard II looks over my shoulder from a wall).
    The Henry plays are GREAT. I have umpteen widely differing renditions of these in my collection. (I recently added the 1960's BBC 'Age of Kings' box set). A while ago the ESC did a filmed-on-stage collection called 'The Wars of the Roses' which is fantastic. For a while I had an extreamly nerdy thing of touring actual settings with the texts of the plays and sitting in Pontefract castle muttering "O Pomfret, Pomfret.. Oh though bloody prison, fatal and ominous to noble peers".. or to Pilleth to read "Revolted Mortimer!? He never did fall off my Sovereign liege but by the chance of war..When on thegentle Sevens sedgy bank, in single opposition, hand to hand, he did confound- the best part of an hour- in changing hardiment with great Glendower.." A friend of mine lives near Shrewsbury, where.. "The king, with mighty and quick raised power meets with Lord harry". So I oft call in at the field to pay respects. I even made a side detour to search out, in Ghent, the birthplace of 'Time honoured Lancaster', and to a field in Lincolnshire with a few stones to see the birth place of his son, "This thorn, this canker, Bolinbroke"
    Great fun.. (sorry everyone else)

    I guess I'm supposed to be talking about the film aren't I?

    Yes, great.. and thanks for a positive one to agree with.. I'm afraid Andrew was not impressed.

    1. I found myself talking more about Shakespeare too rather than the movie. I can't help it. I love that you are obsessed with Shakespeare too!

  2. I think I would have enjoyed this one better if I had had subtitles to support the miserable sound quality of my copy.