Chimes at Midnight

  • Wed Aug 31
Chimes at Midnight

featuring an introduction by and Q & A with Larry Jackson ’70 (former studio executive and Welles’ collaborator)

Orson Welles
Orson Welles, Jeanne Moreau

The crowning achievement of Orson Welles’s later film career, Chimes at Midnight returns to the screen after being unavailable for decades. This brilliantly crafted Shakespeare adaptation was the culmination of Welles’s lifelong obsession with the Bard’s ultimate rapscallion, Sir John Falstaff, the loyal, often soused childhood friend of King Henry IV’s wayward son, Prince Hal. Appearing in several plays as a comic supporting figure, Falstaff is here the main event: a robustly funny and ultimately tragic screen antihero, played by Welles with lumbering grace. Integrating elements from both Henry IV plays as well as Richard II, Henry V, and The Merry Wives of Windsor, Welles created an unorthodox Shakespeare film that is also a gritty period piece, one that he called “a lament . . . for the death of Merrie England.”

Poetic, philosophical, and visceral—with a kinetic battle sequence centerpiece as impressive as anything else Welles directed—Chimes at Midnight is as monumental as the figure at its center. “If I wanted to get into heaven on the basis of one movie, that’s the one I would offer up.”—Orson Welles

Larry Jackson ’70, producer and former industry exec, worked with Welles on his unfinished film The Other Side of the Wind as well as Filming Othello. Jackson is also a former vice president at Samuel Goldwyn Co., Orion Pictures and Miramax and the producer-director of the Welles-narrated Bugs Bunny Superstar. He will take questions and present a behind-the-scenes slide show following the screening.


New Digital Restoration
DCP bw
1 hour 56 minutes
release year/country
1966 Spain/Swiss