Chimes at Midnight (1965)
"Campanadas a medianoche" (original title)

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The career of Shakespeare's Sir John Falstaff as roistering companion to young Prince Hal, circa 1400-1413.



(plays), (book), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Margaret Rutherford ...
Kate Percy
Walter Chiari ...
Mr. Silence
Michael Aldridge ...
Julio Peña
Tony Beckley ...
Ned Poins
Andrés Mejuto
Keith Pyott
Jeremy Rowe ...
Alan Webb ...
Keith Baxter ...


Sir John Falstaff is the hero in this compilation of extracts from Shakespeare's 'Henry IV' and other plays, made into a connected story of Falstaff's career as young Prince Hal's drinking companion. The massive knight roisters with and without the prince, philosophizes comically, goes to war (in his own fashion), and meets his final disappointment, set in a real-looking late-medieval England. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | History | War


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Release Date:

17 March 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chimes at Midnight  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$800,000 (estimated)


ESP 16,501,746 (Spain)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film was based on the play "Five Kings". It was written by Orson Welles and condensed William Shakespeare's "Henry IV, V, VI" and "Richard III" into one show. He produced the show in New York in 1939 but the opening night, during which Part 1 was performed, was a disaster and Part 2 was never put on. He revamped the show and revisited it in 1960. Again, it was not successful. However, this later production was used as the basis for the movie. See more »


During Prince Hal/Henry V's speech immediately following Henry IV's death, a very obvious double for Sir John Gielgud lies slumped on the throne. (Scenes were shot out of sequence, and Gielgud was unavailable for that particular scene) See more »


Henry 'Hotspur' Percy: O Harry, thou hast robbed me of my youth!
See more »


Featured in Hollywood Mavericks (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

Welles' final masterpiece is worth seeking out
19 March 1999 | by (New Jersey, USA) – See all my reviews

This is one of the great Shakespearean adaptations and a true 'lost classic'. It's also the last masterpiece that Orson Welles directed in his lifetime, and with 'Citizen Kane,' 'Magnificent Ambersons' and 'Touch of Evil' comprises a quartet of major cinematic works that he accomplished.

The film is an inventive re-editing and condensation of Shakespeare's plays, spanning from the end of Richard II to the beginning of Henry V. The film focuses on the character of Jack Falstaff, played by Welles himself in a virtuoso performance. Falstaff's relationship with young Prince Hal (later Henry V) is explored, and uncannily parallels Welles' own experience with the young talents of Hollywood.

Chimes at Midnight can be a jarring experience due to inconsistent film quality, low budget sets and Welles' flair for shock cuts, but it's a truly rewarding experience once you adapt to the style and limitations.

There are several great performances, by John Gielgud as Henry IV, Keith Baxter as Hal and Norman Rodway as Hotspur, who seems like a predecessor to Kenneth Branagh.

Chimes at Midnight has a little of everything: low comedy, highly artistic camera angles, exciting battle scenes (the battle of Shrewesbury scene influenced Braveheart) and a deeply moving story that Welles has 'discovered' between the lines of Shakespeare's histories.

30 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Ebert's comment on 8-3-07 39-0-13
Why this title? su-15
Flawed sound as a deliberate device? an-only-twin
Annoying characters? firebirdswm
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Falstaff Chimes At Midnight [Import] (1967) NTSC DVD Region all jklaffenbach
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