When Sir John Falstaff decides that he wants to have a little fun he writes two letters to a pair of Window wives: Mistress Ford and Mistress Page. When they put their heads together and ...
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Imagining that Mistress Ford and Mistress Page have each fallen for him, the fat knight Sir John Falstaff decides to seduce them both, as much for their husbands' money as for their ... See full summary »
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When Sir John Falstaff decides that he wants to have a little fun he writes two letters to a pair of Window wives: Mistress Ford and Mistress Page. When they put their heads together and compare missives, they plan a practical joke or two to teach the knight a lesson. But Mistress Ford's husband is a very jealous man and is pumping Falstaff for information of the affair. Meanwhile the Pages' daughter Anne is beseiged by suitors. Written by
Director David Hugh Jones originally wanted to shoot the entire film on location in Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare's home town, but when this proved impossible, he had production designer Don Homfray design a house based on real Tudor houses associated with Shakespeare; Falstaff's room is based on the home of Mary Arden (Shakespeare's mother) in Wilmcote, and the wives' houses are based on the house of Shakespeare's daughter Susanna, and her husband, John Hall. For the background of exterior shots, he used a miniature Tudor village built of plasticine. . See more »
This production is not very good, but it's not quite as bad as I'd expected. Richard Griffiths holds up reasonably well in comparison to Anthony Quayle's portrayal in the BBC productions of Henry IV parts 1 & 2, though of course it's unfortunate that different actors portrayed the same characters in the different plays. Most of the other actors are reasonably competent, though not nearly as good as you'd expect from their work elsewhere. I agree that the direction is remarkably weak, with the denouement in particular being far too feeble to intimidate anyone, let alone Falstaff. But this was, after all, one of Shakespeare's weakest plays, allegedly written at royal command under severe deadline pressure.
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