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 ... See full summary »


(as David Jones)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard O'Callaghan ...
Tenniel Evans ...
Bryan Marshall ...
George Page
Gordon Gostelow ...
Michael Robbins ...
Miranda Foster ...
Michael Graham Cox ...
Host of the Garter Inn
Lee Whitlock ...


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 Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Romance

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 December 1982 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: Merry Wives of Windsor  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »

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User Reviews

Weak Falstaff, terrible direction
14 July 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Falstaff reminds me of a Civil Servant from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries three weeks before his retirement date !

There is a British TV series called 'Pie in the Sky' staring Richard Griffiths. It's about a fat chef who does occasional detective work. He is very similar to the character Griffiths portrays in the Merry Wives of Windsor, Sir John Falstaff. He finally found his forte, eating all the pies. However he does have a rather impressive CV. Sir John Falstaff should be more like a Robert Newton of Treasure Island fame rather than a pastry cook.

If you have ever heard the audio version with Anthony Quale as Falstaff and Dennis Hordern as Master Ford you will understand what a facile, badly directed and totally incorrect version this is.

Just because it has the letters BBC behind it does not always mean there is quality.

What I found irritating was the Somerset accents for most of the Principle characters. Windsor is a short barge ride up the Thames from Richmond Palace. Windsor Castle can be seen from Heathrow Airport, so why the West Country "ooo--arr" lads ? Perhaps the director was from Bristol ?

The costumes look so new and clean, whilst the moneyed members of the cast might look like this the others remind me of a lucky tramp who has just had free apparel from Savile Row.

Where is Falstaff growling for his quart of Sack ? Where is the lust and roguery of the fat pudding ?

Master Ford/Brook should not be portrayed as the limp character he is. Where's the anger of the cuckold?

Where's the 'she mercury' of Mistress Quickly.

Nym and Pistol have credibility.Judy Davis and Prunella Scales play Mistresses Page and Ford well enough, even with some humour.

It's as if the director was directing the Merry Wives yet thinking the context of a completely different play.

No, humour, no direction, no acting and no good. This is supposed to be a comedy but the cast act as if someone has made an inappropriate joke at a wedding! Mis-cast,misdirected and occasionally over acted. Why does Ben Kingsley act as if he is playing the part of Master Slender ? Frank-ly not Master Ford.

And how sped you ?

Very ill favourably Master Director, Very ill favourably.

Bring me a quart of Sack to get over this dead fish lying on a wet fish shop's slab.

The comments of "Deadly Dull" from Chicago has it spot on !

4 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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