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

Director:

Orson Welles

Writers:

William Shakespeare (plays), Raphael Holinshed (book) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Orson Welles ... Falstaff
Jeanne Moreau ... Doll Tearsheet
Margaret Rutherford ... Mistress Quickly
John Gielgud ... Henry IV
Marina Vlady ... Kate Percy
Walter Chiari ... Mr. Silence
Michael Aldridge ... Pistol
Julio Peña ... Vassall
Tony Beckley ... Ned Poins
Andrés Mejuto
Keith Pyott ... Lord Chief Justice
Jeremy Rowe Jeremy Rowe ... Prince John
Alan Webb ... Shallow
Fernando Rey ... Worcester
Keith Baxter ... Prince Hal
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Storyline

Sir John Falstaff (Orson Welles) 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 (Keith Baxter'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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Distinguished Company Breathes Life Into Shakespeare's Lusty Age of FALSTAFF

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. See more »

Goofs

The corpse of Hotspur opens and closes his mouth several minutes after his death. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Shallow: Jesus, the days that we have seen! Do you remember since we lay all night in the windmill in St. George's field?
Falstaff: No more of that, Master Shallow.
Shallow: It was a merry night!
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Connections

Featured in Arena: The Orson Welles Story - Part 2 (1982) See more »

User Reviews

 
Orson Welles brings a lot of depth to Shakespeare's characters.
4 February 2001 | by z_crito2001See all my reviews

Shakespeare Scholars are always complaining how this film used and abused Shakespeare's plays but I think what was done in this film was pretty clever: Take the character of Falstaff from several plays and piece them together to get a complete picture of the man.

Of the two Orson Welles Shakespeare films I've seen, this one and "Othello" (1954), both had the ability to make me want to read Shakespeare's plays and any film that makes you want to read what the author wrote is a very positive thing to say about a film. So there Shakespeare Scholars!

I did go out and buy the books with the plays used in this film, much like trying to solve a puzzle to see how the pieces really fit. And Orson did twist and bend things a little to make it come out his way.

I also read in Videohound's "World Cinema" (1999) by Elliot Wilhelm that this film may be getting a restoration. If it's as good a restoration as "Othello", I'm looking forward to it!

Welles as Falstaff really shines in this film and Falstaff's later rejection by Henry V is one of the most sobering in cinema. And Welles still has some very creative power left in him by 1965, look at the Battle of Shrewsbury scenes. When it comes to battle scenes they've been done probably only 10 different ways by 1000 directors in a 1000 movies over the years, but this one is probably the most memorable. It's also strange to have in the heat of battle Falstaff looking like a big metal beach ball running around back and forth trying to avoid any conflict.

This film is also a good example of good music and how to use it in a film and it's another one of my favorite movies about Merrie ol' England.


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Details

Country:

Switzerland | Spain

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 March 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chimes at Midnight See more »

Filming Locations:

Carabanchel, Madrid, Spain See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,630, 3 January 2016

Gross USA:

$126,724

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$126,724
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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