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.
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 »
Jesus, the days that we have seen! Do you remember since we lay all night in the windmill in St. George's field?
No more of that, Master Shallow.
It was a merry night!
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i just watched it, and it took my breath away. If possible, this might be better than Citizen Kane. Incredible. And the battle scenes are truly amazing. I only hope they'll bring out a new DVD release of it for Australia and America, because this movie deserves as much exposure as Kane. I was surprised and delighted by Welles's performance. He really shines in an atmosphere which permits theatricality (Shakespeare), and i felt this movie combines the best of his two loves: the theatre (the source material), and the cinema (told with Welles' stunning eye for a cinematic visual). Superbly produced for such a low budget (Macbeth was just too rushed in those three weeks). Its visually delicious, and has a brilliant sense of fun (like both Kane and The Trial), and yet it has more heart than the other two.
This movie has rejuvenated my love of and faith in Welles (i was really wavering after The Stranger, Macbeth and even Lady from Shanghai - all too damaged by money/studio interference for me).
Let's all take a bow to Mr Orson Welles, who after all those years of struggle, finally produced a thing of beauty and fun worthy of his talents, and reinstated his reputation as one of the greats.
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