Chimes at Midnight


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Time Out says

The mongrel heritage of Chimes at Midnight is hard to credit, given the intensely personal reading of English history and literature that emerges from an incongruous Spanish/Swiss co-production of a life of Falstaff culled from five Shakespearean texts and Holinshed's Chronicles. Infused with a politically acute nostalgia for Merrie England, this elegiac tragi-comedy comes over as uncompromisingly modern entertainment, from its playful ruptures of traditional film grammar to its characterisation of Falstaff as hero at the crossroads of history, a spiritual and thematic precursor of Peckinpah's Cable Hogue. Welles waddles through the foreground with an eye on his own problems of patronage, while behind the camera he conjures a dark masterpiece, shot through with slapstick and sorrow. Magic.

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