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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Campanadas a medianoche', Chimes at Midnight' or 'Falstaff)

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/welles.htm
Spain 1965

The crowning achievement of Orson Welles’s extraordinary cinematic career, Chimes at Midnight was the culmination of the filmmaker’s lifelong obsession with Shakespeare’s ultimate rapscallion, Sir John Falstaff. Usually a comic supporting figure, Falstaff—the loyal, often soused friend of King Henry IV’s wayward son Prince Hal—here becomes the focus: a robustly funny and ultimately tragic screen antihero played by Welles with looming, lumbering grace. Integrating elements from both Henry IV plays as well as Richard II, Henry V, and The Merry Wives of Windsor, Welles created a gritty and unorthodox Shakespeare film as a lament, he said, “for the death of Merrie England.” Poetic, philosophical, and visceral—with a kinetic centerpiece battle sequence that rivals anything in the director’s body of work—Chimes at Midnight is as monumental as the figure at its heart.

***

"Also known as 'Falstaff'. Orson Welles's version of the Falstaff story, assembled from Shakespearean bits and pieces, is the one Welles film that deserves to be called lovely; there is also a rising tide of opinion that proclaims it his masterpiece (1966, 115 min.). Restrained and even serene (down to its memorably muddy battle scene), it shows Welles working largely without his technical flourishes--and for those who have never seen beyond his surface flash, it is ample proof of how sensitive and subtle an artist he is. With Keith Baxter, John Gielgud, Margaret Rutherford, and Jeanne Moreau."

Capsule by Dave Kehr
From the Chicago Reader HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release Date: December 22nd, 1965

Reviews                                                                    More Reviews                                                                 DVD Review

 

Associated Reading (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

This is Orson Welles
by Orson Welles, Peter Bogdanovich, Jonathan Rosenbaum
Orson Welles on Shakespeare: The W.P.A. and Mercury Theatre Playscripts
by Orson Welles, Simon Callow, Richard France
Orson Welles: Interviews (Conversations with Filmmakers (Paperbacks))
by Orson Welles, Mark W. Estrin
The Trial
by Franz Kafka
Orson Welles : The Stories of His Life
by Peter Conrad
Rosebud : The Story of Orson Welles
by David Thomson
Encyclopedia of Orson Welles (Great Filmmakers)
by Chuck Berg, Tom Erskine, John C. Tibbetts, James M. Welsh, Thomas L. Erskine
Chimes at Midnight: Orson Welles, Director (Rutgers Films in Print)
by Bridget Gellert Lyons

Comparison:

Suevia Films -  Region 0 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) Suevia Films - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

  

Distribution Suevia Films Region 2 - PAL Criterion Collection - Spine #830 - Region 'A' Blu-ray
Runtime 1:51:00 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:56:24.018
Video 1.60:1.00 original aspect ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.97 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.66:1 Disc Size: 49,700,632,813 bytes

Feature Size: 34,781,337,600 bytes

Average Bitrate:35.45 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video: 1080P

Bitrate: Suevia

Bitrate: Criterion Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)   

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, Spanish, None English or none
Features

Intemacional Films Espanola

DVD Encoding: Region 2 - PAL ( actually Region 0 )

DVD Release Date: October 10, 2000
Run Time: 1:51:00
DVD Production Company: Suevia Films

  • Aspect Ratio Regional Information Disc Details 
    1.60 : 1 

    Edition Details:

  • Interactive Menus

  • Filmographies

  • Suevia Catalogue of 11 DVDs ( trailers )

  • Film Credits

  • Scene Access - 16 Chapters

  • 5 Interviews (see comments below) - NO Eng subs!

DVD Release Date:  October 10, 2000
Keep Case

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:

1.66:1 Disc Size: 49,700,632,813 bytes

Feature Size: 34,781,337,600 bytes

Average Bitrate:35.45 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video: 1080P

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary featuring film scholar James Naremore, author of The Magic World of Orson Welles
• New interview with actor Keith Baxter (29:49)
• New interview with director Orson Welles’s daughter Beatrice Welles, who appeared in the film at age nine (14:40)
• New interview with actor and Welles biographer Simon Callow (31:41)
• New interview with film historian Joseph McBride, author of What Ever Happened to Orson Welles? (26:44)
• Interview with Welles while at work editing the film, from a 1965 episode of The Merv Griffin Show (11:07)
• Trailer (1:50)
• PLUS: An essay by film scholar Michael Anderegg

Blu-ray Release Date: August 30th, 2016
Transparent Keep case

Chapters: 25

 

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray July 16': Firstly, we don't own the Mr. Bongo Blu-ray release HERE from the UK - we had heard unfavorable things about it. Criterion's 1080P image is superb - looking consistent, rich, and detailed. There is no damage (or chroma of the Spanish SD) and the dual-layered transfer (with max'ed out bitrate) certainly exceeds my expectations.  It looks sweet in-motion. I'm very pleased.

Criterion use their typical linear PCM - original mono track - at 1152 kbps (24-bit). The dialogue sync always seems slightly off to me, at times, but the film's music credited to Angelo Francesco Lavagnino (who wrote scores for plenty of films - just not many that I know!) is clean and clear. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.

Criterion include an important audio commentary featuring film scholar James Naremore, author of The Magic World of Orson Welles and it is quit educational and informative. There are new interviews recorded by Criterion in 2016. The first is with actor Keith Baxter - for 1/2 an hour - who reminisces about playing Prince Hal on stage and screen and his close relationship with Orson Welles. We also hear, about 15-minutes, from director Orson Welles’s daughter Beatrice Welles, who appeared in the film at age nine and recalls the atmosphere on set and her reluctance to play Falstaff's young page. We also get 1/2 an hour with Welles biographer Simon Callow who played Falstaff to Keith Baxter's King Henry IV in a 1998 production of Orson Welles stage version of Chimes at Midnight. As an author, he has published three volumes of a Welles biography. In this interview, Callow discusses Welles's nimble adaptation of several Shakespeare plays into one coherent work of cinema. There is also a new, 27-minute, interview with film historian Joseph McBride, author of What Ever Happened to Orson Welles? discussing Welles late career and approach to adapting Shakespeare. Included is an 11-minute interview with Welles while at work editing the film, from a 1965 episode of The Merv Griffin Show and a trailer. The package contains a liner notes booklet with an essay by film scholar Michael Anderegg.

One of the more desirable Blu-ray releases of the year for Welles fans, Shakespeare fans and all cinephiles. Our highest recommendation!

***

ON THE DVD: Ahh... what can you say - Another great film with lackluster print transfer to DVD. Picture quality falls somewhere between mediocre to bad, often hazy, sound is up and down. Robert Harris has assured me that there is a fine print available (not in need of restoration) but it obviously wasn't used in making this DVD. Extras are pretty good though with filmographies (Welles and Gielgud), and interviews with Jesus Franco (second unit director - 3:55), Juan Cobos (assistant to Welles - 3:17), Tony Fuentes (both assistant directors - 6:22), Edmon Richard (director of photography - 5:02), and Emma Penella (assistant to the producer - 3:13). No English Subs!. 7 stills from the set, including the Spanish poster for the film (see above) and a letter from Welles regarding production. 2 static pages for the cast and crew. Sad, but certainly this is not on the horizon for any other DVD production company soon.





DVD Menus

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Suevia Films - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Suevia Films - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Suevia Films - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Suevia Films - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Suevia Films - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

Box Covers

 

 

  

Distribution Suevia Films Region 2 - PAL Criterion Collection - Spine #830 - Region 'A' Blu-ray


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Gary Tooze