One of the huge cinematic treats on the first day of 2016 is the release of Orson Welles’ masterpiece Chimes At Midnight. Though not as widely known or celebrated as Citizen Kane or even Touch of Evil, Chimes At Midnight is a towering achievement that, like most of Welles’ work, has stood the test of time. Tangled up in rights issues for years, the movie’s debut in select theaters will hopefully be a sign of good things to come, leading to an eventual release on Blu-ray and DVD.

Integrating elements from Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Henry V, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Richard II, Chimes At Midnight features Welles as John Falstaff, the waywardly knight who serves as a father figure to Prince Hal (Keith Baxter). Along with carrying a top-notch ensemble (the film co-stars John Gielgud, Margaret Rutherford, and Jeanne Moreau), the 1966 feature also contains one of Welles’ most charismatic and ultimately heartbreaking performances, as he perfectly embodies Falstaff’s humorous and eventually practical approach towards life.

Chimes at Midnight debuts January 1, 2016 at Los Angeles’ Cinefamily and the Film Forum in New York.

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Posted By: Greg Srisavasdi