Restored Print Of Orson Welles’ Chimes At Midnight Making Its Debut At The Screen Arts Festival

It goes without saying that Orson Welles has become one of the most iconic cinematic geniuses in film history.   Be it Citizen Kane and its continual mentioning as the greatest American film ever put to celluloid, or films like F For Fake or his turn in The Third Man that show just how brilliant this man was.

However, there has always been one film in particular that has been both one of his most talked about projects, and also one of the most difficult to see.   Entitled Chime At Midnight, the film is Welles’ take on Falstaff, the Shakespeare character, and now it just got a lot easier to view.   The Independent is reporting that the film has finally busted out of its legal shackles, and will premiere a recently restored print at this year’s Screen Arts Festival.

The film has been fodder for crummy DVD releases for years now, but thanks to a newly discovered print, the film has been restored and has often been compared to films like Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons.   While Ambersons had suffered a similar fate, that film is still, in its original intended form, lost to history, leaving this film to be arguably one of the biggest restorations in recent memory.   Here’s to hoping that a brand like Criterion can nab the rights to this project, and give it the proper release that it really deserves.

What do you think?

Source The Independent

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3 Comments

  • Can someone edit the typo out of the headline? It’s bothering me. Feel free to delete this comment after the correction has been made. :)

  • I’ve been clamoring for Criterion to release a box set, Eclipse or standard, of Orson Welles’s Shakespeare adaptations.  This would include “Othello”, “King Lear”, “Chimes at Midnight a.k.a. Falstaff”, and Welles’s performance in theatrical, filmed-for-television adaptation of “King Lear” (which I have seen and is terrible but would be nice to have to round out this hypothetical box set) and Welles’s own making-of documentary “Filming Othello”.

  • I don’t know what The Independent is talking about…maybe rights have prevented it from being shown onscreen in England, and I know they’ve tied up the DVD release here stateside, but I saw a gorgeous print of this in Boston in…2008? No later than summer 2009. I know it’s played other cities as well. I’m surprised it’s been restored once again based on the quality of the print, but hopefully this is good news for a future Blu-Ray release (DVD wouldn’t do justice to the film…it’s not my favorite Welles, but I can definitely see why others hold it so dear).

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