All’s Well That Ends Welles

The Chimes at Midnight (1965): Terrific film, based on Shakespeare’s Second Tetralogy (Richard II, Henry IV 1 & 2, Henry V).* Welles is splendid as the loveable rogue Falstaff (c.f. H. Bloom passim), and Gielgud magnificent as Henry IV. (It’s a treat to see Gielgud ACT, before he became old; most of what I’ve seen him in has been from the ’70s / ’80s—when he was in his.) Has a ten minute battle scene, imaginatively lit sets, and the scene where Henry V (a hypocritical codfish if ever there was one) banishes Falstaff is extremely powerful.
*: The definitive version of the Second Tetralogy is from the BBC Shakespeare series, with Derek Jacobi as Richard II and Jon Finch as Henry IV.


The Lady from Shanghai (1947). Very interesting Orson Welles film noir. Not quite a success, but fascinating nevertheless. Atmosphere rich and strange; excellent characterisation of wealthy decadents. Great set-pieces: the aquarium scene; the courtroom (with the defence counsel cross-examining himself); the justly celebrated mirror scene. If only we could see the uncut hour!