Chimes at Midnight (1966) - film adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry the Fourth, Parts One and Two

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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Adapted mainly from William Shakespeare’s

Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2

. Directed by Orson Welles. Starring Orson Welles, Keith Baxter, John Gielgud, Margaret Rutherford, Jeanne Moreau. Black and white. 111 minutes.

Orson Welles’s Chimes at Midnight is based on a radical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, 1 and 2. The plays are substantially cut to make the Falstaff/Hal and Hal/Henry relationships the substance of the drama, scenes are re-positioned across the two plays, speeches are reassigned to other characters, and additional passages are brought in from Richard II, Henry V, The Merry Wives of Windsor and Holinshed’s English Chronicles. This reworking foregrounds Falstaff rather than King Henry or Prince Hal – or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that it foregrounds

1062 words

Citation: Fraser, Duncan. "Chimes at Midnight (1966) - film adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry the Fourth, Parts One and Two". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 August 2016 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=19435, accessed 30 May 2024.]

19435 Chimes at Midnight (1966) - film adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry the Fourth, Parts One and Two 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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